Anyone deliver? Need thoughts on offering this. - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Yup, deliver for free too. However, if I am doing a job that requires running back and forth to their place (for fitting and trials), I will add that time to the time & material total or figure it into the quote (it is a small % of the total).

    I have an occasional customer that instructed me to keep track of my delivery travel time and charge them for it.

    Delivery makes for an easy excuse to make cold calls. "I was delivering down the street and..."

    Bill

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  3. #22
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    Yup. I do local deliveries all the time. It's a great way to interface with your customers.

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    Deliver and take the account to the office,so you make contact with the office person who pays the accounts.A few pleasantries and compliments can get your account paid when others are being held over to the next month.......You can also get important info about the financial well being of the company too,if you can join the dots.

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  7. #24
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    Of course I delivered to my prototype/design customers. They always picked my brain about manufacturing issues. If I spent more than a few minutes in discussion they insisted on being billed for my "consulting" time.

    It's all part of working with your customers, their success was my success.

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  9. #25
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    Those who say they "deliver for free" are just plain fooling themselves about the issue.
    The cost is included in your shop overhead, simple as that, it may not show up as a line item on your invoice but it is certainly included in the price of every job that you do. Included in the price of jobs you deliver and jobs you don't deliver.

    Think of it this way, if in one day you completed four jobs worth $1000 and delivered two of the jobs worth $600 that same day then the delivery cost and time is divided into the total invoice amount for that day. For arguments sake lets say you worked 9 hours and spent 1 hour on delivery, total 10 hours or $100 per hour, customers supplied all materials. So you got paid $100 per hour to do that delivery.

    To answer the OP's question I deliver all my products to my one customer and don't charge separately for the delivery. It is INCLUDED in every quote. Sometimes I get a call for a rush job, do the job and deliver within several hours, it is just the way it is for this customer. Luckily they are only 10 minutes away and no traffic lights.

    Every situation is different however and you need to be flexible and do what works best for your situation. If you are super busy and can't find time to do the deliveries then don't offer it as a service, you don't need to. If you are looking for work and need to build relationships then you can look at is as a very cheap way to advertise and network. If your truck is decent looking then put your name on it and voila- free advertising while you drive around, plus the networking when you chat up the guys or gals when unloading.

    Good luck and I am sure you will figure out what works best for you.

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  11. #26
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    We started the shop with free delivery for many customers, but that has since tapered off. Especially after we went CNC and the parts became smaller, less need to go and "see" what needed to be done, less field measuring.

    I'd say 20% of my business we deliver. Some cause they are close, but alot because I would spend more time and energy packing the parts up safely they it takes to drive there AND I do not have to dread that call...did you ship the parts, I didn't get.

    Then track UPS to find an "exception". I hate that word.
    Funny how it always seems to happen on the job that is a Hot ASAP. Call UPS and they say they need 7 days to "investigate" But my customer needs NOW, do I remake or wait? Well customer can;t wait so we remake, send and bill. On the sixth day UPS finds the parts...well nobody wants or needs them now. Machine lasted 60 years before the parts broke, they don't want backups, I have no use for them and UPS will not pay out for the claim as they found them.

    Or even better, UPS looses 10 out of 1000 pieces. Customer NEEDS 1000. I have to setup all machines to make 10 pieces, but UPS will only pay for the 10 pieces at the 1000 piece price.


    Anyway, some customers I deliver if only to keep my face fresh to them, see whats going on...see if I'm still the one vendor or choice or...
    I am there they find other things for me to look at.

    I also like to deliver heavy or pricey parts that are fragile, easy to speak to PA's owners...guys on the floor.


    I used to deliver to one place in particular till that was abused...I was given a job they were in a frantic rush for. When they got material in, I dropped what I was doing and ran over to pick it up to save a days shipping time and cost...they did not want to deliver. I put two guys on and we pushed like hell to get job done. Customer called several times a day to check on status.
    The day it was done the customer called me at 7am, told him last parts were coming out and we would deliver to him by 1pm, so he could ship out that day.

    He thanked me and thanked me.

    We finished up at 11am, it started snowing a bit so I asked my wife if she would mind bringing parts over before it got bad.

    She shows up at their place 11:45, they closed and went home...nobody thought to call us and let us know.

    I figured no way, someones inside or had phones forwarded so I could leave parts somewhere. I called, left a message...following day I got a call, they said sorry, it started to snow so we closed up. Can you bring over now...

    Sorry, real busy catching up after your rush job. You can pickup or have picked or I'll UPS.

    I charged for UPS and the delivery that we attempted.
    They were not happy, not at all.

  12. #27
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    If you use Mud's suggestion of using Fast Food packaging for small parts....you could employ "GrubHub"
    for delivering your parts....

  13. #28
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    I personally deliver everything I do, aside from a 6 hour drive\international orders.
    I set aside 1 day a week for deliveries, and try to quote things that way best I can.
    Nice to get out of the shop for a bit, and actually talk to real people.

    I agree with Mr Booze, you NEED to put yourself in the customers shop, and often.
    I primarily do 1 off high value stuff, so a day to deliver after a month of toiling over the same bloody thing is a REALLY nice break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    All of my customers are local and either they pick up or I deliver. I usually deliver at the end of the day on my way home.

    I find it incredibly valuable to put myself in the customer's shop. If you're there often enough you start to get to know certain people.

    The guy in shipping/receiving who tells me "We got some castings in yesterday so you should be getting a PO to machine them soon."

    The guy in assembly who tells me "The parts you made were kinda tight this time." I make a mental note for next time. Better check the print. I didn't know those two parts went together.

    The Plant Mgr who calls me over. "Hey, while your here could you take a look at this and let me know if you can make/modify for us?"

    Etc.
    This is one of the best reasons to deliver your parts. Some of my customers now see me almost as an extension of their own machine shops, ie they ask me first before going elsewhere, as they know ill drop around during my daily errands to have a look at repair jobs etc. But i do medium sized hydraulic and mining/steelmaking repair type work.

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  17. #30
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    We have 2 Dock Trucks running from 6 am until 3:30-5 pm depending on how many deliveries they have to make. We also have a Pick-up Truck for those quick gotta have it now deliveries which in 14 years has 57K miles on it. So it is not used that much looking at the whole picture.

    We deliver for "free" but it is captured in the Overhead. My competitors in the area do the same.

    We only deliver in the 5 county metro area. Outside of that it is FOB our dock.

    Most of our out of state or international customers arrange the freight and have contracts with haulers. Those who don't we prepay and then invoice +0 to 10% depending on the headache factor.

    UPS/Fed-X/Speedy and Couriers are all charged back to the customer at actual cost and invoiced at the time the parts are invoiced (typically same day).

    Our major vendor's, Painters, Platers and Weld Shops make daily pick-ups and deliveries not charging us. Same as our Material Suppliers. Some we have to negotiate based on volume and others just offer the service. And yes they are capturing it in the Overhead and passing it through but I don't mind paying for sleep insurance knowing we are being taken care of.

    The best investment you can make if you start to deliver is hiring the right driver. Safety minded and patient. Our name is on the side of the Trucks and a phone number. We get calls few times a year about how courteous our drivers are. Lots of people I know see our trucks all over the Twin Cities and call me and I always ask how the drivers are doing. Have yet in 22 years to hear a negative complaint.

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