Many customers ask why we do not advertise a next day delivery service even though we often achieve it. You only need to check out the testimonials on the Guest-book to see how happy customers are with the delivery speed. Obviously that is not just down to how fast we process orders but also that we send all smaller parcels (less than £80 usually) by First Class Post (unlike some other companies that only use 2nd Class) and Royal Mail usually reach their Next Day First Class target.
If you order before 12.30pm on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday then your parcel will usually be sent that day - except for any order containing a Pre-order Item. Anything ordered after that time may not be sent until 2 days later - so we cannot guarantee next day. Of course sometimes we cannot stick to the above as we may be busy or have a backlog from other days. Or it might be a bank holiday week when we change to 2 days a week - Tuesday/Friday or Monday/Thursday depending upon the bank holiday.
We are usually then asked why we only send out 3 days per week - now the answer to that is a little more complicated. Normally we don't give the full answer every time but as this is supposed to be background to our business we might as well :-)
When we decided to leave the Market (see Chapter Eleven and Twelve) we contacted the Peterborough Council to get permission to use part of Peter and Diane's house as an Office and storage plus planning permission for a warehouse to be built in the grounds. As the house was in a mixed business and residential area already, they gave us the permission but put a few conditions on us. One of the conditions was that we only had an average of 3 Royal Mail pickups a week and limited deliveries to minimise the distress to any other residents from lorries and vans in the street.
However, this does have a useful side effect for us - we only work 3 days a week in the DKY Office / Warehouse which gives us time to do other things too.
Dawn, who works in the warehouse, has two young children to look after (and a husband which is probably even more work) so has lots of shopping, cleaning etc to do on those days off. She also does some of the more boring order booking for the records we need to keep for the Tax Man etc.
I (Carole) have a wonderful husband who works part-time and looks after the house and does the cooking (I did say he was wonderful). My daughter has grown up and is at University so is not home too often. So when I am not working in the DKY Office my time is fully taken up with keeping all three of the CPU websites up to date, putting on new stuff (all hand coded - no 'easy' databases) and running the Craft Bits side of the business. That keeps me very, very busy - the family says too busy - but I do like to keep going or I would probably stop for good :-(
If you have read any of the rest of the blog you will probably know that Diane and Peter (the other two partners) are semi-retired so they only really work in the winter months and to cover any holidays during the summer. So they really like having 2 days off during the week to recover from working.
The other side effect of only working 3 days a week is that, if we do get very busy, we always have the option of working an extra day. By only working two days on bank holiday weeks we have that little bit of Royal Mail pickup restriction in reserve so we don't break the planning permissions too often.
We do occasionally get notes from customers on orders for parcels to be sent as a priority. Unfortunately notes in the Message Box are not actually seen by the DKY Office until the order is printed off for processing - so when we see the note it is as near being sent as possible anyway :-)
I hope this goes some way to explaining why we are unable to help if you order on a Tuesday asking for the parcel to be sent that day !