It’s vital for car dealers to receive shipped auto parts on time and without breaking the budget.
Dealership reputations are on the line. If a customer needs the car at a certain time, you need the part to complete the job.
Shipping companies should be viewed as team members. Understand what good package delivery companies should provide. Choose one that will enhance your customer service while not breaking your bottom line.
Consider these guidelines when choosing a shipping company to deliver your valuable assets:
1. Industry Knowledge. Is the shipper experienced in shipping valuable and sometimes fragile parts to minimize damage? A component that arrives damaged delays your track to revenue and hinders your ability to satisfy the customer.
2. Transit time. How large is the shipper’s next-day footprint? This will help you manage workload and customer vehicle storage. It will also keep customers happy, knowing their vehicle will be serviced or repaired promptly.
3. Dedicated routes. If you are a big customer, ask a shipper if dedicated routes are an option. Having a route specific to your company means it goes directly to you without other stops.
4. Transparency and notifications. Make sure your shipper has technology capabilities so that you can see online where the part is in the shipping process, with an estimated time of arrival. This may help scheduling work in the shop and reducing the stress of not knowing when the part will arrive. The technology should enable alerts to the recipient to change the date, time or even schedule a window of delivery time when placing the order. This will also prevent missed deliveries.
5. Fees. Understand your invoice and all the fees a carrier assesses. Today, most shipping companies have complicated fees. Some parcels may have multiple fees. Heavy items, oversize dimensions and distance from a delivery hub may cost more. Seek a delivery company that keeps this fee structure simple with cost calculations.
6. Weight factors. Be aware of DIM (dimensional weight) factors, or extra fees for the dimensional weight of the box, as opposed to charging for the actual weight of the item in the box.
7. Service times. Find a shipper with flexible pickup and delivery times to maximize the hours you can ship to customers. Make sure your shipper understands business-to-business shopping habits and standards, as well as the importance of delivering within certain time parameters.
8. Late pickups. Delivery companies offering these means a shipper can keep their order desk open later, moving product to the end user faster.
9. Saturday deliveries. Find out if your shipper delivers on Saturdays, to what zip codes and whether extra costs are assessed.
10. Live support teams. Despite an increase in automation, there is no substitute for a live customer service representative available to solve problems and answer questions. Some companies even have dedicated representatives to help analyze costs and build solutions to achieve company goals.
When parts are routinely shipped on time for a fair price, everyone wins – the distributor, the dealership, the repair shop and the end customer. Understand transportation and logistics details. This important part of the supply chain can affect your service-department success. (Wards Industry Voices contributor Millie Tarallo, left)
Millie Tarallo is vice president-sales and customer success for General Logistics Systems US. Reach her at 800-322-5555 x5397 or [email protected]