Delivery is the key to customer satisfaction

Stuart Wallace, Director of Core Products, talks about the company’s history of delivering their award winning ranges of flat-packed furniture direct to consumers for their trade customers.

As double award winners for “Best Suppler for Delivery Service” and “Best Flat packed Furniture supplier” in the Big Furniture Awards as voted by the furnishings industry, what does it mean to your business?

It’s great to be honoured with these awards by your readers, especially as it recognises not only the hard work and dedication of our administration and distribution teams but also the expertise of our logistics partners.

How long have Core Products offered a direct home delivery service?

Core Products was founded in 1986 supplying the DIY and department stores with shelving and storage products which demanded quick deliveries, so from the very beginning we worked closely with carriers to ensure we could offer a fast, efficient service, a short time later we started to work with mail order companies, the forerunners of today’s e-commerce business by offering to deliver direct to their customers.

What importance does information technology play to achieve “Best Delivery Service”?

As a company we have always invested heavily in information technology, initially this was a challenge as the software to support our customers being able to integrate into our systems did not exist so in partnership with our longstanding IT professionals the systems were developed especially for us around 20 years ago, when integrated ordering and stock feeds were virtually unheard of.

Core seems to be at the forefront of adopting ideas to enhance customer service, are there other notable milestones in this journey?

Undoubtedly, seeing the future of e-commerce ahead of many in the trade has had a huge impact, we started offering trade customers a direct home delivery service 12 years ago, right at the advent of online selling, our prominent “we do DHD” signage at the January Furniture Show that year created a huge buzz. The same year saw the birth of several major e-commerce retailers, who shared with us the vision of what was needed to go the extra mile.

How does online ordering help deliver an award winning delivery service?

Speed is the key; retailers find using our automated stock feed ensures their orders are only taken for items in stock then online ordering or bulk uploads ensure we have all the information we need to pick items quickly and accurately for dispatch to customer deadlines.  Dispatch times are now measured in hours so any automation we can apply to reduce the time from customer order to dispatch is vital to our business.

Do you find using carriers constricts your business?

Quite the opposite, being able to deliver throughout the UK in such a short time gives us the speed and flexibility we need, of course working this way for nearly 40 years also helps.

Do you have issues delivering certain products?

Again, early experience has taught us the hard way which is why 20 years ago we chose to concentrate on flat-packed furniture which was easy for the carriers having to deliver to the end customers home. We also design all our products especially to suit box and weight requirements to optimise our delivery service provider preferences, ultimately, we need to make it as easy as possible for the couriers to safely and easily deliver our products.

Finally, where do you see the future trends in delivery services?

Carrier systems are rapidly evolving as consumers become more demanding of quick and reliable deliveries, tracking systems which consumers can interact with to see their order journey are constantly being evolved which means as a supplier we have to evolve our systems constantly. Warehousing, dispatch and distribution is becoming a key factor influencing the consumers buying decision so we see further growth in the provision of these services both for our own range of products but also for retailers wanting customer variations or exclusives. Even customers own sourced products using our systems and facility as a way to distribute their own products out to their customers.

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