In this fast-paced holiday season where merchandise and products virtually fly off the shelves, staying fully stocked and ready for high-volume, sudden orders could spell the difference between satisfying customers and never seeing them ever again. Therefore, aside from staying fully stocked with merchandise as well as packaging and industrial supplies to help your warehouse run smoothly, you also should sort out and optimise your warehouse in preparation for this holiday season.
Customers want their products on stock, on price and on time. If your warehouse isn’t properly optimised, you’re going to suffer losses and missed opportunities to please your customers as you fumble with incomplete orders, damaged products, out-of-stock items and delayed deliveries. To help warehouse managers and entrepreneurs, we came up with some tips and insights on ensuring that your warehouse is ready for the holidays.
Anticipate the volume surge.
Expect the surge in order volumes and frequencies as the holidays approach. Use industry data or previous annual reports to know just what sort of drastic change you need to expect. Stock up accordingly on products, common packaging materials like cardboard boxes, strapping, void fills and adhesives.
Get ready to hire temporary staff.
Overworked employees are more prone to work hazards and committing mistakes. Ensure that your work shifts are properly balanced to meet the demands of your business without sacrificing the service quality and integrity. Hire skilled workers, preferably those who have worked in your company in the past.
Deploy an inventory/warehouse management system.
There are plenty of useful applications and programs out in the market that can help you monitor your inventory, track sales and deliveries, predict product volumes and automate common warehouse processes. Often cloud-based as well as compatible with other business management systems and other technologies, inventory management systems improve operations by providing users with an overview of what’s going on inside the warehouse, giving managers complete information and helping them make more efficient and effective decisions.
Scrutinise the workflows and the common processes.
The holiday season is a wonderful time to find choke points and problem areas in your business. As problems become more evident with the spike in orders and deliveries, opportunities to criticise workflows and streamline processes also arise. Identify gaps and lags in your business operations and find ways to simplify or smoothen them way before the peak of the holiday rush.
Mind your layout.
Sort out your warehouse and place fast-moving items near delivery bays. Using the data from your inventory management system, previous holiday seasons and industry trends, improve your layout and remove obstacles within your warehouse. Optimising your physical spaces within the warehouse and orienting your staff accordingly boosts operational efficiency.
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