Forecasting the fleet workload is always a challenge, but times are close when business starts to be crazy. With about one month to go for the Black Friday shopping madness and around 60 days far from Christmas, it is definitely time to plan for your fleet workload – and we might even be late.
With the Black Friday appointment becoming a fixed presence in our calendar and with Christmas being the busiest time for business of the whole year, the pressure on fleet managers starts to become higher and higher. But what is impacting on fleets and making your workload and responsibilities increase, what should you consider in forecasting your workload at this particular time of the year?
- More business. It is certainly no mystery that Black Friday shopping might be the prelude to the Christmas presents madness, or maybe just another opportunity to get that highly desired item that suddenly gets a lot of discount. Be it for one reason or for another, shops and business are busiest than ever and yourself need to keep up with your competitors and offer a Black Friday offer – if you haven’t done it yet!
- All the roads lead to… home. It is just not simply the busiest time on the road for those who go to shopping malls, but also for those who come to your place to deliver parcels, as Internet is growing as everyone’s favourite shopping place for Black Friday and Christmas (and any other time of the year). According to the research conducted by the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring Ltd and published in the work “The Implications of Internet Shopping Growth on the Van Fleet and Traffic Activity”, e-Commerce parcel volumes are growing at 9% annually. In 2016, the total market in the sole UK for e-commerce deliveries was 2.7bn packages of which 1.8bn were for the “business-to-consumer” segment. The market for online e-commerce parcels is also expected to grow by 600 million parcels between 2015 and 2020 covering both delivered and click and collect. With such impressive numbers, you’d better get ready for the higher workload in order to benefit from the shopping flow.
- Seasons change. And here we are not only referring to seasonal business, busiest periods during the year can change, though hardly ever will the period before Christmas ever be quiet. We are talking about the actual season: between autumn and winter, it gets darker earlier, it gets colder, it is a more challenging time for your drivers and your vehicles and traffic can get higher for the less favourable weather conditions (plus the added business…).
- Q3 2018: budget and resources left. It is undoubtedly the last part of the year and you have to manage it with what is left – but only if you have not been able to properly plan the activity of the year. If you are able to check the activity of the last years and the hours of driving (and if not, you should be definitely strive for that) you can get a flavour of what will be going on this year – or got it with the right advance.
- Excel at customer service at the best cost. Nothing new here: something you need to do all year long, but gets the impact of other busy factors at this particular time.