Those that have been in the logistics business for a number of years have probably experienced a missed pickup or delivery at one time or another, but what some shippers don’t realize is the trickle effect that these instances of poor transportation service can have on organizations. Let’s think about what happens when a truck misses a routine pickup…
More than likely, the load (product) was already staged at a dock at a shipping facility, which means no other trucks could use that dock during that time, creating an operational bottleneck. The potential also lies for added labor costs as a result of employees having to wait on the truck to arrive for loading and perhaps having to move and re-stage the load multiple times.
Additionally, you have to consider the “missed opportunity” costs associated with potentially dissatisfying the receiver, which could result in reduced purchases or even a lost customer forever.
What about from a different perspective? For receivers, this one missed pickup can also have a big impact. It could result in potential stock outs or inventory issues, or force the shut down or retooling of a production line in order to work around the absence of a product in high demand. And, let’s not forget the inefficient use of labor due to waiting around to unload a shipment that is late or never arrives.
The bottom line is that this complex chain of events was all started with one simple missed pickup, and the end result most often is an unhappy customer. As a third-party logistics company with a focus on service, we manage a lot of moving parts and have a lot of people relying on us, which makes it essential for all of our consultants to understand the effect that one misstep can have.
There are few industries like transportation and logistics where one mistake impacts so many others. It’s what makes our business so challenging but also so rewarding.