It was a strange call, a customer wanted to know where his document folders were. We quickly looked up his order history and realized he hadn't ordered document folders in almost a year. The real surprise was when we realized the folders he was looking for had been delivered almost a year ago. Four pallets, 40,000 folders, and he had no idea what had happened to them; didn't believe the delivery had been made. Even after showing him the P.O.D. - proof of delivery- that clearly showed not only were the folders delivered but he signed for them he wasn't convinced.
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Now the sentiment is one thing but the reality is another. with the exception of apple picking where you actually drive to the orchard and pay for the privilege of picking your own apples, almost everything you buy comes through a distribution channel that reduces the cost. Take the apple picking example: you can stop at the market (distributor, retailer, broker call it what you want) and buy a bag of apples for $5. Or you can go the direct route spend half a day in the car with the family, drive for an hour and pay $30 to pick your own. When you add in the gas and time, the cost can approach $100. Obviously you get a lot more in terms of family time and relaxation but when all you want is apples using the local distributor (market) costs a heck of a lot less.