If you are a business owner, logistics or manager, then Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner. Right now you are busy working on sales strategies, promotions, special discounts and social media marketing tactics. A good holiday sales season can save a less than stellar year and this is why you cannot afford to miss this double opportunity. We are talking about two celebrations less than 1 week apart, when people go shopping in greater numbers than any time throughout the year.
But the question is: are you sure your business is ready to make the most of the holiday sales season? Have you planned for every contingency and have you considered how your warehousing and logistics operations will be affected by the surge in daily orders? Looking back on our experience as logistics and packaging experts at Logistic Packaging, we can testify that no sales season is similar to the previous one, that there are always new challenges to face.
We believe that this is the ideal moment to share with you some practical advice which will help you have a successful holiday sale season this coming winter.
1. Have Your Holiday Stocks Ready for Your Customers Ahead of Time
The holiday season rush starts earlier year by year. This trend is in line with your customers’ shopping behavior. Various surveys indicate that people want to be over and done with the holiday gift shopping at least one month ahead of the holidays. It makes sense – they want to spend that special time with their loved ones, not running from mall to mall or from one online store to another looking for gifts.
This means that your business should also be ready ahead of time to fulfill these shopping needs, with adequate stocks of products, sales agents, and upgraded logistics operations to fulfill the need for more and faster deliveries.
2. Upgrade Your Warehousing Operations to Face the Surge of Activity
How many orders per day can your warehouse prepare, package and ship? Can it handle ten times the workload? Probably not, without some upgrades and enhancements in its facilities and workflow.
If you were considering adopting the latest technologies in RFID labeling, or augmented reality order picking, this is the best moment to do it. You will get a first hand experience of their benefits as your operations move smoothly through a hectic sales season without interruptions, delays, and errors. Instead of hiring temporary workers for this season, opt for the long term solution which will allow your existing workforce to become more efficient and productive.
3. Plan for the Extra Packaging Materials You Will Need
Your current batch of returnable packaging materials is just sufficient for regular shipments of orders. What about the extra orders you will have to deliver in the holiday sales season? You do not want to fill up your warehouse with an unnecessary number of pallet boxes, containers and plastic pallets.
This is why you should set a meeting with your packaging supplier and discuss the best options, such as space saving foldable pallet boxes and collapsible containers. These packaging materials will serve you for a long time as reliable replacements of other types of packages and will always generate a full ROI and a low total cost of ownership.
4. Let Experts Help You Improve Your Logistic Operations
What if your tests, simulations and scenarios show that your logistic operations won’t be able to scale up to sustained the increased activity? It is time to call in the experts. The packaging and logistics consultants at Logistic Packaging have stepped in on several occasions for last minute adjustments to a clients’ work flow between the production facility, warehouse and distribution network.
We are trained to see every small glitch or flaw which slows down a supply chain or could, over time, lead to a total shut down of the activity flow. Our advice is always aimed as a long term improvement, not just a quick fix for a particular situation.
5. Make Provisions for Returned Products
A busy holiday sales season always results in quite a large quantity of returned products. This does not mean that the products are damaged – most of them are returned gifts which were not to the liking of the recipient. You should have clear protocols for dealing with them: repackaging and selling them as new products, discount sales as re-sealed products, or sending them back to the production facility to be reworked into new products.
Not sure how to handle the increased activity during this holiday sales season? The experts at Logistic Packaging are ready to help you get ready to fulfill all orders on time, so send us an email or schedule a Skype video conference with us!