GOOD: “We can have it here tomorrow.” How many times a day do we say that? UPS has created and delivered a standard of excellence that is unrivaled. 99.9% reliable, when the weather or natural disasters don’t intervene. The Red Rescue is automatic! And the relief from the pressure of the emergency brings sighs and pats on the back. AC or the heat is back on, or we can get started on the next job. Plus, the shipping cost is a secondary consideration passed on downstream.
BAD: Our industry’s dependency on this Red Rescue is near fatal. We no longer differentiate between urgent and convenience and we are by choice creating tight-rope schedules that don’t allow any margin of error. When the mistakes are made, and there are many mistakes being made, they are huge dents in the profit stream that no one wants to pay. In an effort to provide ultimate customer satisfaction, we automatically extend the Red Rescue option, setting ourselves up for this drama. And then, when the sheer expense hits your project or your customer — like a credit card bill carries its aftershock! It’s one these: “Ninety dollars! it couldn’t have cost that much. It weighed less than a pound!”
UGLY: It’s an inefficient way to do business. UPS has no competition and nothing close to their level of performance is foreseeable, and fuel costs will only increase, so shipping costs will only increase! We certainly don’t want to forego the Red Rescue, urgent events require urgent measures, but that’s not the routine option — even if we are spending someone else’s money. We need to register the impact of shipping and reorient ourselves and our customers to the concept of lead-time. The Internet and UPS NDA have scrambled our common sense and made us a bunch of control brokers.
Everyone out there is tracking their own shipping costs, but how many review their shipping efficiencies? One possible alternative might be to patronize your local distributor or building automation specialist routinely, who will in many cases, anticipate (stock) what you need and have it when you need it, without the expense and heart attack drama.