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Delivering your own

Car marked up at FAB for ARA standards
All car's are checked and categorised so the customer can order with confidence... but what about delivery?
By the response we have had to our delivery survey, the delivery of oversized and delicate items is a big issue for the industry. We know of only two businesses that have gone down the route of delivering their own nationally; one of those is FAB Recycling, the company behind FAB Direct, FAB Bundle and MyGreenFleet.

FAB’s MD, Jason Cross made it clear from the start that this is no easy or cheap option. In fact, quite the opposite; delivering a few parts to Scotland from Cinderford for example is never going to make financial sense.
So why do FAB do it?
The simple answer is that they want to be sure the customer gets the part they ordered, in the condition it left the yard in. FAB take service very seriously, having built a reputation with trade users on that service. If you give a trade user what he/she expects, when he/she expects it, then over a period of time that customer’s confidence will grow and he/she will be more than happy to re-order, knowing what he/she can expect.

FAB operates the ARA’s parts standards system (see more here) so that buyers are aware of the quality they are buying. The system is well thought out and simple to understand. So once a customer knows that a grade 0 means the panel is perfect in every way, or in the case of a grade A panel, it will require no more than one hour’s labour to rectify, then the confidence soon grows. There isn’t even a need for photos as customers know what will come.

Where it all goes wrong is when you put that part on a courier and it arrives at the other end with added issues. Trade customers in particular are working to deadlines and they don’t and won’t be messed about with parts that don’t come up to scratch. Also, they aren’t that interested whether it’s you who wasn’t totally honest about the quality or the courier who didn’t take enough care when handling it; the reality from FAB’s perspective is that they have lost what should have been a long term, regular customer. So what’s the answer; send those oversized and delicate items on your own transport and make sure you put enough care into it so that they do arrive as they left. Jason explained, “Our system is more like Pickfords than DHL. Routes are planned and parts placed in the vans in order of delivery. All are wrapped in blankets and strapped to prevent movement in transit. When the part gets to it’s destination, it is already in position to allow easy removal without interfering with other parts so the opportunity for damage is kept to the very minimum.

FAB would prefer not to go to this expense but currently there is no other sensible option. Any small items that fit in a carton go with the conventional couriers but once an item is outside of the range of their automated sorting systems, then problems will arise. Perhaps there is an opportunity in our industry for a dedicated courier but we are under no illusions that it would be a major undertaking logistically and financially. Perhaps this is one area where the major players in the industry could get together.

Getting the delivery right is not a lot of point if you can’t get your customers to recognise what they are buying; standard classifications must go hand in hand!
If you haven’t already, please complete our delivery survey here.

April 2016

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