There is nothing that can throw your interior design project completely off schedule and off budget like a HUGE delivery problem! It can be the thing that keeps you from actually enjoying your job! I’ve found a few secrets that keep me from hitting those not-so-pleasant surprises for deliveries…
Find A Fab Receiver
I use a receiver to “receive” all of my client’s new purchases, note any damages that may have incurred during shipping and store everything until they are needed. Receivers are the BEST thing since sliced bread!
When I first started designing, I tried so many ways to “receive” goods! I shipped everything to my client’s home during construction, only to find half of the stuff damaged! Or I shipped things to my home, which quickly filled my garage. Bad idea.
Finding a great receiver who receives, open, inspects and photographs all of the items- and manages damages and returns is nirvana! I always make sure I get a weekly receiver report, so I can update my own files, as well as include the information with my client weekly update!
Keep Track of Everything
You have to stay on top of the delivery process every single step of the way. Because if YOU don’t know where things are and what still needs to be delivered, there is no way anyone else will! So your receiver needs to know what they should have in the warehouse, and you need to know when things arrive, what state they are in, and what’s still missing.
Be sure you keep good records in Studio Designer (The new version of Studio Webware) – or the program of your choice- and that you are CONSTANTLY checking your list, and then checking them again! Again, let your receiver know that you expect a lot of communication from them, too!
Know Your Rep
For my top vendors – the ones I use most – I like to treat my reps well. They are a key resource for me! If I’m having a serious issue with a delivery – something is held up or I’m getting a runaround – my rep can often make a huge difference. They can help push at the home office or at least give me a real answer for when something will come to the office. And often they can find a replacement quickly when I need one! So be sure to show your reps some love!
Sign on the Dotted Line
But there’s a really critical step that ensures you have the product delivered that you wanted, and on time. And that’s to be sure you ordered the right product in the first place! I like to have my clients sign every single product order page. This ensures that they REALLY did want that fabric and that trim on that chair. But it also holds me accountable – that it is the chair, fabric, and trim I mean to order, too. That type of delivery surprise is one you really don’t want.
No matter what type of “surprise” you’re facing, be sure to take a deep breath and then take a step to figuring out how to solve the problem.
There’s nothing you can do to prevent things from going wrong with your design projects, but you can choose how you respond to those problems. To help you chart a course to a solution and shift your perspective, download my Gaining Insight Worksheet NOW.