With fall just around the corner, so many companies are preparing for a rise in revenue as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Years all drive up their sales. There’s no question that the sales market increases around the holidays, so how can logistics best prepare for the busiest shipping season of the year?
The days leading up to Christmas just aren’t the busiest anymore. In fact, for Americans, it’s the entire season. Many Americans like to start their shopping as early as October to avoid the massive lines and crowds in stores. Some start around Black Friday as they anxiously wait in hour long lines to get the best deal of the year on toys, electronics, and more. This drastic increase in shopping not only drives sales, but also raises the demand for shipping.
Before the holidays actually arrive, companies have an intense strategy to ensure they’re ready for eager shoppers wanting to check items off of their list, focusing on methods of shipping on both the ground and the air. Let’s see how companies can prepare to avoid delays, through both approaches, and get both cargo delivered on time.
Supply chain managers take an intense look at their inventory and seasonal stocking plans. Companies need to plan ahead to ensure that their inventory is ready for the stress that e-commerce puts on deliveries during the holidays. With such a high-volume of orders, preparing the supply chain for busy seasons is crucial to avoiding massive delays or even running out of stock.
To do this, supply chain management needs to look at a few things: data, flexibility, suppliers and connections, timelines, and the final tracking of the outcome. Trends and data will allow a company to know what consumers are expecting to purchase, and can help companies prepare their inventory accordingly. In the aftermath, companies should track the outcome in order to have it ready for the following year.
It’s important for companies not to lose proper communication among the holiday chaos. Although this is not a hard tactic used to prepare, it’s still just as important. Companies need to have backup plans, and even crisis plans for the holidays. With a massive influx of sales and orders, companies should expect returns, recalls, damaged products, and even unhappy customers. Not only is this a stressful time for companies, but the holidays are also stressful on consumers. With such heavy pressure, the number one thing a company can do is remain flexible.
One way to make sure that a company doesn’t fall behind during the high-volume season is to hire seasonal staff. Additional staff allows the company to cover more ground and get more eyes and hands on every area of the company. During the holidays, shipping is at its peak. To avoid delays and angry consumers, companies hire more staff. UPS announced recently that they will hire a large amount of seasonal staff to prepare for the holidays. Companies hire for various staffed positions due to the immense amount of more work that shipping’s busiest season brings.