Consumers have long been enamored with the idea of bringing luxury amenities – from home gyms to movie theaters – into their own homes. A convenience once reserved for the wealthy, more and more middle-class families have decided to bring the gym to them over the last few decades.
Demand for in-home workout equipment was heating up fast before COVID spread across the country last spring. It comes as no surprise that the closed gyms and stay-at-home orders that accompanied the pandemic led to even greater surges in demand for products like treadmills, exercise bikes and weight stations. As demand surged, it became more important than ever for companies to choose the right shipping partners to deliver these sometimes difficult-to-move products to customers’ homes in perfect condition.
Kirk Rydzynski, vice president of installation services at CRST, is well acquainted with the added layers of service and expertise that go into delivering things like large furniture or high-tech exercise equipment. Customers often have more face-to-face interactions during these deliveries than they do when a box is simply being placed outside their door.
“We are involved when there is something unique about the product or a specific service has been requested by the customer,” Rydzynski said. “Sometimes extra things are asked of the final-mile provider, like taking the time to install or assemble the product after delivery. It could also be that the product requires a unique skill to install or is subjected to strict regulations of some kind.”
Due to the intricacies involved in many final-mile deliveries, it is important for companies to know that their transportation partners are qualified to perform any necessary services. Many customers associate their shipping and delivery experience with the retailer – not their transportation partner – underscoring the importance of teaming up with a reliable carrier. This is especially true during the coronavirus pandemic, as people are more cautious about allowing outsiders into their homes in an effort to protect their families and prevent illness during this time.
“It is more than just moving big, heavy stuff. It’s an added level of skill that requires not only physical labor but additional time to bring a product like an exercise bike to a ready-to-use format for the ultimate end customer,” Rydzynski said. “CRST’s enterprise organization is able to meet these final-mile needs in a couple of unique ways. Our national distribution network makes it easy for us to work with forward-deployed inventory, and our team is prepared to take on these shipments from a labor and skill perspective. We’re able to seamlessly offer higher-level service capabilities.”
More than just providing expert skill and high levels of professionalism, CRST can utilize its national footprint to get these often-delayed shipments to customers in a timely manner. When customers are stuck inside the house and unable to do their usual workouts, even a day’s delay can make a world of difference.