Furniture World Articles by
Reduce the impact of new driver rules that promise to cause higher costs and delivery delays for retailers.
Dealing with receiving issues that compromise customer service and profitability.
If your operation is positioned for growth in 2013, you may need additional warehouse space. Before you build or expand, try these strategies for increasing efficiency.
The Perfect Delivery Index is a measure that assumes that problem deliveries are within the control of the operations department, with the exception of customer errors and well hidden manufacturers’ defects. Here’s how to use this tool and others to move toward making 100% perfect deliveries.
Theft is a big problem in our industry. Here are simple ways to protect your business.
Practical steps to minimize risks of warehouse infestation, negative media attention and frivolous consumer lawsuits.
In our current era of robotics and other high-tech solutions, it is easy to overlook the necessity and importance of smart manual handling.
There will be significant challenges for furniture transportation in 2011 and beyond.
Two to ten percent of furniture deliveries result in a return or exchange when there is nothing wrong with the furniture. This fact points to opportunities to drastically reduce returns by attending to a few details before, during and after delivery.
Theft by trusted employees is a big problem for furniture retailers. So what kinds of employee monitoring and process controls should you consider?
Here's what retailers, manufacturers, importers and specialized carriers need to know about compliance issues related to the new CSA2010 regulations to avoid difficulties.
Topics discussed in a Home Delivery panel discussion at the 2010 International Furniture Transportation & Logistics Council (IFTLC) conference provides Furniture World readers with tips on how to improve operations.
The failure rate for new warehouse and delivery managers in retail furniture stores is high. Retailers that promote from within often run up against the Peter Principle. When an outsider is selected, his or her individual style may conflict with your corporate culture or they may have flat out lied about their experience. Here’s how to avoid these problems.
Most retailers interviewed for this article believe business conditions have bottomed and modest growth is here or coming soon. Some are very enthusiastic. Included are their comments, plus tips on how to get your back-end operations in shape so you will be ready to grow as the economy strengthens.
Complete your warehouse move with minimal business interruption and cost.
Central Illinois furniture retailer continues to grow by taking advantage of back end operations efficiencies.
Fines for improper racking, lift truck problems, electrical issues, hazardous materials and equipment lockout procedures are just some of the most common that furniture retailers have received over the past year. Dan Bolger looks at these issues and provides guidance on how FURNITURE WORLD Magazine readers can reduce injuries as well as avoid running afoul of OSHA regulations.
Business is tough, but don’t be your own worst enemy by cutting corners in the warehouse, prep and delivery. Read this article to find tips on reducing costs and improving customer service.
For most furniture retailers it is virtually impossible to increase sales this year, so you need to focus on items you do control, such as warehouse and delivery.
Regardless of the brand of trucks you use for delivery, you have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars annually through driver training and motivation.
Now is the time to look at your delivery systems,in-home service/ sales calls and driver education.
Roomful Express Furniture improves key operations metrics with new program.
Now is the time to look at your delivery systems, in-home service/sales calls and driver education.
Recycling EPS now makes sense for furniture retailers. There are a number of processing alternatives that can change its disposal from a big expense to one that can actually generate a payback.
FURNITURE WORLD readers, Majors and Independent Stores entered their amazingly beautiful trucks this year along with advertising, maintenance and delivery tips. Winners are presented in a number of categories including a new one, Retail Show Trucks.
More than 400 readers participated in a FURNITURE WORLD Magazine/ furninfo.com survey on delivery problems and solutions.
Recent International Furniture Transportation and Logistics Council conference tracks trends and advances that will affect furniture retailers.
One fire, local storm or water/ sprinkler pipe failure can cost you millions of dollars in property and lost business. Here are three “disaster” case studies and a checklist for preparedness and recovery.
Most successful furniture retailers carefully track sales metrics, but don’t apply the same level of attention to their warehouse operations. The “Perfect Delivery Index” presented in this article, is an effective management tool that lists key data easily pulled from your daily
Checklist of policies and procedures that will help you to get accurate inventory counts, reduce theft and boost employee productivity.
Higher fuel prices, the new truck engine specifications, and the changeover to ultra-low-sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD) will certainly affect your delivery cost structure this year. Here are seven ways to keep overall costs in check and get better control over your delivery operations.
With about 2,100 decisions to make when creating a new warehouse facility, you need to concentrate on areas where mistakes or omissions are most likely to occur.
It may be time for you to take a close look at how you handle the processing, disposal and recycling of trash and packaging materials such as corrugated, old mattresses and furniture.
FURNITURE WORLD readers were asked to identify their most pressing retail operations /inventory management/ warehouse and delivery challenges for 2006. This article offers tools and tips retailers can use to achieve performance improvement in these areas.
Boston Inc., Plans For Warehouse Growth
Case study of a family owned chain of four stores that built a centralized warehouse with expansion capabilities to support a high level of customer service during times of rapid sales growth.
FURNITURE WORLD readers who “love their trucks” sent photos and filled out questionnaires. Entries were judged on the graphic approach used as well as special modifications and maintenance procedures.
Coconis’ lastest round of expansion was preceeded by careful warehouse planning. Steps taken to better manage people and processes boosted efficiency and made the transition to dealing with increased sales volume easier.
It doesn’t matter if you run a distribution center and deliver with your own drivers or use an outside company for all or a portion of these functions. You will, in either case, take the heat or the credit for the arrival condition of furniture you place in your customers’ homes.
Warehouse shrinkage, missing deliveries and customer - employee collusion are a reality. Often these problems go unreported because of insufficient oversight.
You can minimize overall transportation cost increases and may actually improve service in 2005.
A proven model for retail networking in the furniture industry -- retail groups meet regularly to benchmark key indicators with the goal of learning best practices.
It may be time to check out your trucks and then visit truck dealerships to see how you may benefit from updating and/or replacing some or all of your vehicles. Dan Bolger describes the features and benefits of the new models.
Unusual circumstances called for a creative solution when Grace Furniture found that they needed to expand and upgrade their warehouse facilities. The old warehouse was used while the new facility was built over it.
The 18th annual PROFITsystems client conference focused solely on increasing the bottom line for storeowners and managers. PROFITuniversity 2004 drew upon 8 years of data, ideas, practices, programs and systems developed in the KAIZEN Seminars...
Is the operations side of your company supporting your overall business strategy? Some common indicators that operations improvement is needed are overcrowded warehouses, damaged merchandise, customer complaints, service calls, even exchanges, labor costs and order cancellations.
This month, Dan Bolger diverges from his usual format to look at Rotmans Furniture and Carpet, an independent furniture retailer. Rotmans and its customers have recycled over 10,000 pieces of good reusable furniture to the neediest in their community.
Fires that destroy whole businesses are front page news but more typical is a small fire after hours with considerable smoke. Following the tips in this article will speed fire department response and possibly save thousands of dollars.
Almost every business is aware of the amount spent on workers compensation but most make mediocre efforts at control. The typical approach is to compare rates available based on their own safety record to those available through a group. It is a rare company that really looks at preventing accidents in the first place and managing the situation when an accident does happen.
Star Furniture in Houston, Texas, solved their warehousing problems at a new Austin site with modular truck bodies. Good's Furniture, Inc.Good's uses the modular bodies in another configuration.
Dan Bolger of the Bolger Group looks at additional ways you can avoid paying for merchandise that you never got or for damages you didn't cause. Good written procedures and management oversight will help gain efficiency and reduce the chances for fraud.
Contributing Editor Dan Bolger changes gears this month by presenting a whole bunch of ways home furnishings retailers can promote driver safety and reduce run-away delivery costs
From 1935 until passage of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, the ICC exercised almost total control over trucking rates, routes and entry of new carriers. It was a huge bureaucracy with unique accounting requirements and it was impossible to accomplish anything without using specialized transportation lawyers. Now it is gone, opening up a new era for shippers.
Update for furniture retailers on balance overcharges and new state regulations. Also covered are LTL rate hikes scheduled for 1996.
Growth was causing challenges for Coconis Furniture and Coconis Carpet the largest independent home furnishings retailer in south eastern Ohio. Here's a case study on how they successfully planned for showroom & warehouse growth.
NHFA's Annual Operating Experience Report data is presented to help you compare your business to others. Charts include compensation data for typical positions and insight on emerging trends.
When Sherman's Furniture lost the lease on their outside warehouse, they considered building a new facility, leasing another building or upgrading their existing space. Luckily, Jack Sherman, having read the March issue of Furniture World undertook a diagnostic study of his warehousing and logistics before he took any action.
Dan Bolger reminds you to check your freight bills, pay attention to how your delivery trucks look and take a close look at how the efficiency of your warehouse and your entire operation might be improved.
Hiring practices which include using background checks and pre-employment testing are helping many progressive retailers to reduce warehouse 'shrinkage."
Since you cannot operate your warehouse like a bank vault, what steps can you take to protect your investment?
If an apparent space shortage is pushing you to consider the option of a new warehouse... then read this article first.
Steps you can take to evaluate and improve the efficiency of your receiving department. Presented are ways to gain efficiency by eliminating steps and reducing chances for mistakes or fraud.
On average, the typical retailer has 25% of his inventory tied up in goods that are slow moving to dead. Here are some tips on how you can more effectively manage inventory and boost profits.
Managing inbound freight positively contributes to bottom line profit improvement, reduces damages and claims, smooths receiving and boosts your ability to successfully serve the customer.
Bejnar's Fine Furniture is competing against the big guys. Efficient operations including excellent warehousing and delivery does make a difference.
A look at recent developments with an emphasis on cost containment.
Building a new warehouse is a complex task. Many retailers consider bringing in an outside consultant to manage the process.
Choosing the "right" truck for your particular operation is a real challenge today with so many styles and brands to choose from. This is the first in a series of articles on home furnishings retailers who Love Their Trucks.
Advances in computer technology have impacted one of retailing's major challenges, delivery and service scheduling. This technology can significantly improve your productivity and customer satisfaction.
This year's transportation outlook is much different. It has changed from a buyer's market to one where the carriers are holding more power.
This article is for you if you are considering obtaining existing warehouse space or building a warehouse from the ground-up. If you are not currently considering warehouse expansion, put this material away until the need arises (it surely will!).
4-15% of total inventory dollars are tied up in non-saleable merchandise. Problems include manufacturing defects, missing parts, freight claims and damage caused by poor warehouse handling practices. Shop areas also typically have some customer merchandise in for warranty repair.
Furniture retailers are used to hiring sales and office staff. Most are not nearly as strong on the warehouse and delivery side of the business. As a result, they often do not hire the best people for these critical jobs. Here are tips and techniques for hiring the best warehouse manager.
Dan Bolger explains how you can save by paying attention to fuel surcharges, header rates, miscellaneous charges and freight charges added to merchandise invoices. Also discussed are how you can use the internet to find the best furniture freight rates.
Some home furnishings retailers treat inbound freight as a non-controllable expense but it is absolutely manageable. Benefits achieved by close control of inbound freight include increased operating margins, improved transit reliability and reduced damage.
Until the spring of 2001, Morris Home Furnishings manually routed their trucks. A year after switching from manual routing, all efficiency measures including driver performance have improved.
If you are about to build a new warehouse or renovate an old facility, you may be thinking about purchasing expert advice. The February/March issue presented a checklist for evaluating your existing operation. This article looks at the consultant’s role and planning considerations.
In the quest for improved profits and competitive advantage, furniture retailers are more frequently reviewing their options for warehousing, deluxing and home delivery. Decision making tools plus a list of sources will help you to make an informed decision.
There’s an old saying that you can’t improve perfomance until you measure it. This article will provide the tools you need to quickly assess your warehouse and delivery operation. Included is a checklist you can use to identify problem areas and create a plan for continuous improvement.
ApplianceMart found that a single distribution facility would result in many economic advantages in areas of inbound freight, manpower, product damage, time spent preparing and loading trucks from multiple warehouses, service costs plus capacity to grow the business.
Dan Bolger presents a number of ideas that can add 2 to 4 points to your profit margins. Every area of your business needs periodic review and transportation is no exception. Check for opportunities for additional discounts, delivery consolidation and the real value of manufacturer “guaranteed” freight programs.
Riley Griffiths has positioned his company for 40% growth without investing in additional bricks and mortar. He simply rearranged his showroom and warehouse spaces for greater efficiency and flexibility.
If your post-sale service calls are running more than 3% it may be time to take a close look at your product handling and deluxing procedures.
Selden’s overall project planning and use of experts to supplement internal skills were important elements for the success of their warehouse expansion.
The economic picture for 2001 appears to be lackluster with key furniture retailer indicators trending flat to moderate sales gains. Sales increases may be harder to come by, so it's time to look at other ways to boost the bottom line.
Many retailers are providing outstanding delivery with their own employees but there is substantial growth in outsourcing delivery services by furniture retailers. The keys to success are professional management, solid procedures, equipment and most of all, thoroughly trained delivery people.
Samsen Furniture's 1994 warehouse was built with future racking in mind with clear roof height of 15 to 20 feet and a clear span. Here's how planning ahead has made updating their warehouse systems to accommodate increased sales easy.
Replacing light bulbs and fixtures in showrooms, warehouses and store exteriors, can save energy, improve lighting quality and redirect maintenance labor from changing light bulbs. Dan Bolger offers ideas which can provide an ongoing stream of benefits with ultra quick payback periods
Here are some affordable solutions for Home furnishings retailers with jam-packed inefficient warehouses that have clear heights of 12 to 16 feet often awkwardly stack furniture several units high.
Surveys report significant customer dissatisfaction with many Internet purchases, particularly in the areas of delivery and customer service. The logistical challenges of home delivery are far more difficult and costly than many recognize. It just isn't valid to compare the delivering of books to case goods or upholstery.
Have you recently looked at pickups and carry home purchases from your customer's perspective? Improvements in handling carry home purchases and pickups can dramatically boost your customer service image.
Wisconsin retailer Appliancemart with 2 store locations and 6 warehouses has fine-tuned delivery procedures to make the process flow smoothly.
Tip and methods for managing receiving, minimizing damage and maximizing return on claims when necessary.
Independent retailer Andreas Furniture builds a consumer & employee "friendly" distribution center.
As O’Coins grew, the store purchased supplemental warehousing from their delivery contractor. This solution created a challenging situation solved by purchasing a nearby facility, upgrading systems and processes.
Now is the time for FURNITURE WORLD readers to review scheduling and receiving operations in light of new United States Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations. Those companies that make their pickup and/or delivery experience more driver friendly will see the least affect on their bottom line and may actually reduce their costs.
Nationally recognized fire protection code expert Elley Klausbruckner, supplies general practical information on fire protection requirements for furniture warehouses. A bit of attention to this area before you build or refit your warehouse can save substantial sums.
Have you recently looked at customer pickups and carry home purchases from the customer’s perspective? You may find, that you need to re-evaluate and improve the whole process. A modest investment can yield big dividends.
Regaining control over inventory puts more cash in the bank, more room in the warehouse and reduces damage. Five inventory categories are presented in a way that makes looking at them less of a puzzle.
Retailers like Bob’s Discount Furniture, Haverty’s, and Arhaus Furniture accrue tangible and intangible benefits in their warehouse, prep and delivery departments by using an innovative transportation system.
Outstanding trucking, logistics and warehousing practices. These add value to customer transactions and have contributed to the 500% growth of City Furniture since 1994 to $220 million.
This article describes five basic approaches used by most retailers to handle delivery problems. Each of these will be carefully examined so that you can craft a policy to help you find your place among the best of the best.
Since meaningful direct comparisons between retailers are
difficult to make, most should track warehouse productivity trends in their own operation. Here are the top ten performance measures that have proven to be useful in many retail home furnishings operations.
Although theft of goods is on the rise in furniture retail establishments nationwide, it is a problem that is too often ignored. Most of your products are easily sold by thieves, stolen by employees to meet specific requests from their friends, or even to furnish their own house!