8 tips for successful
delivery and installation
If you scored low, here’s help. (And even if
you didn’t, it never hurts to get a fresh perspective.) A.R.E. asked our members who
provide logistics and installation services
for suggestions on how you can improve
the success of your projects. Here are eight
tips on working more effectively with them
to keep your projects on track:
1Ideally, work with one company for as much of the work as possible. Multiple
contracts cause a lot of finger pointing
between the vendors as well as more
involvement from you, one member notes.
Another member points to improper packing and differing delivery times as a result
of the use of multiple companies.
2Bring the logistics and installation provider(s) into the process as early as
possible. One member recalls a material
failure that could have been avoided had
the retailer brought the installer into the
process during predesign.
3Assign a project manager to the proj- ect. This individual ideally should have
decision-making authority to address any
issues that arise.
4Relay accurate dimensions of products as well as the spaces they’ll fit into. In
addition to preventing installation issues,
the provision of details early in the process
helps ensure accurate quotes on transportation pricing, members say.
5Ensure that the information you pro- vide to your vendor is accurate: receiving party contact, offloading dock and
other site conditions, and labor restrictions. As one member put it, “No generali-ties, no assumptions. Better not to provide
any information if it’s going to be incorrect
information. The success of the project
relies on proper data.”
6Work closely with your vendor on scheduling. Some vendors would even
prefer to set the schedule for you so that
they can ensure resource planning.
7Communicate thoroughly with store personnel regarding the scope of work,
timelines, and staffing expectations. One
installer recalls a store manager requesting that an on-site installer perform work
outside the scope of the approved job. In an
attempt to please, the installer ended up
causing $10,000 worth of floor damage.
8If possible, work to expedite permit- ting to ensure that construction stays
See how our
members helped save the day
Logistics and installation providers are
crucial to a project’s success. Here, some
A.R.E. members recount how they helped
keep projects on track.
Retail Logistics Canada For a nation-
wide rollout with 500 delivery locations, we
had been instructed to bring each unit into
the store, cut the strapping, remove the
unit from the pallet, and remove all debris
from the store. But we noticed that the
strapping bracing the fixtures was made
out of ½-in. steel instead of plastic. Our
drivers would not have been able to safely
cut through this banding using their stan-
dard tools. With only two days left until
shipping, we ordered 500 handheld steel
cutters and affixed one to each pallet with
instructions on how to safely cut the band-
ing and remove it from the unit. The result:
no damages and no units left in-store
affixed to their pallets.
On question 1, give yourself 7 points if you
answered A, 6 points for B, 5 points for C, 4 points
for D, 3 points for E, 2 points for F, and 1 point for G.
On question 5, give yourself 5 points for A, 4 for B,
3 for C, 2 for D, and 1 for E. On all other questions,
give yourself 4 points for A, 3 points for B, 2 points
for C, and 1 point for D.
More than 30 points: Your vendors consider you
an ideal customer. You plan well, keep everyone
informed, and handle issues competently. You’re
a joy to work with, and your projects probably
24–30 points: You manage projects adequately,
but there’s room for improvement. You occasionally
derail a project unawares. Consider bringing your
vendors into the project sooner and asking them
how things can be run even more smoothly.
Less than 24 points: Your vendors will never
tell you this to your face because they value
your business, but they want you to be more professional. You make it difficult for them to meet
your needs. Read our members’ tips to see how
vendors prefer for projects to be handled.
One piece of advice from
A.R.E. members is to assign
a project manager to the project
who has decision-making authority
to address issues that may arise.