All honest Aussies love a public holiday, but many SME business owners feel a sense of dread because a day off creates backlogs in their business. Here, Walter Scremin offers his tips to avoid the public holiday ‘zombie apocalypse’.
With a gluttony of public holidays just around the corner with Easter and ANZAC Day, public holiday ‘zombie apocalypse’ is about to be in full season for SME business owners. ‘Zombie apocalypse’ is a term I use to describe the scene in most workplaces in the days directly after a public holiday – no matter what you do those backlogged orders just seem to keep relentlessly coming at you.
With the majority of public holidays in the first half of the calendar year, now is prime time to consider how your business copes with public holidays. As a business owner, you need to consider if, for example, late or missed deliveries ultimately cost you clients. Do you supply to time-sensitive industries that can’t afford for you to be a day late?
If your business fields more than its fair share of complaints after public holidays and it’s flipping you out, then it’s time to act. Here’s some pointers that you can consider:
How flexible is your transport: Is it easy for you to employ extra resources for short periods of time? If not, why? There are many different ways of running a transport fleet – you can do it all yourself, outsource it or use a combination of both. Consider public holidays a good test of how responsive and adaptable your delivery transport is.
Steps to improving accuracy: If the endlessly-backlogged-delivery-zombies have you surrounded, you can’t afford mistakes. A wrong delivery will leave you running around in circles while the undelivered parcels become hordes. A GPS system that uses PDAs to confirm deliveries is a most powerful weapon against this threat.
Your ability to cover staff absenteeism: Not only is it a public holiday catch up day, but one of your team members calls in sick and the zombies prepare to overwhelm you. How do you react? 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.
Walter Scremin is General Manager of Ontime Group.
* The above picture is from the classic British zombie comedy film Shaun Of The Dead.