Are London businesses prepared to overcome the hurdles of the Olympic Lanes?

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Much has been made of the positive impact the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will have on the UK economy, with estimates predicting it will deliver a £16.5bn boost by 2017. However, the introduction of 30 miles of 'Games Lanes' and the 109 mile long Olympic Route Network could be a significant economic challenge for many London-based businesses now facing transport restrictions, such as loading bans, at the height of a busy summer.
Despite reassurance from the London 2012 organisers that disruptions will be kept to a minimum, it is clear that many businesses have concerns about the negative impact it could have. There have been fears about the delivery of everything from bread to blood! Recent figures from Zurich have revealed that irrespective of the Olympics, supply chain disruption is costing mid-size UK companies £200,000 per year so these figures could be even worse for 2012. For those businesses reliant on logistics, have they had adequate support and how are they preparing/adapting to the challenges?

Razat Gaurav, from supply chain specialists JDA, argues that if businesses are to avoid severe business disruption during the games they need to:

  • Ensure they have got a logistics contingency plan.  The Olympic Route Network and "Games Lanes" will impact significantly on goods coming in and out of the capital so businesses may need to source different suppliers.  This will also impact on businesses outside of the London as they may well have to change their transportation routes.
  • Use the two week period leading up to the start of the 2012 Games to test their contingency plans.  It is much better to do scenario planning and solve potential issues then rather than during the Games themselves.
  • Establish what times the 'Lanes' are likely to be at their most busy and at the same time build a better picture of customer demand.  This means that businesses can make their distribution networks more efficient, meaning that the correct goods are on the shelf at the correct time.

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