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Take A Hike, Ike!

09/12/2008

Natural Disasters effect our business in so many ways. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, snow storms, etc… can have major impacts on how we operate from day to day. A really good example is Souvenir in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The factory was pretty much wiped out from flooding in June. These types of disasters can cause wide spread problems with everything from production delays to heartache for the factory workers.

Hurricane Ike is predicted to make landfall, on Saturday, on the Upper Texas Coast. This could mean any number of problems such as: increased shipping costs if any of the refineries are damaged; not to mention in-hands dates being missed from any factories, in that area, that have had to shut down for mandatory evacuations. Additionally, I highly doubt UPS will be making deliveries in Houston, on Friday :)!

Since we have no control over the weather (b/c believe me, if wishes made it so, Austin would get the rain that we so desperately need)  all we can do is be proactive in handling any issues that may come up when these unavoidable natural disasters happen. 

  • Explain to your clients the pitfalls of waiting till the last minute to place orders. Just think of the solutions you could come up with, when unavoidable situations arise,  if they actually gave you a months (Hey, even 2 weeks would help) notice!
  • Most people have a basic understanding about what drives shipping costs. A fellow distributor once told me they always insist the client provide a UPS or FedEx shipping number so there is no question about shipping being marked up. I’m thinking that might be good advice at this moment???
  • Stay in contact with the factories and/or your rep… knowledge is key in these types of situations. Believe me, they are not any happier about these situations than you are – so they are going to do everything possible to work with you to get your clients order to them on time!

If you anybody has any suggestions on ways to deal with these situations, we would love to hear your comments…

Posted by: Jennifer Brown, 360 Promotions, Austin, TX

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ruth Verver permalink
    09/12/2008 7:48 pm

    Normally when I see a hurricane coming I stop and look through all the orders to see what we have out there that could be delayed due to the weather…then call the customers and give them a heads up several days before the storm hits. With IKE, I forgot to do that and have some orders that didn’t ship, and some orders that are stuck in a ups facility in Houston! Whoops….learned my lesson and will get back in the habit of bring proactive when these sorts of things happen! Good Luck to everyone on the Coast!

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