Going The Extra Mile In The Last Mile
Whirlpool and J.B. Hunt work hard to ensure timely home and multifamily project delivery
Those three words stand as a metaphor the critical last leg of a product or service delivery. Ask logistic and service professionals in telecommunications, cable TV, consumer products, and public utilities about the last mile. You’ll often hear it described as the make-or-break test of any delivery chain.
The last mile is also a major consideration for the world’s leading home appliance maker, Whirlpool Corporation1.
Appliance deliveries are typically one of the last activities to be performed before a home or multifamily project closing. The goal of the appliance supplier is to eliminate all surprises.
No appliance manufacturer understands this better than Whirlpool. The Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company has instituted what is arguably one of the most comprehensive and trusted last mile delivery solution in the housing industry. A partial look at Whirlpool’s last mile strategy:
10-Year Collaboration with J.B. Hunt
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest transportation companies, employing over 124,000 professionals and operating more than 12,000 trucks across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
J.B. Hunt is Whirlpool’s single-source provider of builder-direct delivery services, serving 98 percent of the nation’s population within 150 miles of Whirlpool’s network of local and regional distribution centers.
Collaboration may be too light a term to describe the Whirlpool/J.B. Hunt relationship. In some respects, it’s more than that, according to Raymond Cardona, Sales Manager for National New Business Development at Whirlpool Corporation. “We are two companies working together to give homebuilders a top-quality delivery. When an appliance is delivered to the worksite, the builder will see a J.B. Hunt truck and employee physically delivering their products, however, our processes for the delivery and the execution of it should leave the builder with strong impressions of both companies.”
The decade-long collaboration runs remarkably deep between the two companies. For example, the companies employ liaisons dedicated to improving customer service between the organizations. “If I am a Whirlpool or J.B. Hunt employee, I always have someone I can turn to with ideas and suggestions to improve the process,” Cardona says.
Welcome Process Meeting.
What should a home or multifamily builder expect when doing business with Whirlpool? That is plainly established in a welcome process meeting between the builder, Whirlpool, and J.B. Hunt. Among other things, a best practice checklist is carefully reviewed, eliminating the likelihood a key delivery consideration is overlooked.
“The customer receives a written summary of the discussion in a folder, noting every question, every instruction, and every phone number. Whirlpool customers are empowered with all the information at their fingertips,” explains Cardona.
These professionals serve as the eyes and ears of the Whirlpool/J.B. Hunt team on the jobsite. Are the appliances ready for delivery? Is the room ready? A waterline misplaced? Builder Specialists head-off issues before they become costly problems, helping guarantee a high-performance process.
Few today work harder to ensure builder success than the Whirlpool/J.B. Hunt team.
They go the extra mile in the last mile like no one else in the business.
As a builder, you can Count on Whirlpool Corporation to provide the support, expertise and tools you need to help you sell more homes.
Previously published in BUILDER magazine.