Ok, I was going to entitle this blog "Cancelled Jobs" but I thought that would sound like I was having a winge. In a way I suppose I am!
Last week I had two jobs cancelled. The first one was a pick up one evening last week. I arrived at the collection point at the time requested by my client and was advised that they had nothing to collect as all the goods for the recipient had been dispatched on a van that had been in to collect earlier that day. After a couple of phone calls I discovered that the recipient (the client of my client) had been in desperate need of the order to keep production going, the sender had advised they could have part of the order ready in the afternoon. Therefore it was arranged for the order to be collected in two parts, one van to collect in the afternoon and then myself to pick up the remainder in the evening. However it turned out that the sender was able to complete the entire order prior to the afternoon van arriving so being efficent they put the full order on that van. It's at this point that something broke down in the chain. Someone somewhere didn't filter back that a second van was no longer needed. That resulted in a needless journey for me to the collection point and a bill to my client (which will be passed on to their client) to cover the cost of that needless journey.
The following afternoon I had a booking from another client to collect a parcel to go to a business in central London. When I was a few miles away from the collection point I received a call from my client to say that their client had just called to cancel the job (no explaination why). Again that resulted in another bill for the wasted trip.
Now I appreciate that things go wrong from time to time, for example sometimes in this business we might be collecting machine parts that have to undergo testing prior to dispatch, generally these parts are still being tested whilst the driver is on their way to collect, if the part fails so can't be sent and the job is cancelled (or postponed), that's unavoidable. However I believe my first example a cancellation fee would have been avoided had a message been passed all the way along the chain of communication that the full order had been completed early and dispatched on the first van, then I would never have left base and no expense would have been incurred. My second example is a bit more difficult to judge as I can only make assumptions about what happened. My assumption is that the recipent business would most likely have been closed by the time I arrived in London with the parcel therefore would have been unable to accept the parcel. If my assumption is correct I'm suprised nobody thought to check this prior to booking a sameday courier.
Ok, we all like to think we are perfectionists, but even the best of us make mistakes from time to time. If you think about it most of the uneccesary expense incurred in business will be due to lack of communication. I think that alot of businesses only pass on to colleagues/customers/suppliers what they think they need to know and sometimes that vital bit of information that could save time, pennies or pounds gets missed because someone thought it wasn't important.
The moral here is unless it's commercially sensitive then please pass all information on!