Every sector has peak seasons where planning and preparation need to happen. In the supply chain, major events and peak seasons such as 11.11 Singles Day, Black Friday or festive season shopping means large volume of goods and items are moving in and out of a distribution center.
More than just the pressure and stress that it could bring, these peak seasons represent the peak income time for a corporation. The way you will handle it will mirror the income of your company after. So to better handle the needs of this usual scenario, it’s better to keep your supply afloat through major events and peak seasons.
Planning and Proactivity
Being proactive in the supply chain business means a lot. Starting late can make or break your company and it can greatly damage the image of your brand, not to mention the stress that it could bring to your employees. As much as you want to trust your instinct, it’s better to be methodical about planning your strategies.
One can start by using all the information and data gathered from the previous peak cycle and analyze them. This serves as a guide to help prepare for any unforeseen challenges and to have enough time to examine what has transpired in the past to help improve your plans for this season. Higher priority can be set for specific products during the event and the team can also scale up or down accurately to meet the present needs.
Should past data not be available, identifying weak points in your system might be more challenging. But preparation can still be done in the form of performing stress tests on your system. You can simulate your system running at peak volume before the rush starts – this can give you a basis, predicting where weak spots might occur.
Some seasonal events like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are recurring, so planning and proactive measures can be really helpful.
Staffing for Major Events
There are peak seasons where some stores earn almost 20 percent of their annual sales. In 2018, the National Retail Federation in US projected that its holiday sales were to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017, from a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.
The projected and expected sales increase during peak seasons call for an increase of manpower. Of course, you would want to make sure that your employees are staffed in the right bottleneck areas to handle the upcoming rush. Even if you are running an automated system, it may still be helpful to have a lean team that can handle any rush that comes in the way. It should be manageable; all you need to have is a little preparation.
Once you have reached the right implementation of staff, make a follow through by building a team motivation such as setting group benchmarks and KPIs to help them improve their performance.
Adapt and Analyze
By using Warehouse Management Systems, like WAMAS® from SSI SCHAEFER, you can learn from your own processes since these systems use analytics tools to visualize data, monitor product flow, and manage inventory. While data analysis takes a lot of weight off your shoulders, you should also have a flexible strategy that can help optimize any supply chain disruptions.
Changes on the needs in your supply chain doesn’t end with national and cultural events. A natural disaster or a new product craze can drastically affect the demands of the consumers.
No matter what the situation calls for, having a reliable warehouse management system designed for both manual and automated operations can help you stay afloat during peak events. Contact a competent consultant today to provide you with more assistance on this!