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Friday, December 22, 2006

Distributing People for the Holidays

Its one thing to move widgets all around the world up and down and sideways through channels across borders in and out of containers and warehouses, down the road, in the store on the shelf and out the door, but many companies distribute people.  Experiencing a backlog in widgets may upset your customers, it might even push them to buy something else.  When Airline carriers experience a backlog during the holiday season it resonates with their customers for a long long time.

Target will look at your yearly and quarterly performance reports, but they might be a little less likely to remember how a shipment was late in December or November in 1994 and again in 1997.  Airline passengers though imprint memories of holiday delays for a lifetime.

This Christmas appears to be one of those seasons with fog delays out of Heathrow and winter storm delays in Denver. 

The Airlines have not given themselves much room to digg out either.  For many months airlines have been increasingly overbooking flights causing greater delays even on a perfect day, but with major snarls at major hubs around the world, the accordion effect of a delay is leaving Airlines to make statements like "we're anticipating it could take us several days to get all customers whose flights were canceled to their destination" that one from Megan McCarthy a spokeswoman for United Airlines.

With thousands of people stranded and thousands of canceled flights that is also a large number of last minute shoppers that will not be able to make it to the stores before the big day.  For the many retailers that did not find Santa Claus this year, last minute shoppers may not make it home in time for the holidays.