Don’t Let Your Logistics Partner Ruin Your Reputation!

Michael McKinney, CTB

Who do you blame when the new stackable washer/dryer you ordered doesn’t show up?

It was shipped–these days you can track almost any order–but it’s now a week or two late, and you’re tired of lugging your family’s clothes to the neighborhood laundromat. Are you on the phone with a carrier? Probably not. More than likely, you’re wrangling with the company you ordered from. After all, you paid for the merchandise, and you were promised a delivery date that has come and gone.

Will you order from this company again?

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Recently, my wife and I moved into a new old house with our three daughters. We ordered a cool loft-bed for our youngest from Pottery Barn Kids, a high-end home furnishings retailer who promises to deliver right to the door, and in certain cases (with loft-beds for instance) assemble the furniture for you. Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh!

Not so much.

Here’s what happened–the loft bed was shipped in a timely fashion, and then we waited. And while we waited, our youngest, a fourth grader, slept on a mattress on the floor. At first, it was kind of fun. She’s an easy kid with a big imagination who didn’t mind the “camping” aspect of the floor-sleeping adventure, so no, it wasn’t the end of the world. But here’s the deal–I’ve been working as a logistics provider for 23 years, and it started to get on my nerves. This isn’t how we do business at AM Transport Services.

You see, I could track the beds to St. Louis where they sat for a week and a half.

Sure, I understood that my daughter’s new loft bed was likely sitting with a last-mile delivery service who didn’t want to make the trip to rural Illinois until they had a little more freight to bring. I wasn’t so much aggravated with the carrier as I was with Pottery Barn who wasn’t keeping their delivery promise. I work with customers all the time, and I have a pretty good idea of what it means to keep your promise.

My wife called Pottery Barn Kids. And then she called some more, and finally the loft-bed was on its way. It showed up, two weeks late, was assembled, and my daughter ended the in-house camping adventure she had tired of.

Like I said, a slow-to-arrive loft bed isn’t a catastrophe, but it did get me thinking about how important a logistics provider is to a company’s reputation.

***

At AM Transport, I have the good fortune to work with a group of logistics experts who care about your freight. We know that your reputation doesn’t depend only on your excellent product but with your ability to deliver that product efficiently and on-time with no hiccups on the way.

You see, at AM Transport we treat your freight like our own. That means we track it from pick-up to delivery, using a high touch model to make sure we touch it at every point on the supply chain.

Our people are available 24/7 by phone or email. If your freight runs into trouble, we step in with proven solutions.

Let’s take a look at what happens when you select a provider who doesn’t take the time to ask the right questions, who doesn’t research the delivery, whose staff is inexperienced and undertrained.

Let’s say you manufacture industrial equipment. Your shipments are crated and skidded–not tricky freight from a loading and unloading standpoint, but it takes care.

You tender a couple of truckloads to a consignee in Chicago in the middle of upgrading their facilities. The tender lists the equipment, ship date, weight, consignee, delivery date–all pertinent information needed for transit. A provider can send a truck in to pick up freight as scheduled. The truck heads out with plenty of time to make the delivery.

But there’s a problem.

You see the loading docks at the delivery address can’t handle anything longer than 26’. This downtown location was built before 53’ vans existed. It’s a bad deal. The crew is ready to unload the truck and another crew is ready to install the new equipment that can’t be unloaded.

Your customer–the folks in the middle of the upgrade–are very unhappy to say the least. Charges are mounting and delivery isn’t going to happen. The consignee has a big mess and guess who they’re blaming?

You got it! They’re blaming you!

Here’s what really happened because our customer used AM Transport Services!

We receive the tender with the Chicago address. Our antenna goes up; after all, we know what city deliveries are like, so we ask more questions than usual. We call the consignee, because we ALWAYS call the consignee, to confirm the shipments. The consignee confirms and explains that they’ll have a line shut down while they swap the equipment coming in. We inquire a little further because we don’t like surprises and learn that they are in an old building that can only accommodate trailers up to 26’ in length.

We spring into action.

We contact a warehousing company we know in the Chicago area and arrange for the equipment to be unloaded off the two 53’ trailers we arranged and reloaded onto 26’ straight trucks. We reach out to the customer, explain the needed change and the solution. We contact the consignee again to explain the shipment will now be arriving on four instead of two trucks and coordinate the times.

We follow through from pickup to delivery and everyone is happy!

You see, we’ve been in the logistics business for 30 years, so we know what to do, and with over 10,000 approved carriers, we don’t just match your freight to the best carrier, we make sure it gets to where it’s going efficiently and on-time!

Your reputation matters, and slow, inefficient, and late delivery of your product is the quickest way to erode the high esteem you’ve earned. Don’t throw away your good name by entrusting your freight to logistics partners who don’t care.

 

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