Our readers love hearing from our sales team! And no wonder. This group is responsible for a long history of on-time deliveries, so they know what they’re talking about.
On-time delivery of building materials requires us to be our best, and it also means we need to get the right information from our customers. So, we talked to team members at Metro Interior Distributors and asked them to share the insider tips and techniques they use to ensure building materials get onto the trucks and into the hands of contractors, developers, and facility managers on time, every time.
Caroline: Talk About the Delivery Process
I encourage my customers to really think about the delivery process when they place an order for building materials. I ask customers to walk me through the delivery details so that we can identify potential issues, such as access to the site, parking situations, elevator sizes, dock reservations, and equipment needs.
No matter where we deliver, it helps to talk about the delivery process. But when it comes to New York City, especially ultra-congested urban areas like Manhattan, a smooth delivery can literally save hours. If we know ahead of time that we might need someone to open a gate or that we need a boom crane to get materials to the site, we don’t have to spend time tracking down the foreman, finding someone to sign for materials, or trying to locate an elevator operator. If everything is in place, we can complete an on-time delivery.
Frank: Repeat Yourself
Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody got it right the first time? But that’s not how it works. Sometimes our clients say one thing but mean another. And sometimes it’s me. Maybe I misunderstood. The point is, mistakes happen–they’re inevitable–but that doesn’t mean there need to be mistakes on your order. Repeating important details back to our customers helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Here at Metro, our sales team members repeat orders back to the customer. We also repeat back timelines, delivery instructions, and delivery dates on every call. We say it twice to avoid mistakes and to make sure you’re getting what you want when you want it.
Vern: Work with Pros Who Know Construction
Some people think that all salespeople are alike, but that’s not true. Some sales representatives are completely unfamiliar with the products they are paid to sell. But at Metro, all of our sales team knows construction inside and out. We understand the building materials we sell, and we understand New York construction.
Having a deep understanding of Metro’s products makes us better equipped to answer all kinds of questions, and then we can provide helpful recommendations (including value engineering recommendations.) When you work with pros, you know you will receive accurate information, which means you can make informed decisions about your order.
Also, you won’t ever have to worry about the quality of your estimates. Our expert sales team is familiar with regional building codes, product and system applications, and material tolerances. When you speak to somebody at Metro, you’re working with a construction pro.
Brian: Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
We know that it’s crucial to deliver materials to the site on the right day and at the right time of day. While global supply chains have loosened up a bit, we’re still not to the point where we can guarantee the availability of a material at a moment’s notice. Even in the best of times, it’s difficult for trucks or drivers to accommodate last-minute changes. We try, but it’s not always possible.
Early orders allow us to set aside materials for your job. Ordering as early as possible also helps us plan and prepare for the order, which reduces the chances of errors or delays in delivery.
And maybe most importantly, when customers order early, we can often save them money. We always share upcoming price increases, and we’re trained to apply value engineering strategies. Sometimes, placing an order early can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, especially on larger jobs.
Mike: Assign a Contact to Accept the Delivery
It sounds simple, but make sure everyone knows what is happening and when the delivery is scheduled. It slows things down when we show up at a job site and nobody seems to expect us. Things also grind to a halt if we can’t locate the foreman or the yard director.
When we take an order, we ask for a contact that will be on-site at the scheduled delivery time. And we get their cell phone number in case that contact is not at the job site when we arrive. We make sure we know who has the authority to accept the delivery and how to reach them if they’re not on site. It’s another way to try to plan for every contingency.
Metro Makes It Easier
Caroline, Frank, Vern, Brian, and Mike are dedicated to helping Metro customers get what they want when they need it. Our experienced sales team knows our brands and understands the construction industry. So if you’re looking for a reliable building materials distributor, contact us today, and let’s find out what we can accomplish together.
Want to learn more about staying on schedule? Check out these articles.
How to Reduce Procurement Risks During Supply Chain Disruptions
Keep on Schedule! Tips for Avoiding Construction Delays
Metro Interview with Robert Levering, “The Delivery Guy”
On-Time Delivery Tips for Contractors and Builders