22. December 2016 -

What’s the key?

Last week I was listening to a radio programme as I made my way into work. One of the discussion topics was the delivery of our goods for the festive period – or maybe the lack of delivery is more appropriate!

Some of the stats they shared were mind boggling. Last year in the UK there were nearly 5 million delivery problems in the run up to Christmas. Most of them being late deliveries or no shows. The more shocking figure was that it took almost 12million total hours to resolve these issues - 2.5 hours per person on average (stats form Citizens Advice). Incredible figures when you start thinking about the impact and total cost to the industry.

Being a part of the logistics industry, like my colleagues, I get a ring side seat to see how busy the delivery sector is at this time of year, and the incredible coordination it takes to ensure accurate and timely deliveries. From my own point of view, I believe that communication and forward planning holds the key to keeping your service levels excellent when the going gets tough.

Speaking from experience

Within our own Palletways Network, we have had record breaking volumes in the run-up to Christmas, moving more than half a million pallets in November alone. December also started with a bang with another record of 117,000 pallets moved in the first week. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out the challenge here to keeping service levels high and ensure timely deliveries even with the extra pressures.

Forward planning and state of the art technology have played a crucial role in achieving our service levels and allowing us to handle this extra load. It has enabled us to implement that major piece of the puzzle of maintaining excellent coordination and communication across the network of member depots. Without a combination of this I have no doubt that our service levels during this peak time would suffer. I feel very proud that thanks to the excellence and teamwork throughout our network, the people of Palletways and our members are helping to keep us far away from those 5 million delivery issues. I think all of us in the industry have a collective duty to do all we can to ensure consumers gets their goods on time and without issue for Christmas. Better processes (including technology) that encourage forward planning and improved coordination across the board can help reduce the number of issues our customers face. After all a good customer experience will ensure your customers return for more next Christmas….and hopefully for plenty more in-between!

Finally, special thanks must go to all those people across the UK who work so hard to make sure we get our goods delivered this festive period. You will have earned a well-deserved break over the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy new year.

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