Even though the Unite Union has ruled out fuel strikes around Easter, was the last few week’s panic-buying a sign of the utter chaos that is yet to come?You can’t help but wonder what you can do to help prevent a fuel strike affecting your business. Should you take the “jerry can approach” too or would you be adding “fuel to the fire” by doing so – pardon the pun. Should the talks planned for after Easter break-down, Unite has retained the right to call a strike. So, should this happen, how badly will it affect your business? … and if you’re thinking, ‘not very much’, how can you be sure? As a business, the sensible thing to do, is to maintain continuous operational efficiency, so that you can ensure your business will run smoothly through any unexpected circumstances that may arise. But how can IT help? Whilst Merlin cannot turn the tide of increasing fuel bills nor stop unions from striking, it can assist in the planning of efficient delivery routing of vehicles to ensure the greatest number of orders can be delivered to awaiting customers, using links to Google Maps to achieve the best, most fuel efficient route available. One missed motorway junction or a badly planned route can burn unnecessary fuel, increase tyre wear and an overloaded lorry can cost a company dearly. By investing in Merlin’s “Delivery/Van Routing Module” module, you can manage the delivery of customers’ orders more effectively, promise more accurate delivery times and be more efficient with your transport costs (including fuel consumption), helping you to utilise your resources and raise the bar for customer service. Sales staff can similarly plan their field sales calls to the same degree of accuracy and efficiency; our Communications team can even advise on the best e-meeting software and video conferencing equipment, so that you do not need to leave the office in the first place, yet still keep in regular visual contact with customers, suppliers and colleagues. For more information on how to beat the panic-buying through IT investment, call the Merlin Team on 01246 457150.