Delivery demands? Here’s how to survive public holidays!


Many business owners feel a sense of dread around public holidays because a day off creates backlogs in the business. But with several public holidays on the way, including Easter, now is a good time to ask how your business can better cope with a day off.

Public holidays are often acutely felt in the delivery transport area – we’ve even known of business owners who’ve had to jump into their car to run deliveries themselves (before they came to their senses and implemented a more sustainable strategy!).

If you supply to time-sensitive industries that can’t afford for you to be late, then not being able to manage public holidays could potentially cost you clients. We know from experience that industries like automotive parts are so reliant on timely deliveries that clients will quickly change suppliers if they can’t get the right part delivered on time.

How badly do public holidays impact your business? Consider the following quick and easy stress test:

  • Do you see more customer complaints after public holidays?
  • Are deliveries frequently late after public holidays?
  • Are you and your people stressed and on edge?
  • Do you need to grab someone from another part of the business to run deliveries?
  • Do you ever resort to running the deliveries yourself?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions then you need to act. The great thing is there are steps you can take to make public holidays easy to handle. Consider the following:

More flexible transport: Businesses with flexible transport arrangements can access extra resources for short periods of time. Consider public holidays a good test of how responsive and adaptable your delivery transport is. It’s not always about managing peak loads – some public holidays may lead to quieter periods. Do you have the flexibility to trim your transport costs during these periods?

Better accuracy: If you’re already under pressure then the last thing you need is a wrong delivery. There are so many ways to improve delivery accuracy that are still underutilised by businesses – for example, QR codes as part of an efficient telematics system. Even the humble 2D barcode is still under-used by many. The bonus from these systems is they offer outstanding proof-of-delivery, which protects you against potential claims of missed or misplaced items.

Ability to cover staff absenteeism: Absent staff can be acutely felt around public holidays – it’s common for people to take a day’s leave either side of the holiday, and there’s always the potential for someone to call in sick. You may suddenly find yourself significantly short-staffed. Does your business have a proper contingency in place to cover staff absenteeism?

Hint: Contingency does not mean dragging someone from another area of the business, which only places stress on other areas; it means a genuine replacement able to obliterate the backlog without slowing you down.

One thing Ontime clients love is that we have back-up drivers on standby who they know can be depended on at short notice and for flexibility over public holiday periods.

To talk to the Ontime team about tailored delivery solutions for your business call us on 1300 808 488.

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