20 February 2018
Aaron Pearce By Aaron Pearce

Chicken-gate, a Logistics Nightmare.

As you are probably aware, even if you’re not a frequent patron of your local chain chicken shop, KFC has had to close over 646/900 stores due to a ‘slight’ mishap with their new delivery partner DHL.

Not the best situation to be in, especially with many of KFC’s workers operating on a zero-hours contract, meaning no income and no indication of when they’ll be returning to work.

The burning question coming out of this situation though is how can the world’s largest logistics business fail so spectacularly on a new customer implementation?

Another question: If we had time machines and both companies could go back to November, what should they do differently to avoid this situation?

Let’s piece together the timeline from various reports across the internet and news outlets to see where we can spot the problem:

  • DHL promise to “re-write the rule book” and create a stock management distribution for delivery, after winning the KFC contract in November
  • The purpose-built distribution hub in Rugby is built and fit out
  • Roll out and go-live on 14th February
  • Then a crash on the M6 and IT issues put deliveries back, delaying roll-out
  • KFC then closes 646 stores due to a shortage of chicken
  • You’re now reading a summary of what happened

Can you see it?

Implementation and a spot of bad luck.

Winning a contract is half the battle, but it’s all in the implementation and an element of luck that everything doesn’t go belly up.

Has DHL taken a hit to their reputation on this? Yes. Will food retailers think twice about making wholesale changes to their supply chains in the future? Yes. Will DHL get on top of this and deliver the service improvements and savings that were promised to KFC? Yes.

 
 
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Aaron Pearce

Aaron Pearce is a Principal Consultant with over five years’ experience working with some of the most-respected names in the logistics market. Passionate about logistics, Aaron is highly regarded throughout the industry for his recruitment capabilities. This is thanks to his consistent success building commercial teams for various start-up and corporate companies globally.

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