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John Lewis assures customers Royal Mail strike won’t affect deliveries

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John Lewis has issued a statement which assures consumers that their online orders won’t be affected by industrial action at Royal Mail: has drawn up robust contingency plans to mitigate the impact of ongoing regional and threatened national postal strikes by Royal Mail staff.

These include securing arrangements with alternative carriers and encouraging the use of Click and Collect, which is now available in all John Lewis branches and in Waitrose Tonbridge and Hexham.

“To minimise costs we have worked with our existing next day carriers to introduce new services such as 48- and 72-hour delivery,” says Victoria Clarke, operations manager,

Click and Collect — where customers can pick up products ordered online in shops — is also providing “an excellent contingency”, she says.

This week most Royal Mail services were reported to be operating normally, but there were delays in areas such as London and Bristol.

Some consumer groups are advising those customers planning to buy Christmas gifts online or by mail order to do so sooner rather than later and to check final delivery dates.

John Lewis was one of the first companies to implement MetaPack‘s delivery management system and has been using it to send their parcels since 2004. “One of the main functionalities of the software is multi-carrier management which allocates, tracks and manages deliveries automatically across carriers all on one screen,” says MetaPack.

“A multi carrier approach means that the most can be gained by allocating parcel traffic against each carrier’s core competencies. However a multi-carrier approach provides not only a business solution but a business contingency. If a carrier is unable to deliver, within MetaPack, you can simply divert that traffic to an alternative carrier for as long as is required.”

“This is a simple process of amending the allocation rules to divert the traffic for the time required and can be done in a matter of minutes,” explains Patrick Wall, MetaPack’s CEO. “And because new carriers can be taken on with no integration there is no limit to the immediate contingency retailers can have in any eventuality that may befall the carrier industry.”

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