4 Potential Freight Hiccups to Alert your Drapery Manufacturer to BEFORE Installation

There are typically two times during the life cycle of a project where there is a flurry of communication between the Drapery Manufacturer’s Project Manager and the purchasing agent or owner representative. The first is during the measurement & digestion of measures process. This portion involves setting up the measurement trip and then checking accuracy and possibly adjusting how the specifications match the reality on site. The second flurry comes as production comes to a close and installation begins.

This second flurry is crucial as it encompasses everything coming together. We know that this is an especially hectic time for the purchasing agent, as drapery is not the only trade you are attempting to schedule and manage but it is the only trade which typically is installed by the manufacturer. We absolutely understand this and seek to make the process as easy as possible. In this blog we’ve got some tips and suggestions for you as the purchasing agent or owner representative specifically regarding freight and delivery of product to the hotel site.

1.  What should I expect?

The short answer is, Freight is expensive so plan ahead. We recently wrote on the decision between Third Party Freight & Best Way (which if you haven’t read you absolutely should) and in that post we discussed that Freight is a complicated process that can cause headaches as it is a mixture of both art and science. To cut down on expense in shipping product you have one clear cut rule of thumb, ship as much product as you can and as few times as you can over the course of a project. This is not always possible though and so you have to consider the limiting factors. First you must think through the fact that amount of product must match amount of storage and staging room. Clearly articulating where product should be staged and stored by installers at the site is crucial to making sure nothing is damaged, walks off and if done well it may allow you to ship more product, in fewer shipments which will save you money on Freight.

2. Is product being delivered and stored at a warehouse offsite before being brought over to the property for installation?

We shouldn’t call this a trend necessarily as it fully rests on whether or not this is even available, but especially with large properties we see the use of an offsite warehouse increasing. When this is used the drapery manufacturer must know who is routing product from the warehouse to the property and how do we schedule those deliveries to coincide with our installation teams. Make sure to arm your project manager with as much detail and contact information as possible.

3. Where are we delivering, exactly?

If we are delivering to the hotel property, where are we delivering on the property? Is there a loading dock, or are we going to conduct a parking lot delivery? Access to a loading dock makes a delivery simple. All we need to know from there is once we take it off the dock where can we stage and store product. A spare room or something of the like usually works out great. If there isn’t a loading dock and you are shipping a large amount of product a lift gate may be needed on the delivery vehicle. This needs to be noted out in advance as shipping terminals may only have 1 or 2 lift gate trucks. You don’t want delivery and therefore installation delayed simply because a lift gate truck wasn’t available.

4. Does the property have any special requirements for accepting deliveries?

Although a rarer occurrence some properties may have special requirements for accepting deliveries, such as an delivery appointment is needed or the hotel is in a busy city center, or the freight elevator is not working. Any oddities like this can cause major delays and frustration to installation teams. Knowing this information upfront can help us staff and prepare prior to coming onsite to accept delivery and install, rather than having to improvise on the fly.

The basic gist of this post is rather simple; communicate, communicate and over communicate. Any information that you share with your project manager can help us make more informed decisions and alleviate unneeded pressure to a busy and often stressful final push towards a projects completion.

Connor Washington