Supply Chain Management

10 surprise tales for the Supply Chain at Christmas

Every year during the Christmas period, supply chains all around the world are straining under the pressure to meet demand. Even the best laid plans and processes can come unstuck when the unforeseen happens, scuppering business’s prospects for a prosperous festive sales period.

Here’s our selection of surprise Christmas tales:

1. The tale of the sprout-eating moths
Brussels sprouts are a classic part of Christmas dinner, some love them others hate them, but sprout lovers might be disappointed this year, due to a threat of sprout-eating moths!

2. The tale of shrinking supply
A lot of people enjoy a cheese platter at Christmas, but this year it might cost then a bit more for such luxury. Hundreds of dairy farms went under this year, creating a shortage of dairy produce and an increase of the price on supermarket shelves.

3. The tale of the dangerous product
Rushing a product to the market in time for Christmas can put consumers at risk. Do you remember the Segway last year or the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from earlier this year?

4. The tale of DDoS attack
Many of us head to the online stores way before December in order to secure the best deals, taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. However, this also gives hackers more opportunities to commit ‘denial of service’ attacks, putting your and your customers’ data at risk.

5. The tale of the power cut
No electricity on Christmas Day means no sparking lights on the Christmas Tree, no turkey dinner and no new games on the Xbox. In 2003, many people were faced with a power cuts on Christmas day, meaning millions paid in compensation by the energy companies.

6. The tale of the adverse weather
Many dream of a white Christmas, but the fall of that beautiful and magical white stuff can cause issues for many companies, especially in the logistics sector. In 2012, heavy snow affected the Royal Mail services and forced them to increase the number of delivery rounds to reduce the amount of Christmas cards and presents being held up.

7. The tale of the celebrity endorsement
In 2010, Heston Blumenthal released an enticing ‘Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding’ that flew off the shelves. So much so in fact that the product ran out of stock before Christmas.

8. The tale of the worker’s revolt
Almost on a daily basis, we’re hearing stories of threatened strike action from the likes of Argos, Diageo and Royal Mail. As in the case of Argos, strikes do get cancelled, but any strike action that does go ahead at this time of year has the potential to cause delivery chaos.

9. The table of the totally unexpected
In 1983, many little girls dreamed of a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas, but making your daughter’s dream come true meant risking getting a black eye and being trampled on. Cabbage Patch Dolls unexpectedly became a must have sensation and the limited supply led to violence and was marked in history as the ‘Cabbage Patch Riots’.

10. The tale of the pandemic
A Christmas cold or flu can be a regular recurrence for some of us, but sometimes there might be another reason to stay in bed on the Big Day. In 2014, another break out of Bird Flu meant the supply of Christmas turkeys dived as the big day approached.

Daniel Ball, director at Wax Digital says, “A significant chunk of many companies’ annual profits come from the festive period, but with this high demand comes the risk of losing considerable business and disappointing customers if a problem occurs in the supply chain. Provided companies have a risk management strategy in place, implement a sound supplier relationship management system, and roll out strategic sourcing, they can prevent Christmas from being a disaster and round off the year with some prosperous trading.”

Do you have any supply chain caution tales? Please share them with us by emailing: marketing@waxdigital.com or calling 0161 367 8375, we’d love to hear your stories today!