Hardware Retailing

JAN 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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along with price, are turnaround time and specialties of vendors in question. Fees and Schawe both emphasized the selection of vendors based on deadlines involved, not on price. Since custom orders can sometimes have higher average price points than typical transactions, the focus should be on ensuring quality materials and timely delivery. Delivery Done Right The final step for many special orders on the customer side is delivery, whether delivering to a work site or shipping to a store or the customer's home. With online retailers offering convenience and speed in getting products into the hands of customers, retailers must match that ability. To ensure accuracy and accountability during its delivery process, Star Lumber uses equipment that allows drivers to take pictures of each delivery and track it along its route from the warehouse to the truck and then at the delivery location. Having photos ensures a record of delivery that can avoid or mitigate any issues once the product is delivered. Mawson puts particular emphasis on delivering to sites while a contractor is working. Supplies needed to complete the first floor are delivered to the site, excess from that project is picked up, then the supplies for the second floor are delivered. This process keeps supplies from being damaged by the weather and keeps job sites clear of excess materials, which Fees says his customers appreciate. The delivery experience often comes down to the smallest details, says Mawson Lumber and Hardware owner Scott Glasscock. Drivers often have instructions to drop materials off at specific locations in a job site or at a home build and will be re-dispatched to a delivery site if it's not dropped where it's needed. "These are high-dollar, custom-made products. We take it all the way, including making sure our delivery drivers are equipped with clean gloves so as not to leave fingerprints on the finishes," Glasscock says. Nothing, not even fingerprints, is too small when it's special.

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