The peak sale season is coming – did you know it’s only a month to Black Friday and 10 weeks to Christmas? Have you even thought about the January sales?
Retail stores and vendors are already in full preparation for the upcoming holiday season. It may only be mid-October but windows and shop interiors are already being decorated with bright lights and Christmas decorations. Not only is the retail segment preparing for a busy holiday season but importers and 3PL providers are bracing for a surge of orders during this peak sale season..
As a third-party logistics company, if you aren’t yet planning for the rush that’s only around the corner, you might want to look at the tips below. When it comes to logistics, you need to be ahead of the game. By efficiently handling the high volumes of orders that flow through your warehouse during peak season, you’ll enjoy the spoils of higher production, correct shipments and overall customer/client satisfaction.
Fortunately there is still time to get on top of things and help you prepare for the peak sale season to come so that you won’t be drowning in orders with peak sale season demands.
Don’t delay – It’s time to get ready and you can keep the following tips for next year so that you can start planning earlier if need be.
1. IT Systems and Connections
One thing that you don’t want to have happen when the full onslaught of orders comes in is for your system to go down. Whether it’s a network issue or something wrong with the hardware, any delay can be costly, particularly during this time of year.
If you haven’t done so already, now is when you should be monitoring and updating your connections to make sure that they are in tip top shape when your orders start piling up.
Also take the time to check out all components of your warehouse management systems, particularly how they interact with your customers and suppliers. Check in with them to see if anything is not working properly so that you can correct it ASAP.
Investing in WMS solutions that can handle the large amounts associated with peak sale season increases fulfillment success for both you and your clients.
2. Software Updates & E-Commerce Engines
With online shopping becoming bigger every year, it’s more crucial than ever to check on your e-commerce engines, most notably the shopping cart. Customers will be filling out orders and sending them at all hours of the day, so you have to be ready to handle the load while also providing an excellent experience for the user. Unhappy customers will not return again and will shop elsewhere in the future.
If your e-commerce software had any problems last year, be sure to check and see if they have been corrected for this year. Also, if necessary, upgrade to a newer system so that you can avoid lag times and delays.
3. Staff Training
Fulfilment is one of the foundations of your business, but you shouldn’t let the peak sale season affect how well you manage your inventory. Too often, employees are rushed during the busy season, meaning that standards fall and items get damaged or destroyed.
Analyse how well you did last year and then create benchmarks for your employees to follow this upcoming season. Ensure you set aside sufficient time to properly train your staff and any additional agency staff that come in to help at peak times.
4. Happy Workers
In many warehouses, especially during peak seasons, it’s important to understand the importance of employee engagement as it aligns with retention and productivity for your business. It’s not realistic to expect your employees to be engaged if they’re not happy in their work.
Happy workers work harder because they appreciate their workplace and want to contribute. They will have fewer accidents because they’re more focused and are far less likely to throw ‘sickies’ or, worse, leave. Investing in worker happiness is an investment in a long term, stable workforce.
5. Talk to Your Partners
Now is the time to communicate with them about their needs and what you can do to make everything run smoother. One of the biggest side effects of online shopping is that more items than ever are being shipped by small parcel companies to fulfil next day deliveries etc. As such, you want to reach out to your partners and work with them to ensure that they are prepared to handle the rush as well. At the end of the day, it’s your reputation on the line.
6. Upgrade Your Warehouse Management System
Are you currently capable of handling a peak sale season rush? If tomorrow your number of orders tripled, would you be able to stay on top of it? If not, then you might need to look at your WMS and see what has to be improved.
Consider investigating the possibility of replacing your WMS with an adaptable, flexible system that can help position your business to better leverage your supply chain and take advantage of new business opportunities. Cloud systems can offer many benefits that include easy and rapid installation and deployment, as well as regular upgrades.
Don’t delay – It’s time to get ready
Even though we are still a month or so away from the onslaught of the peak sale season for shopping and shipping, it is never too early to develop a plan of action and get your company ready for success.
With forward thinking and a willingness to improve your processes, you should take your mistakes from each year and find ways to improve year on year – ensuring your businesses increases profitability and stays one step ahead of your competition.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.