Holiday Supply Chain Scalability

Did you know that for most retailers, 40% of annual sales occur during November and December?  As a retailer, a three-fold increase in volume can create major stress on your supply chain.  Having a plan in place to handle the volume is crucial.  Here are 3 strategic tips to meet the holiday’s demands within your supply chain.

1.) Strive to deliver a consistent experience:  A customer shouldn’t notice a difference between ordering in July or December.  This should be the goal in each element of your supply chain, from an e-commerce platform to warehousing to transportation.  Having accurate and timely data available can help ensure that you have the adequate resources during exceptionally busy times and aren’t overextended during seasonal lulls.

2.) Increase system capabilities:  As activity and demand begin to ramp up, you need to be sure your technology is up to the task.  Increasing visibility and optimizing integration is rarely more vital than it is this time of the year.  Speak with your warehouse management system provider or 3PL to see if there are capabilities you are not currently taking advantage of.

3.) Optimize staffing:  Amazon recently announced it plans to hire 80,000 seasonal workers.  Having enough skilled workers across all points of the supply chain is key to handling the increased volume.  This is also a balancing act of acquiring the best possible talent and keeping your bottom line intact. 

Adequate planning and optimized operations can make this hectic time of the year more manageable.  For more information on how a 3PL can enhance your holiday and peak seasons, click here.