Are efficient companies as great as we are led to believe?

One of the more efficient companies

​Many of you know that I have a side business selling items on Amazon, eBay and many local channels.  While I am in no position to replace my income from my day job, I do okay.  Recently, I had the opportunity to work with one of the major shipping and logistics companies.  This company in particular was routinely lauded throughout my college career as being the pinnacle of logistics, efficient labor and customer service.  Some of the day’s events, though, have led me to question what is going on over there.

Shipping product is a process

I stumbled upon a deal on some light bulbs that I simply could not pass up.  I bought out the stock in the store, and filled my wife’s SUV completely in order to bring them home.  My goal was to list, label, package and ship everything in less than 24 hours like the efficient animal I am.  However, after bringing everything home, I decided to start the process the following morning.

Now, I have been doing the Amazon thing for months now, so I have my own efficient process down fairly well.  I have my printers configured and use a tool so the tags are printed as I enter them into the system.  Then, I tag all the products, but with these being multi-packs I had to wrap them together.  When all was said and done it took me about 6 hours to wrap, tag and pack 252 bulbs.  These were then put into 17 boxes, weighed, shipping purchased, and then everything was labeled and put into the garage.

​My first problem…

​My first problem came when I realized that I didn’t get an option to have the packages picked up.  I figured I could just log into my account and request a pickup like I have done with other shippers in the past.  I could not find any kind of option since I had already paid for shipping.  No problem, I’ll just reach out to Customer Service.  Everything is going smoothly and I give him one of the tracking numbers for the packages.  I started to tell him that there are 17 boxes and a combined weight of almost 160 lbs.  He kept talking over me, so I figured that I would just follow his script and make it a point at the end to share my info.

​Everything was booked and confirmed, so I told him that there are 17 boxes with the total weight, and he said that’s fine, and we then selected a day.  I got my confirmation number and when I confirmed it back he talked over me again.  Whatever, at this point everything I need is done, right?

​WRONG

​When I opened up the garage, the driver had that look I was worried I would see.  I knew he was thinking about how this was going to fit on the truck.  Now, I am a self-proclaimed master at all-things-efficient, sometimes, so I grabbed my hand-truck and started carting the boxes to the vehicle.  He mentioned to me that if he would have known how many boxes there were he probably would have had them pack light so he could get them dropped off sooner.  I told him that I shared with the agent exactly what to expect because I didn’t want to have this in two trips.  Turns out this is fairly common.

Why is this happening?

A simple note is all it would take to fix what could have turned into quite an inconvenience.  For the company being this efficient, effective, and exalted organization, I’m honestly quite disappointed.  However, it has led me to consider that I’m probably missing some of the more simple things myself.  Tomorrow will be a day of analysis and reflection.  After all, improvement is a continual process.

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