When planning is everything…

Nov 24, 2017

As if December wasn’t a busy enough time in the retail calendar along comes Black Friday and Cyber Monday creating two days of intense retail activity in an already bonkers period. It is estimated that £10bn could be spent in the UK over the Black Friday period; £2.5bn of that in a single day[i].

Despite the opportunities such days bring the planning required can make for a pretty intense logistics migraine. Never is it more important for retailers to feel confident that their logistics partners are flexible, on the ball and geared to perform at speed.

This is made particularly important by the fact that a significant challenge with Black Friday is the unpredictability such events bring. Black Friday is becoming more of a ‘Black (ten days leading up to) Friday’ which makes anticipating the demand, and when it will occur, almost impossible. Retailers know they will need more support which means more back-up also has to be put in place just in case things do go wrong but exactly when is difficult to pinpoint.

A delay or issue around such a busy time has the power to bring down the whole supply chain; not something anyone wants to happen! Not least because of the substantial economic impact. Research published by Sorted[ii] suggests that Black Friday could cost UK retailers £203m in returns caused by failed deliveries. The same research predicts that Black Friday alone will see £101bn worth of online deliveries fail – either arriving too late or after the allocated delivery slot. These returns then get stuck in a loop which means they appear as unavailable to buy at a critical shopping time.

This is also compounded by the fact that Black Friday only serves to heighten the sense of urgency consumers have. Around such times lightning speed fulfilment is not considered unrealistic!

At Pie we have developed an efficient holistic fleet management solution designed to connect the entire business workflow. What this means in plain English is that we have pulled together all of the planning, comms with drivers, routing, comms with customers etc and present them in a transparent view enabling you to proactively manage all of these communications, avoid delays and reduce the number of failed deliveries and missed collections. Makes you think how handy that would be at such a busy time doesn’t it?

[i] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42093624

[ii] http://www.retail-systems.com/rs/Black_Friday_2017...

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