Planes Specialized Logistics Blog

Retailers: Is Your General Contractor a Logistics Expert?

Tuesday March 24, 2015

I spend most of my days speaking to retailers who usually fall under one of three categories:

  1. They know they have to “deal” with construction material transportation and warehousing so they attempt to solicit help from their internal team who manages merchandise deliveries.
  2. They know they should address their construction material transportation and warehousing but they try to ignore it and hope the problem goes away.
  3. They push their entire construction material transportation and warehousing to a hodgepodge of their manufacturing vendors or their general contractor.

None are very good solutions...

Of the above, #3 is the most common. This is mind-blowing for institutions who invest billions of dollars into their image and branding simply to trust non-specialized and often inexperienced, if well-meaning, people to deliver. A “General Contractor-Driven Model,” as we have come to call #3 above, almost always produces above-industry damages and above-market cost. In short, transportation and warehousing is where many vendors hide their profit margins.

Why is the General Contractor (GC) model so expensive? First, we find that most GC’s do not own a warehouse in every market, so they are forced to go find one with little-to-no previous experience to leverage. Further, because the warehouse usually isn’t trained in procedure, retailers risk spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on damages to their fixtures, flooring, millwork and lighting, and in expediting costs and project delays.

Conversely, Planes Specialized Logistics has existing equity relationships in every major market in North America, and has done work in more than 30 countries. Our trained and trustworthy staff signs off on procedure and scope documents to make sure there is accountability across every point of the supply chain.

Speaking of accountability, we hear in almost every meeting that manufacturers often blame the general contractor for damages or lost items, and that general contractors blame the manufacturer for damages or lost items. The finger pointing is worse than an elementary school play yard. Planes Specialized Logistics solves for this on a daily basis for many of the top retailers globally. We take responsibility and provide a documented chain of custody for every shipment. By the way, you have web based visibility to this accountability from your home or office!

Planes Specialized Logistics tagline is Solving Logistics Challenges. Of all the challenges we solve, (Global Transportation, Asset Management, Final Mile Services, White Glove Delivery, Fixture Assembly, Project Management), we add the most value by providing transparency and accountability to your construction material supply chain.