Friday, February 10, 2012



About three out of four home furnishings companies that use outside carriers for product handling and delivery have chosen a "specialized furniture carrier" rather than a general commodities carrier, according to an independent study conducted by North Carolina State University.
Companies using specialized furniture carriers said they value these companies' services for their furniture handling expertise, personalized service and support for the furniture industry, according to the study. The respondents reported using specialized carriers for both "business to business" and "business to customer" (that is, in-home or "white glove") deliveries.
The study was conducted by the Furniture Manufacturing and Management Center and the Psychology Department at NCSU and included 234 respondents responsible for logistics at furniture manufacturing and retail companies. Slightly more than half of the group (53 percent) reported using external, third-party freight carriers. Of this group, 76 percent reported using specialized furniture carriers, while 24 percent said they use general commodity carriers.
The majority of survey respondents were from retail companies (76 percent) and reported being highly experienced, with 67 percent having been in the furniture industry more than 20 years. Only 6 percent of respondents said they had been in the furniture industry less than five years. Most (59 percent) work for small- to medium-size companies with fewer than 25 employees. However, nearly one out of four (23 percent) work for companies employing more than 100.
Those using specialized carriers were asked to judge the quality of 19 services provided by specialized carriers compared to general commodity carriers. Respondents reported satisfaction with the services they receive, specifically citing better furniture handling and more personalized service as top advantages to using a specialized furniture carrier. Many also said they consider specialized furniture carriers "essential" to the furniture industry.
Among those respondents who said they do not use specialized furniture carriers, most reported that they perceive little difference between the service qualities of general and specialized carriers, or they lacked information about specialized carriers.


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