Monday, February 15, 2016

Inclement Weather - Regional challenges

Weather in the North Carolina and Virginia can create difficult times for businesses. Companies are faced with difficult decisions about closures, delays, and closing early. A close eye on local forecasts along with an eye toward other institutions and businesses helps provide some guidance. Companies always look to create a safe environment and work place for their associates, and the challenge is compounded when the business provides services that require most of the associates to travel on the potentially hazardous roads.  Material handling equipment dealers typically have over 50% of their associates driving to and from customer locations, providing services, deliveries, and providing solutions. So, a close eye to weather forecast, closing and delay announcements, and internal conversations help provide some input in the right decision.
Specific more in North Carolina than Virginia is the dilemma of making a decision for a business that services customers as far south as Fayetteville, and as far north as Mount Airy.  Anyone from the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina realizes that most of our storm forecasts shows that line of participation with types and accumulation estimates.

 The decision regarding inclement weather involves a great deal more than safety. What about customer service and customer retention?  If a business is open, and requires a specific service that is needed that day, competitors have gained access and opportunities in the account. If the material handling dealer is fortunate and the service need will wait for a couple of days, one potential issue has been avoided, but a very real one still exists.  Most material handling dealers generate their revenue during normal work days and hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.  When the material handling dealer closes, revenue is lost and profits are diminished, so the decision to close comes with a real cost.  For example, lets says that business A generates $3,000,000 in profits from their parts and service departments annually. The decision to close each day costs approximately $11,538 in profit.   So the next time you see that "crawl" at the bottom of the local TV station and see that long list of closed businesses, think about all those poor people making decisions for their companies and their associates.

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