The festive season is a great time of year, and we are very much present for the holiday cheer but that isn’t to say it is without stresses. Often its the departments that deal with inventory and operations that could be accused of Grinch-esque behaviours around this time of year, because a smooth holiday season takes time and planning.
For many brands the holiday period will be the most profitable of the year and a real motivator for all teams, so it’s essential everything falls into place. This holiday period is set to be slightly different as rumours of a recession and inflation change consumer spending habits at virtually a daily rate, but planning effectively ahead of time will make sure that those orders make it to your customer’s doors on time.
Bank on your bestsellers
With concerns around tightening of spending with a recession and inflation, people will be more hesitant to try new products as they want to feel like they are putting their money to good use. Bestselling products feel like safer purchases to the consumer and are easier to market. Additionally having extra stock of a bestselling product is only a good thing for whenever replenishment is needed.
Apply the data
Deep dive into patterns predicted through data along your supply chain, increased visibility will allow you to build systems to combat potential hurdles. Remember with Prediko you can build accurate revenue and inventory plans using our forecasting tools.
Learn from seasons past
Maybe it’s your first holiday season, in which case this you might not have learnings to apply, but if you have experiences to reflect on look back on those in detail. Perhaps there are lessons to improve internal organisation as well as inputs for your supply chain, and if necessary think about hiring extra support if it will relieve stress. Think about placing orders earlier with suppliers, make sure you’ve explained new packaging to your warehouse, as well as perhaps creating a full-time customer service rota internally to deal with increase queries and any return processing.
Support your warehouse
During the holiday season, think of your business and warehouse as one, working in sync to meet shared goals. Make sure you sign up to round the clock fulfilment if needed, and explain in detail the customer service processes you want implemented. We have provided an easy and shareable Buying Calendar, which is custom-made for your expected demand. You are able to share it with your partners to ensure greater visibility and this definitely includes your warehouse team.
Make shipping easy
Although insured shipping methods are an investment they will allow you further visibility to know inventory will make it on time once it has left your manufacturer. Live updates will let you take a breath amongst the end of year craziness.
Utilise your inventory streams
Position retailers to fill gaps in a worst case scenarios, understand where their stock is held, how easy it would be to access and what you would offer in return for claiming it if needed.
Diverse supply chain
This is integral to overall inventory health but during a peak period it applies even more so. Although logistically a supply chain feeding in from a variety of locations requires a higher degree of organisation, it will prevent a full blown inventory emergency if one supplier becomes unable to fulfil their work.
Late payment make life more difficult, and during the holiday period everyone wants to see their money ahead of the year end. Ensure your banking systems are optimised to make payments on time and efficiently.
Let us know how you’ve best managed the holiday period as well as any Christmas inventory miracles!