Royal Mail strikes on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday will cause extensive disruption for retailers. These are prime revenue opportunities, and delivery delays for online orders risk a domino effect in the build up to Christmas.
Strikes affecting the movement of goods in the last mile are becoming more commonplace, adding pressure to supply chains already impacted by global disruption. Therefore, supply chain networks and planning must become more resilient yet again. For retailers, this means careful preparation around fulfilment times, especially to manage spikes in demand. Building a flexible network is key to increasing delivery capacity with alternative courier services. Brick and mortar retailers must also look to expand Click and Collect capabilities, especially for customers who require items by a particular date.
As proven during the pandemic, technology will play a key role here, as we have repeatedly seen digitally mature companies are often the most resilient during a period of disruption. Whether it’s using IoT platforms to collate data from sensors and smart devices across the whole network, integration and APIs to connect with delivery partners’ systems or siloed data, or simply internal tools that can model and evaluate processes to make them more efficient – a digitally-enabled, connected approach will be essential.