Don't leave the store without one.
If any recent innovation seems tailor-made for furniture delivery operations, it's the cellular phone. Stores and carriers that put phones in their trucks usually soon wonder how they got along without them.
The cellular is really singular. It can pay for itself in a hurry, just in time savings. It has scheduling, customer relations and employee relations advantages as well. Here are a few:
IMMEDIATE DIRECT CONTACT: Even if crews have beepers, they must find phones to call in. Easier said than done, especially in suburban and rural areas. And there is no guarantee the phones they eventually find will work.
QUICK SCHEDULE SHIFTS: Calls save time and miles when there are last-minute delivery cancellations. When necessary, you can also quickly re- route crews for pickups and other special stops along their routes.
PROBLEM ALERTS: If something goes wrong: you're able to take appropriate action faster. If there's a breakdown, for instance, and you get an SOS call, you might be able to save the day by sending out another truck. And, instead of the office calling customers when there are logjams, drivers can call directly-maybe even give them an idea as to when they will arrive.
CANDID COMMUNICATIONS: Talking from a customer's home can be inhibiting for a driver when there's a problem with a delivery. A call from the truck allows you to discuss problems more freely- so you can make the best possible customer relations decisions.
A UNIQUE MUTUAL BENEFIT: Many drivers welcome overtime, but no one appreciates an overcooked dinner. Phones in the trucks keep your people on the job-an important benefit for you-by enabling them to call home and say they'll be late and perhaps again once they've made their last delivery-an important benefit for them.
If you're dependent on beepers or call-ins, I'd suggest you install a phone in just one truck as a test. In my opinion, the cellular phone is so singular, so impressive a time-saver and problem-solver, I'd bet the price of a call you'll react to it like the rest of us who have gone cellular- wondering how your delivery operation once managed without phones.