4over png logo-2

Preparing for the Unexpected


Logistics Glitches and Other Business Challenges

Does your business have a plan for what to do when things go awry? That means a clear set of instructions that everyone knows about and can follow when disruptions to the normal working environment happen. It needs to be more than some sticky notes on a whiteboard or a set of bullet points. There is no time like now to assess your risk points and define the processes that will keep your business running smoothly no matter what the universe throws at you. 


Assess for Success

Your business should have a business recovery plan to document what to do when there is a disruption. We tend to think of hurricanes, tornados, floods, and fires, but they are a small percentage of the things that can disrupt your business. Missing parts for a device, delayed delivery of new blades for a cutter, power outages due to construction accidents, and blocked building access due to unanticipated issues are only some of the challenges printers face daily. You cannot plan for every possibility, but you can build a process to address anything. 


Before trying to identify everything that can happen, start with the highest level. The chart shown above is one approach, but you may find a different path depending on the size of your business, the number of locations you support, your current business recovery plan, and your partner network. In each box indicating activation of a recovery plan, consider what you have documented, what is not documented, and your path to defining what the team should do when faced with these situations. 

Let’s do a deep dive into the question of shipping disruption as an example. Can you ship finished goods from your location? Do you have alternatives? 

The answer may be more complex than yes or no. Some work may ship from 4over on your behalf, while other work may ship from your shop. You may also have shipping relationships with a variety of providers, including USPS. Start by listing all of your shipping options, even ones you know of but don’t use. 




Shipping Methods

Support Contact

This is the company you do business with directly. 

This might be a contractual relationship with contracts guiding their obligations and yours, or you may be an occasional user who calls when you need a pickup. Be detailed. 

Do they pick up, or do you deliver to a common location? Do you pack boxes and tubes for delivery? Do you palletize? Identify how you deliver material to each shipper, including the trucks you operate.

Who do you call in case something goes wrong? Who will call you if there is a problem? 









Owned Trucks


Courier Services


Private Carriers


This table will help you with the big picture; let’s look at some scenarios you may want to test. 

  • Weather: This is more than hurricanes and tornados but includes the usual weather cycles that bring snow, heat, hail, and floods. Weather issues can disrupt shipping of all kinds. If a truck can’t make it from your location to the delivery address because roads are closed or travel is too dangerous, what is your liability? 

    Start by looking at options. Remember that your 4over team is there to help and can provide shipping options based on their size and many locations. They may be able to take on work you usually print and arrange delivery from their sites. In addition, determine which of your shippers offers alternatives, like flying or putting it on a common carrier. Consider relationships with freight forwarders to access their network of options.

    The good news is that weather usually cycles, but it may take more than 24 hours. As you build a more extensive list of delivery options, consider how you communicate with your customers and how you codify your obligations. No one wants to miss a delivery, but documenting and gaining agreement with customers on the steps you will take based on the anticipated length of the disruption and available options should be part of every contract, even on your online sales portals.
  • Disasters: Some disruptions are not related to weather. Earthquakes, gas explosions, and a stack of unimaginable things can happen that could make it impossible for you to ship work to customers. You attain disaster status when the disruption will be long-term. A true disaster may require rethinking how the business operates and the operating location.

Finally, you may be wondering if the new AI technologies can help you identify risks and form a plan. The answer is that they can, but like most new technology, there is a significant opportunity to make mistakes. Simply asking ChatGPT to build you a Shipping Disruption Plan or prompting Bard to write a guide to shipping disruption caused by weather could produce a good set of guidelines, but unless you test the recommended process, you will not know if it can work practically when needed. 

Your 4over team is always available to discuss your needs. Contact your representatives to check on your options if a challenge happens. 

Keep Reading

4over Holiday Operations Schedule

All 4over locations are closed on the following public holidays in 2024: January 1 New Years Day May 27 Memorial Day July 4 Independence Day July 5 Day After Independence Day September 2 Labor Day...

Read More

4over Pick-Up Hours

Pickup hours listed below are from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. For a list of holidays, please view our Holiday Schedule. City Address Hours Arlington, TX 2112 West Division St. Arlington,...

Read More

Ecommerce With Printer Bridge: Your Site. We Print. You Profit.

The rise of Amazon and other online retailers already had the general public beginning to look to the web to meet their buying needs. However, this “digital transformation” of how consumers shop was...

Read More

As one of North America’s largest trade-only printers and a trusted source for print fulfillment since 2001, 4over helps print, design, and other creative services resellers grow profitable businesses. We do this by offering a vast selection of quality print products at guaranteed trade-only prices. Our expansive e-commerce catalog includes everything from standard marketing collateral like business cards and brochures, to harder-to-find specialty, large format, and promotional products.

Our capabilities span gang run offset, digital, grand format, and promotional printing across six production facilities, staffed by experienced, committed operations teams. With locations across North America, state-of-the-art equipment such as powerful Incas and Scodix UV machines, and fast turnarounds, 4over offers our customers savings, selection, and scale. We serve large franchise printers, single print shops, print brokers, graphic designers, photographers, and every type of print reseller in between. Learn more at Trade.4over.com

1225 Los Angeles Street, Glendale, California 91204, United States

©2023 4OVER LLC, Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement | CA Supply Chain Act