Attention to Detail
Ensuring a Smooth and Efficient Jobsite Delivery
by Paul Bieber
We are continuing our series on selecting and working with primary glass vendors. Every flat glass shop, on occasion, needs glass delivered to jobsites. For this, I recommend establishing a flat rate with your key vendor. Then, ask for a quote only if you are getting an oversize lite, need a union driver, a special delivery time or the delivery is to a security-sensitive site, such as an airport or military base. Negotiate two flat rates: one for loose lites and one for cased goods. Also, negotiate a trigger point—such as for orders more than $5,000—where the jobsite delivery charges are waived.
It’s obvious to you that the jobsite should be the first stop, but it is not obvious to the dispatcher laying out a 15-stop route with your location falling squarely in the middle. If you need to be the first or second stop, specify this on your purchase order and get a confirmation.
Jobsite purchase orders and confirmations should specify the following information:
• A commercial or residential street;
• Whether the street is one-way (you will always be safer if the glass is on the curb side of the truck);
• If there is a truck weight restriction;
• If there will be a security inspection;
• The delivery time needed; and
• What to do in the case of bad weather.
Avoid CODs at jobsites by working with your vendor in advance. Nothing upsets a dispatcher more than a truckload of glass that comes back to the shop. You will be slotted in a new schedule, and no one makes money on a second delivery.
Secure areas are the most unpredictable jobsites. Be sure to meet the delivering truck at the truck entrance, have your ID and a copy of the purchase order, and the bill of lading or packing list. Take a minute before you hit the security line and look at the vendor’s truck. Are there tarps covering anything? Does the driver have proper ID? Is the truck registered with all the correct inspection stickers? Sure, this is the vendor’s job, but a minute of your time will save you two hours at an airport delivery. On quotes with a secure site delivery, be sure to add a separate line item cost for delivery. Compete on the price of the glass, your labor and overhead. Not charging for delivery to a secure site will turn any job into a loser. If a secure site is shut down, you can more easily bill the extra if it is a line item. If you build it into your job-lot bid, you will have a tougher time on any extra.
Your next concern is weather. Make this a condition of your quote: “Winds over 25 miles per hour or rain can cause delay.”
Always give the jobsite captain’s cell number to the dispatcher. You should be on a first name, easy-to-call basis with the truck dispatcher at your prime vendor. If that contact is discouraged, the vendor should not be your prime vendor.
On crated glass, specify whether you want cleats on the bottom for forklift unloading and the unload direction (side or back).
With a boom truck unload, look around the day before and check for the following:
• Are there any temporary power lines up?
• If it rains overnight, will there be a mud puddle where the truck’s outriggers go? I know a glass shop owner who saved many redeliveries by carrying bags of adsorbing kitty litter in the back of his truck.
Jobsite deliveries take a lot of your time. Be sure to figure these costs into your estimates.
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