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Waiting for delivery after placing an order is never fun. Whether you’re expecting a major purchase or just a pizza, the clock seems to slow down more and more as the ETA approaches. When it’s a package that’s coming, all vehicles within earshot start to sound like the UPS truck. You glance out the window. “Oh, it was just a school bus. Where could my stuff possibly be?” Sometimes, having a little bit of information can be worse than none at all: “I got an email that it’s out for delivery – I need to cancel my plans and rush home!”
The products that we sell aren’t typically available in stores, so the countdown to arrival is part of the process when ordering toilet partitions – and most washroom accessories. Many (if not most) shoppers we work with are in a hurry. As such, we make the anticipated timeline for bathroom stalls very clear in advance of accepting payment. Every day, we devote significant time and energy to tracking orders and contacting customers with relevant information.
We thought some additional information about the wait could be helpful – both eager customers and curious shoppers. And while we can’t eliminate this time, we do our best to make it brief and pleasant – like a child’s anticipation on Christmas Eve. 😀 Read on to learn more about what happens in the time that passes between placing your order and accepting delivery of toilet partitions.
Accepting the Quote and Remitting Payment
Like the vast majority of online sellers and mail order stores, the proverbial clock starts ticking when we receive approval of your quote and full payment. Our crack sales team replies to most quote requests the same day they are submitted. For many customers, less than 48 hours pass between their sending a quote request and placing an order. We’d want our customers to take as much time as needed to make a purchasing decision, but if you prefer to move quickly, we’ll match any pace!
Submitting Your Order (Release to Manufacturing)
Within a few minutes of receiving your approval and payment, we send your order to the appropriate toilet partition manufacturer. We recall our electronic records containing the details of your bathroom space, submitted during the quoting process. This information, a list of required components, and delivery details are transmitted to the appropriate agents at the manufacturer using a specialized software system. Given the constant influx of orders, manufacturers do have order cut off times. Deadlines are usually in the early afternoon. Any order received later in the day will be processed the morning of the following day. We will inform you if this is the factor for your order, and you’ll never need to worry about us waiting to release your order. Keep in mind that manufacturers operate only on business days and infrequently stop production for inventory and certain major holidays. As with submission deadlines, we will inform you in advance if this impacts your order.
Lead Time Begins
Next, a period we call “lead time” begins for your order. It includes the time required by the manufacturer to obtain materials, fabricate specialized components, pull off-the-shelf parts, package everything, and request a pick up with the freight carrier.
This process may sound involved and lengthy, but don’t worry. For the majority of orders, it is only a matter of gathering previously manufactured parts and securely palletizing them.
Toilet partition systems are modular, and manufacturers carefully maintain their stockpile of commonly used parts in popular colors and configurations. If your order requires an exclusive shade of paint or a non-stock laminate, we will discuss it well before this point – before even accepting the order. Likewise, with orders including parts that require fabrication – for example, panels custom engraved with your company logo).
At the end of the lead time, after all the necessary components are completed, pulled from stock, and packaged for shipping, the manufacturer will request shipment. When the freight line accepts the pallet or parcel, the transit time begins.
Transit – Partitions Enroute
Which freight line transports your partition order depends on the manufacturer and the delivery location. Most partition manufacturers maintain relationships with several carriers so they can quickly ship from various production facilities to different parts of the country.
The manufacturer provides us with the name of the carrier and the PRO number assigned to your items. PRO number is short for progressive number or progressive rotating order, and is simply an identifying code – very similar to a tracking number from UPS or FedEx. Within a business day of receiving the tracking information from the manufacturer, we relay it to you via email. Sometimes this occurs sooner, if special arrangements are made. Your tracking email will come from email@example.com. Be sure to check your spam folder and mark our message “not spam” if you find it there. Tracking emails contain five important bits of information:
- the name of the carrier handling your partitions
- their phone number
- a link to their tracking web page
- the pro number associated with your shipment
- a reminder to call the carrier and prepare for delivery
Freight tracking works differently than parcel tracking with UPS, FedEx or Amazon. The shipper’s tracking web page will provide detailed updates, as you’d expect, but it is imperative to call the carrier to confirm your scheduled delivery date and time. Your call will eventually reach the local terminal (geographically near you, more or less), and a representative will discuss the day and time they expect the delivery vehicle will arrive. Reaching out to the carrier as early as possible is preferable.
Preparing for your delivery to arrive is slightly more involved than with standard parcel delivery. Plan for two or three people to unload the partitions by hand. The truck driver will bring your items to the back of the truck, but will not unload them. You’ll also need to inspect all components at the time of delivery, while the driver is still present. Hand unloading makes this convenient. Damaged material signed for as “damaged” is replaced at no charge to you. Don’t refuse a delivery that’s damaged – this may result in re-delivery charges.
As you might expect, transit time is highly dependent on the type of stall you order and where you’re located in the country. Most popular materials can ship from either east or west coast facilities (located in the states highlighted below), which enables shorter shipping time frames for the entire country.
Feel free to ask questions by phone and email – we’re available to assist and want you to have a great delivery experience. The freight carrier best answers delivery-specific questions, but we are happy to help the flow of information.
Hopefully, this post sheds light on the path your order takes from Partition Plus to the manufacturer and across the freight carriers network to your delivery location. If you have questions about an order in progress, or would like to place an order, please contact us at 800-298-9696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.