Evade delivery delays
It’s nearly time for Santa Claus to flaunt his great logistical feat of handing out toys to boys and girls around the world. Before then, however, all the festive goods need to make it to the shops.
Shane de Beer, sales and marketing director at the express courier company TNT, warns that small and medium-sized enterprises should plan in advance to avoid festive season delivery bottlenecks.
“Small and medium businesses would do well to plan their logistics requirements in good time, to avoid getting caught up in the bottleneck of last-minute deliveries as the festive season gets into full swing,” he emphasises.
This will ensure that goods are received on time, which is important over Christmas (if your Santa isn’t punctual, his little helpers will look for goods elsewhere …).
De Beer explains that the most important measure smaller businesses can take to ensure product punctuality, is to provide the correct information on the delivery documents. “It is recommended that electronic interfaces are used, where possible, to ensure that the information is collected correctly from source and timeous delivery takes place,” says De Beer.
“Furthermore, should the package need to be cleared by customs, it is advised that all customs information is correct and declared according to regulations.” He adds that on-time delivery is becoming increasingly challenging in a globalised market, where the need to source and deliver products, anywhere in the world, is becoming the norm for businesses of all sizes. “Logistics has become a propelling force in driving global trade.”
De Beer notes that smaller businesses are also faced with the need to optimise their supply chain and logistics activities in order to provide the same level of service as their corporate competitors. “This is not easy to achieve in a fast changing global environment driven by fluctuating demand, volatile exchange rates, changing trade routes and growing customer expectations of instant gratification.”
He emphasises that if a smaller business is agile and innovative in its approach to achieving transparency throughout its supply chain, it will be better positioned to compete in global markets.
“Streamlining the logistics process is key to international competitiveness. A smaller company’s global competitiveness may also depend on its ability to develop collaborative strategies with other supply chain entities, and in some cases even with competitors,” he adds.