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Delivering Parts - the challenge is the same worldwide

Guidetti cable granulators
Steve Tapner brings home that delivery issues are not just a UK topic.
It has been interesting for me here in Australia, reading the discussion you have been having there about delivering parts. Again it seems that many of the challenges we face in the dismantling industry are universal!


In Australia, the majority of dismantlers run some kind of delivery service ranging from sending a staff member out for a couple of hours each day to do local deliveries, through to those businesses that run multiple delivery vehicles with dedicated drivers who are on the road all day, every day getting the parts to their customers.

Talking to different business owners, I hear many different reasons why they provide delivery. And when the conversation turns to the cost most owners seem to turn away with their fingers in their ears and the discussion finishes there! So clearly deciding to provide a delivery service to your customers is a big decision. Here are some key points to consider:
  • What will we deliver?
  • Where will we deliver?
  • Will we charge for delivery?
  • What problem are we solving by offering delivery?
  • Is this a branding exercise?
Jason from FAB has it right when he says they deliver only the parts that won’t fit in a carton and can go with a conventional courier. Delivering the oversize and overweight parts (major panel and mechanical) is a mutually beneficial service for you and your customer. You solve the problem they have in getting these parts from you thus enabling them to buy, and you also are able to guarantee the all up cost of the delivered part. The benefit for you is to have control of the process and so be certain of the delivered condition of the part.
Steve Tapner
Steve Tapner is as a past owner of a dismantling business in Australia but more recently (since 2004) he has worked with Actual Systems which then became Hollander International Australia, following its acquisition by Solera Inc. This period saw the introduction of the Pinnacle inventory and management software to the Australian market - from the first sites in late 2004 to 100 plus sites in Australia and New Zealand by late 2014. Since that time Steve has been working as a trainer and independent consultant to the industry.

Steve will be presenting at CARS 2016 which will be a great opportunity for us all to benefit from his experience. If you have any questions or would like to ask Steve anything, then contact him by email here.
Where
That depends on where you are and who your target market is. Some dismantlers in Australia (and in the US) run a delivery simply to offset their out-of-town location – they are delivering to everyone in the nearby major centre. To cover even larger areas in the US they team up with trading partners in other centres (See Team PRP). Other dismantlers offer delivery only to key businesses amongst their panel and dealership customers.
Charge
This is surprisingly a big question here in Australia – particularly in Melbourne where no one charges the customer for delivery! Running a delivery service is a significant cost to a business and I believe there should be a charge to the customer in order to recover some of this cost. If the sales person offers the customer a “delivered price” that is okay but the notion that the customer is paying something for delivery should still be true. For Pinnacle users the D4 Delivery Report when exported to Excel shows the freight charge and the salesman’s name for each delivered order.
The Problem
Make sure before deciding to go down the path of offering delivery that you are actually solving a problem for yourself or your customer. In Australia in some areas there are external couriers who cater for the dismantling industry and will deliver large mechanical and panel safely and conveniently. If these delivery services meet the customer’s needs then they are a good solution and will cost you much less than running your own service.
Branding
Increasingly we don’t see our customers face to face and so there can be a benefit that comes from delivering more than just the part and the invoice to your customer. Your delivery vehicle (well presented) and your driver (well presented and personable) represent your brand at your customer's business. Particularly if you sell to dealerships or other large customers; your connection with that business might pivot on one person in a key role, so having your delivery vehicle and driver regularly present at that business gives the customer's staff an awareness of you as a supplier that they might not otherwise have.

And there is one more point to be made: Who are you competing against? If, as a business (or as an industry) you feel you can take sales away from the OEM suppliers, then possibly that determines what you “need” to do? Most dealerships have branded deliveries running around to the smash repairers and mechanical workshops that you want to have as your customers. So like them, you need to offer those customers the convenience, and your business, the visibility that operating a delivery service provides.

Steve will be presenting at CARS this year and we know he's keen to do some work while he is over here. He is specialist in many areas of auto recycling, and in particular making the best use of Pinnacle. You never know, someone looking at your business who has a range of experiences that we may not have encountered, might just open some new avenues to improved profitability. You can contact Steve by email here or take a look at his consulting services here.

April 2016

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