Feast or famine: What can your logistics company do to navigate the uncertainty of a new normal?

Published on: Wed, 18 Nov 2020
By: Claire, redwigwam

When it comes to the global pandemic, logistics companies face an ever-increasing amount of uncertainty and confusion. The problem is one of feast or famine.

Although the global pandemic has ripped away demand from a great number of physical stores and high streets, many consumers have been forced to take to their keyboards to order not only ‘nice to have’ items, but even essentials like food. Figures out this week show that online retail sales in the UK have continued to soar during July, with non-food sales alone up 41 percent [1].

Unsurprisingly, some logistics organisations have seen a boom in demand for their services – particularly those that serve the online retail giants.

But, with the UK economy seeing the biggest recession on record, and consumer demand likely to take a hit in the coming months – particularly as the furlough scheme ends in October – this surge could just as quickly dry up.

Normal service in abnormal times

It’s highly likely many logistics organisations will have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months – based on the demand factors in the economy and the likely impact on the national and international supply chains.

To add to the uncertainty is the spectre of ‘Golden Quarter’ which is looming large on the minds of many business leaders in the sector. With no crystal ball to make a solid prediction, many are at a loss to know whether Christmas 2020 will fly in the face of COVID 19 and be a merry one or succumb to economic factors as many other industries have recently.

Faced with the never-ending push for a strong return on investment, a lower operating cost, whilst at the same time seeking to react to client demand, is an extremely tall order and one which many are currently struggling to meet. On top of all of this, there’s also the high expectations of customers who want goods delivered on time and safely. In essence, customers are still demanding normal service in times of abnormality.

Preparing for all eventualities

Although it seems difficult to plan anything at the moment, there are solutions available to logistics organisations that can help them bend with the wind of the various impacts of the pandemic.

Temporary staffing solutions to support and supplement a workforce are a great potential lifeline for an industry that relies heavily on people power. Harnessing the very latest technology, many temporary staffing solutions can now supply temporary staff at the drop of a parcel and ensure that back-office processes like worker payment, NI contributions, and tax are all dealt with, saving time and money for the client. What’s more, integration with a company’s scheduling system and reporting infrastructure means that companies are easily supported with directing temporary workers where they’re needed the most.

The biggest benefit of this solution to labour is that it also means that companies can dial up or down their temporary staffing levels in real-time and in line with demand on the day. Given the current climate, this supports companies in meeting demand and reducing wastage on staffing costs.

[1] https://www.cityam.com/uk-retail-sales-grow-following-lockdown-easing/

Need flexibility?

We’re providing clients with flexibility when they need it and saving them the time, money, and hassle of dealing with traditional staffing agencies. We provide the right workers, for the right roles, only when they’re needed. We know that certain periods throughout the year are unpredictable, so our 'On the Bench' offering provides that peace of mind to logistics businesses, who are uncertain up until the very last moment about how big their workforce needs to be. To find out more about redwigwam’s ‘On the Bench’ service, contact us today!