How stuff like strikes impact the delivery of goods
Like most sectors, in logistics, ‘stuff’ happens because there are multiple factors involved in the delivery of your goods and sometimes things go wrong. Like this week when the Royal Mail’s workforce have decided to go on strike. This will mean your precious parcels and packages that you previously relied on to be delivered by Royal Mail will not be delivered particularly in the period from the 26th to the 31st of August, which is when most industry commentators have decided will be the peak of the service disruption.
Having been in the logistics game for 30 years, we at diamond logistics, have seen many Royal Mail strikes. In fact the Courier industry, originally in the form that you see it today, was born of the strikes in the 1980s. This was when industry was brought to its knees by a Royal Mail workforce not wanting to deliver and a group of canny entrepreneurs launched the Courier industry you see today.
Goods still need to be delivered during this time
Now regardless of your opinion on either side of the fence as to the validity of these strikes then and now, the reality is, goods need to be delivered. Our logistics management platform Despatchlab, was designed and has continued to be developed, to enable our own business contingency planning (and of course by proxy that of our clients), ensuring we have access to multiple carriers. From low cost high volume providers to consignment carriers to parcel carriers to UK domestic to international, our system accommodates for all of these and we have more than one supplier in one particular service area.
This is important because if for some reason a carrier is unable to deliver e.g. when TNT had a problem with its IT system that effectively derailed its business for the best part of a month and the fallout for many months afterwards; we were able to divert a lot of that TNT traffic through our friends at UK Mail (now DHL Express). This meant that whilst there were service challenges for goods in transit that day, that ultimately our clients had a fairly seamless transition of their consignments from one carrier to another.
There was also a time when many carriers were beset with problems of snow – and at that point in time one particular carrier not only had a hub shut down but requested that no further volume was actually put through their network. Once again we were able to divert huge volumes through the other carriers that were stepping up in order to support our clients at that time.
Three top tips to help you ensure you delivery plans are met
Again, this is not a debate about whether the strike should be happening or not, it’s about mitigating the risk of your businesses suffering any knock on from external influences that are out of your control.
Tip 1: Have a plan B
For those of you worried about the impact on Royal Mail strikes this week, get a plan in place today. If you rely on Royal Mail and are concerned about the impact this will have on your business, speak to us. We can deal with the headache now but also implement a solution for your business that is thinking of the future. With our infrastructure and existing relationships, we can help and it doesn’t take long to set up an account and onboard you.
Tip 2: Look at multiple carrier solutions
If you are looking at future business contingency planning then you do need to look at a carrier that is providing you with a multi carrier solution. This means if something happens to the carrier network you are using; may it be a weather event, a global shutdown of air routes (this has happened too!) or an act of terrorism – then you need a multi carrier solution to ensure your goods can be seamlessly transferred to another service provider.
Tip 3: Technology plays a significant role to makes carrier switching easy
Is your business technologically enabled for a transition to happen smoothly? Do you need to rethink your logistics technology to ensure you deliver? For our clients already utilising Despatchlab, it is simply a matter of turning a carrier off and turning another carrier on.
Building delivery contingency for your business
The logistics of delivering goods has a huge amount of factors that contribute towards the safe delivery of your consignments. With events often out of our control, it’s important to have flexibility in place to protect the business from any external event that will negatively impact the delivery of your consignment. As business owners or decision makers in your business, then it’s important to ensure that you have provisions in place with regards to the delivery of your goods; not just for your customers, but also your peace of mind.
If you have immediate concerns about the delivery of your consignments during this strike or would like some input on delivery contingency planning, then please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. Call us on 0333 567 5888, email us at email@example.com or simply complete the contact form below and our team will be in touch.
Good luck to the people at Royal Mail with their strikes this week.