SMEs that have been in business for a while know to expect the unexpected, but they probably learnt about shipping disaster recovery the hard way. Often, something happens that affects their shipping logistics. Perhaps their preferred carrier went bankrupt, Mother Nature threw a spanner in the works, or technology failed. In any case, developing a backup plan is crucial to businesses running smoothly.
Shipping Disaster Can Lead To Bankruptcy
Take CityLink, for example. In 2014, CityLink went into administration on Christmas Day due to a major shipping disaster. Not only did it put thousands of workers out of a job, but it left customers without their parcels for days and weeks on end. Companies that hired CityLink as their shipping vendor had to deal with the damage to their reputations, and make amends with their customers for something that was entirely out of their control. The CityLink debacle is a perfect example of why every company that ships parcels should have a disaster recovery solution.
In Shipping Nature Can Be A Beast
Most unforeseen events aren’t usually so dramatic. There are plenty of times where shipments get delayed due to icy roads, flight cancellations or rough weather on the sea. While these weather-related incidents might seem like a non-issue, they could negatively impact your reputation. Customers expect you to deliver on time; if you don’t, they might rate you poorly, or worse, not patronise your business again.
Weather delays are inevitable, but if you do encounter delivery problems, be sure that your system allows you to tell your customers about delays before they tell you!
Keeping Up With Demand Amidst Technical Difficulties
Occasionally, your preferred carrier will get overwhelmed and not be able to take more shipments. This often occurs during the holidays, when volume is at its highest. In the event that this occurs, make sure you have access to multiple carriers and can easily reconcile multiple invoices. There are a number of services that can help you do this. In a similar vein, if your booking system freezes, you need to make sure you have your data backed up and can switch to another system in an emergency. Data recovery is just as important as parcel recovery and should be a core part of your disaster recovery solution.
Don’t forget that unpredictable events can affect shipments both from the supplier to the customer as well as from the customer back to the supplier. Having the ability to manage and track returns is just as critical to a business as managing and tracking the items you’ve sold.
If you can’t reconcile a return, you can’t resell the item, and the refund to your customer could get delayed. A good disaster recovery plan could help you circumvent any negative impacts to your business.
SmartConsign has helped customers deal with the unexpected for years. When you’re ready to start implementing your disaster recovery solution, give us a call. We’re happy to help.