Royal Mail walkouts continue, but at what cost?

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For those that started their Christmas shopping early this year, their readiness has worked to their advantage. Many last-minute shoppers may find themselves with empty stockings this festive season, with Royal Mail strikes piling additional pressure on other delivery services that are already stretched ahead of the holiday period. As packages pile up, the traditional in store purchase may become the safest way to shop this year.

It isn’t just consumers who should worry, businesses need to urgently put contingencies in place. The availability and delivery of goods is an essential part of the customer experience. When goods are not delivered as promised, businesses risk losing the customer’s brand loyalty, and shortages or long wait times can negatively impact a brand’s reputation.

When disruptions cause uncertainty, it’s important that businesses identify them ahead of time to find a solution quickly. For example, our research shows that even when disruptions were at pandemic scale, companies that used artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time data to sense demand reduced forecast error by one-third. Companies utilising modern, connected technology solutions for planning and logistics will fare best in an ever-changing environment; and when bottlenecks arise, they can maintain brand reputation for providing the best service possible.