DEVELOPING SYSTEMS THAT WORK
Like most procedures in our company, shipping was a necessary thing to learn to keep our business going. After suffering a particular bad shipping experience in our early years of Mountain Arts and not being able to recover the cost from our shipper because I didn’t pack to their specification, I realized that I needed to get this shipping thing right. I spent some time with a UPS Representative who began to teach me the best ways to ship. We moved from wrapping in newspaper to Styrofoam and bubble wrap.I started developing our system by collecting bicycle boxes and large sheets of cardboard from appliance dealers, and we bought apple boxers from grocery stores. They measure about 12” x 19”, so I would cut cardboard on my table saw to 12” x 19“ so I could make a false bottom and layer dividers and a top divider for the cushioned top. For building the compartments for the pots I cut 19” strips that were 4.5”wide with 3 slits half way through on one side and two slits on the other-side. That way when we slide a 12 strip with a slit in the middle we can make either 6 compartments or 8 compartments for bowls or mugs and we can put three levels in a box so we can ship either 24 mugs or 18 soup bowls. After filling in each level with styrofoam peanuts, we tape the box as tightly as possible and we are ready to ship.After 25 years in the business, we can now afford to have all of our cardboard precut for us. This is particularly important to Jennie, because whenever she heard the table saw fire up she would start praying. After all those years of cutting cardboard I only had one accident on the saw and even though it was close, I saved my thumb and have at least 95 % present of my motion and it didn’t even leave much of a scar. Bob has been with us for two and a half years and he is our main shipper. Bob has learned our system well and does a great job. The way you evaluate his expertise is all in the history of how many claims we have turned in for breakage. There is no way to tell a bad shipping job outside of how many pots have we broken, and out of the thousands of pieces we ship, there is very little breakage. It’s amazing how God has helped us to develop so many systems that seem to work.
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