Our baptistries maybe portable but it is still an event when they arrive – at least 3 boxes all of some size. Out heaters are more diminutive, being in small plastic crates. The big issue for everyone is the timing of deliveries and pickups. We have all had the experience of waiting in all day for a delivery that may take place between 8am and 10pm and an unhappy and disgruntled driver turning up at our door.
We do try to minimise poor experiences for all concerned (including the drivers, some of whom have a challenging job). However, we need to work in partnership with everyone to make things work smoothly. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, something may derail things, such as a road accident or weather, or a technical fault in the system or the truck and leave us all without the service we had worked for!
Why not a carrier who can provide 2 hour delivery windows? Our Baptistries are specialist and often bulky items and so not every carrier is happy to take our parcels, and others charge a high price for doing so. Parcelforce charge a good price for delivery and will take even our biggest baptistries without complaint. We are also finding them better able to reach our extremely rural customers via their network. As for 2 hour window notifications, this is something they are working towards. Let us hope and pray the obstacles they are finding to doing so are overcome.
After using FedEx for over 6 years we have had major problems with them over Easter. Hopefully, customers will not have noticed. However, FedEx implemented a new online booking procedure and, in short, it was chaotic and their pricing and billing system has become erratic and unreliable. What is clear is that it has been a cover a for a price hike.
To send a Nonagon pool now would cost £140 there and back whereas it used to cost £100. To send the old Galilee pool, we were recently charged over £300 instead of £120! We are urgently looking at other carriers and it is likely that we will have to use a pallet service as the default carrier. This has three immediate benefits: it is cheaper; the delivery is within a much narrower time-window; the baptistry is easier to repack for the return to us. The down-side is that a customer must be able to receive a pool on a pallet. The carrier will have a tail-lift on the lorry and a pallet truck and will deliver to the foyer on the level. For customers who can receive and return on a pallet, we are looking at other carriers who can cope with such large consignments.
As all this may wish you could buy the pool, we are putting together a way for customers to buy in instalments over more than the 3 months currently offered.
The lease scheme is better value than hiring if you use the pool more than 3 times per year, and whilst it is a 5 year lease, there is an opt-out at 3 years.
The Galilee baptistry, which was very popular because it was quick to set up and had a double-liner system has become too expensive to send with FedEx because the curved panels result in big, bulky boxes. Hitherto, FedEx were the only ‘parcel’ carrier who would deal with boxes of this size, now they seem to be charging silly prices. To help matters, we have redesigned the pool to give the new Flatpack Galilee. At the same time, we’ve made changes to the dimensions – the new flatpack Galilee is 78cm deep (the same as the Nonagon and Croydon pools) because some felt the depth of the Galilee a little on the shallow side. It is also a wee bit longer and broader. at over 7′ long and 5′ wide internally, this is a very spacious baptistry that stores well.