As happens with other notable celebrations or holidays such as Christmas or Black Friday, Valentine’s Day is a special event on the calendar that requires thorough preparation in order to meet the logistical challenges. While some fleet requirements are consistent all year long, days such as February 14th create unusual demands—and we are not just talking about buying chocolate and roses for a significant other … or are we?
Let’s have a look at the four challenges that might make the hearts of fleet managers beat a little faster, but not for the reasons you might immediately think!
#1 – To hire or not to hire. Holidays boost sales for both online shops as well as brick and mortar retailers. Chocolates and roses are just the tip of the iceberg, as nowadays on celebratory days people shop more than they used to, and not specifically for their Valentine—the increased availability of discounts or offers available at these times might encourage people to go out and shop for parents, family, friends, or even themselves. This translates into a higher demand and the need for fleets to cope with the surge in shopping activity. In some cases getting new hires can be seen as a no-brainer, in others it might not be the most appropriate solution. What if you could just rearrange your routes and schedules, or what if you just needed new vehicles instead?
#2 – Some things come and go. And presents are no exception. With the opportunities we have nowadays with online shopping to just return unwanted items or the offer from traditional shops to change our gift for something we prefer, it stands to reason, simply by the laws of mathematics, that the more retail activity the greater the number of returns or gift swaps. This inevitably creates more work at any level of the logistics chain—vehicles included.
#3 - Warm, but cold. The issues connected with the winter season, the slower traffic you might encounter on some roads due to inclement weather conditions and the darker driving hours might be an extra complication if you have to get to your destination on this special day or get your product there on time.
#4 – Anywhere, at any time. As fleets have to deal with increased business or extended delivery zones on this particular date, this might constitute a challenge (though, perhaps, also an opportunity) for those who need to manage fleets. Locating drivers, assigning them tasks and making sure this is done efficiently in terms of driving time or proximity to a location and making quick decisions all add to the pressure for drivers and fleet managers. But if this is done in the correct way, with the help of GPS and fleet management technologies, it can actually become a new business opportunity.
If you feel you can relate to either one or more of these challenges, talk to us: together we can reach the heart of your customers on Valentine’s Day—and all year long for that matter.