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Consumer Delivery - Part 13 - Another Kind Of Manual Dexterity

Furniture World Magazine


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Consider the delivery operations manual.

Manual dexterity... being skilled at using the hands- certainly helps in fumiture delivery and set-up.

And so does a second kind of manual dexterity... knowing what to do and what not to do on the job.

This second kind can be even more helpful at saving you time, money and headaches. There's only one way to be sure your men develop it-provide them with a delivery operations manual that spells everything out.

Fancy isn't important. Your manual can be many pages in a loose-leaf binder (so revisions and additions can be made) or just a few pages stapled together. What is important is that your manual be clear and comprehensive-and that it be followed.

While delivery crews, like everyone else at your store, should be discouraged to think for themselves in some situations-and even be rewarded for doing so-they also have to be encouraged to think in your behalf at all times.

Nothing does this better than a manual. The most useful ones I've seen cover virtually everything that's apt to come up not only during a delivery but before and after too.

These manuals range from proper driving practices and what to do if a truck breaks down to pre-loading inspection, merchandise protection in bad weather, reporting procedures for "not homes," damages and CODs and everything else that makes for a smooth delivery operation.

They leave little to chance. We all, for instance, assume crews understanding that drinking on the job and smoking in customers' home are taboo. When you say so in writing, you make it part of the job conditions.

The same goes for telling your men that speech may be silver but silence is golden. Customers invariably take whatever a driver says as store policy-and that can cause grief all around.

Make sure everyone involved with delivery, including your sales people, gets a copy of your delivery operations manual, understands it and adheres to it.

This second kind of manual dexterity-knowing what makes sense and what doesn't when it comes to delivering the goods-is a first-rate way to eliminate confusion, boost efficiency and build customer goodwill.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.