How Cold Weather Conditions Affect Delivery Times
How to protect your business against cold weather
Does a cold weather condition affect delivery times, as pertains to the consummation of transactions in business and related fields? The answer is in the affirmative, especially when you consider the multiplier effects of cold/adverse weather conditions on all the principle actors needed in the efficient and effective delivery of goods and services.
Ways to Prepare Your Business for Cold Weather
The effect of cold weather conditions on these principal business factors in the delivery process will be examined in more detail:
Effect of Cold Weather Conditions on Man
Man is one of the most important factors/links in the business process, even more so when the business has to make timely deliveries. Not only do timely deliveries enhance the brand image of the business, but it also ensures continuity of the business, since a satisfied customer is likely to perform another transaction as well as refer the business to other potential customers.
However, cold weather conditions can impact on the ability of your staff to carry out any scheduled deliveries.
For starters, there can be physical risks associated with cold weather conditions and they include the following:
a. Slips and Trips
The probability of serious harm coming to your staff is higher, especially in places that experience snow and blizzards. Bruises, cuts and fractures are common features of the hazards facing your staff operating in such conditions.
The fractures occur when employees attempt to cushion the fall with their arms or elbows. Accidents usually occur because staff may put on inappropriate footwear which enhances their propensity to slip.
b. Heart Attacks
Heart attacks are another feature of cold weather condition that may hamper the ability of your staff to make effective and timely deliveries. Under cold conditions, the blood pressure increases, thereby putting more strain on the heart to pump more blood to the extremities in the body, hence the propensity for heart failure.
However, the employee may have a medical condition that pre-disposes him to such an incident.
c. Frost bite and Nip
These conditions occur in the lower extremities of the body, when the brain concentrates the distribution of heat around the core of the human body, in extremely cold weather conditions.
Frost bite is a dire situation where ice crystals form inside body cells killing them in the process.
When the limbs are weakened this way, you will not expect the affected employee to be able to perform the task of making deliveries for your business as at when due.
A severe cold weather condition can precipitate Hypothermia, an often fatal condition in which the core temperature of the body falls below the level of 37 degrees centigrade, which is the optimum human temperature.
Your employee that suffers a bout of hypothermia should immediately be moved to warmer conditions as well as have warmer clothing worn on him/her.
As a consequence, your business may not be able to meet with any scheduled deliveries within this time.
You must also take into account the fact that cold weather conditions also pre-disposes your staff to diseases and illness such as:
e. Colds and Flu
These conditions are easily the most popular reasons advanced by employees that do not come to work. Though they are not caused by the cold directly but are transmitted from the virus of an infected person to another.
Other common conditions that will keep your staff away from being able to carry out deliveries include sore throats, Asthma and Influenza.
Effects of Cold Weather on Non-Human Factors
As a business, you cannot overlook the fact the cold weather conditions can also severely hamper the ability of your venture to make deliveries. The scenarios that could come up are as follows:
a. Increased Downpour
Cold weathers are usually precipitated by heavy rainfall. This downpour could lead to roads being inaccessible to your delivery vans, especially if your delivery location is the rural areas. Such roads in the hinterland may be cut-off at some points.
Even urban settlements are not left out as an incessant downpour could mean that streets become flooded and traffic jams build up. In the process of seeking alternative routes to making your delivery, it is very likely that your business will default in meeting up with scheduled deliveries as a result.
b. Machinery Malfunction
You will also have to pay special attention to the welfare f your equipment and tools that help you make prompt deliveries. Put in place adequate back-up plans for damage done to equipment such as forklifts in the cold, due to engine failure of some other mechanical fault.
Ways Your Business Can Avoid Cold Weather-Related Losses
Come sunshine or in these cases, cold weather conditions, you are obligated to your customers to ensure that their goods/services paid for, are delivered promptly and efficiently.
Understanding the ways by which cold weather conditions can affect your business, will cause you to put in place back-up plans to mitigate the effects of disruptions in your delivery schedules.
You must however note that if you are going to experience cold weather-delays in meeting up delivery demands, it is best you inform your customers as soon as possible via email, telephone calls or via other appropriate channels.