Recently* I wrote about the slow clerk at the car wash who impacted the whole system.  A similar thing happened on a more elaborate scale with on-line shopping and delivery over the holiday season.

Eager retailers welcomed last minute orders, but failed to coordinate with the infrastructure that was supposed to deliver the packages.  In the third week in December alone, more than one million people signed up for Amazon Prime, placing additional demand on air shipping and two-day delivery expectations.   As a result, both UPS and FedEx had overloaded systems, aggravated by bad weather across the country.  For many people, the holiday came and went before the trucks did.

You are more likely to fault the company for not delivering than UPS, so the disconnect between operations and marketing will likely have a more negative impact on the the company than the shipper.  Of course this isn’t good for anyone.

In your organization, take a lesson from this holiday and pay extra attention to the supply chain.  A sale or a great idea is only a concept unless you can actually deliver it to your clients.

— beth triplett

*Blog #581, January 3, 2014

Source:  Online shopping grows, with growing pains by Mae Anderson and Scott Mayerowitz Associated Press, in the Telegraph Herald, December 27, 2013,p. 1-2A
and Santa’s sleigh delayed by snags at UPS, FedEx by the Associated Press in the Telegraph Herald, December 26, 2013 p. 6A

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