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Aug. 8 2006 05:37 PM

What happens when shippers look for options to get their packages delivered to their customers? Not just any option but options that are designed to meet their expectations of efficiently and effectively getting product delivered to their customers. Generally, they have to settle for an option that either provides inferior service to their customers or one that imposes relatively high rates and sales or affects profitability. Too often, shippers � especially the larger ones � overlook the player that has been in the game the longest, the United States Postal Service. DDU Express Package Drop Ship Solutions decided the either/or proposition had run its course � it was high time to make a difference.
Many times, shippers make decisions based on a reality that is formed around assumptions, assumptions that huge public companies like UPS and FedEx are the only option and always do a better job than the Postal Service. When you peel away the assumptions, however, the proper application of service, technology and applied experience can create a totally different reality.
Finding Solutions
A company that focuses its efforts on meeting customer expectations will thrive in almost any economy. Those in the know see the Postal Service as a business partner that provides an immense infrastructure, which can be leveraged to help maintain their focus. Relatively stable rates and quality service make the U.S. Postal Service a valuable business partner for any shipper or transportation carrier.
Putting Customers First
Personal and professional customer service shouldn�t necessarily be lined up in a company�s finances as an expense. The cost of not meeting customers� expectations or selling them something you want them to have instead of what they really need can be many times higher than doing what they require. Cutting corners on customer service or making commitments that cannot be achieved doesn�t help a company�s bottom line. Sure, the immediate gratification of �closing the sale� is wonderful, but the feeling of satisfaction melts away quickly when the call comes in to not send the truck anymore. A letter from a major customer, like the one that follows, is far better than a phone call telling you to �save your gas.�
�Subsequent to an initial cost analysis performed by the company, we tested and contracted with DDU Express for the delivery of our residential volumes in select markets throughout the country. We are very pleased with the consistently high level of service and substantiated cost savings we have realized,� says David J. Holt, vice president of ABC Distributing in Miami, Florida.
Watch for Problems
Do you close your eyes when you are driving? Do you look the other way when you�re playing shortstop and the batter hits the ball? Obviously, the answer to these questions is no. It�s really no different when a company assumes that since it �hasn�t heard of any problems,� it is serving its customers to their expectations. The companies that �keep their eyes on the ball� are more likely to hit a home run!
Be Flexible
Incorporate the ability to modify your network around specific customer requirements. Partnering with a major industry player like the U.S. Postal Service requires a certain level of flexibility. With a network so vast � offering so many different options � don�t limit your offering to traditional services. Give yourself the ability to redefine your company around customer requirements. Help your customer, and you will automatically help yourself. The successful companies, the ones that thrive in their particular industries, know they can�t fail if they please their customers. No company can be successful without customers!
John Fluty is the vice president of Sales for DDU Express. For more information,