Supplier Confidence, Cheap Pricing And How To Keep Systems Clucking In A Disaster

Thu, 22/02/2018 - 10:14
Disaster Recovery

KFC have egg on their face. The fried chicken chain restaurant suffered from logistical problems with not enough chicken being delivered to their restaurants; forcing them to close multiple stores nationwide. To make matters worse KFC had been warned. KFC was warned it would face delivery problems months ago, it has been claimed, as the company grapples with a chicken supply crisis that has forced almost half of its outlets to remain closed.


The fast-food chain said it expected disruption to some restaurants to continue for the rest of the week “meaning some will be closed and others operating with a reduced menu or shortened hours”. Over 400 KFC stores were shut after the company switched deliveries to a cheaper service, amid mounting consumer anger. An updated list showed that the number of open outlets rose to 450 by Tuesday afternoon after dropping to just 254.     


The GMB union said it had expressed major doubts about KFC’s decision last October to switch its deliveries from the food delivery specialists Bidvest Logistics to DHL. The GMB’s national officer Mick Rix, had warned KFC that it could face a repeat of supply problems that had hit Burger King when they decided to move away from Bidvest Logistics in favour of DHL six years ago.


“We warned them a few months ago. I wrote to KFC. I alluded to Burger King trying to cut costs and ending up with poorer quality service and poorer distribution. They had shortages, too, but not on the scale we’re seeing now at KFC. Within six months they were pleading with Bidvest Logistics to take it back.”


Rix believed that KFC’s current crisis stemmed from dropping a supply system based on six warehouses run by Bidvest to a system of one distribution centre in Rugby run by DHL. He said conditions at the Rugby warehouse were an “utter shambles”.


Supplier confidence

KFC’s decision to save costs, without ensuring that quality is maintained, provides a lesson for firms when looking at deploying new services – not everything is created equal. This applies to all aspects of services being delivered to organisations; quality of service and support will differ dramatically from provider to provider. A quality provider is likely to have financially backed service levels agreements (SLAs) and will commit to uptime and delivery standards.


While DHL, is by no means an untrustworthy vendor, this case highlights the importance of working with reputable suppliers and suppliers who can provide industry references. Buying on price can often lead to mistakes or pitfalls and with an estimated cost to KFC of £4.2 million, this disaster is one that will need to be learned from.

The importance of trialling solutions

When it comes to IT, solutions can be much more easily tried and tested before implementation. With regulations such as the GDPR, coming into place this year, an IT disaster could lead to heavy fines from regulators such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).


Recovering from a disaster

While this supply chain issue is a real disaster for KFC, many organisations face disasters on a daily basis; the threat of site-loss from a cyber-attack is constant – public sector organisations in the UK reportedly faced some 100 million attempted cyber-attacks between 2013 and 2017. Ensuring that a digital disaster can be recovered from requires, a full copy of data to be held in at least one off-site location, whether this is a backup site or disaster recovery site. This data can then be securely accessed in a disaster recovery scenario, helping organisations get back to operational capacity.

Redstor has been assisting organisations in backup, disaster recovery and archiving for 20-years and have helped thousands of organisations securely protect data off-site. To find out more about disaster recovery and learn how Redstor can help you recover from a disaster, get in touch now.

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