Holiday 2017 is approaching faster than a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. Jeff Jones, Saddle Creek’s vice president of business development, recently shared order fulfillment tips with MultiChannel Merchant to help you prepare for the most wonderful time of the year.
The following is an excerpt from his blog post. . .
5 Steps to Fine-Tune Peak Holiday Season Fulfillment
Successful fulfillment begins with strategic and tactical planning well in advance of the holiday. Take time now to identify objectives and the steps needed to improve holiday fulfillment for the coming year.
Below is a blueprint for achieving optimal holiday fulfillment performance:
Assemble the Necessary Resources
Take stock of facilities and equipment. Confirm that there is enough space available to handle increased holiday volume and that it is configured for optimal order processing. Verify that there is enough equipment on hand to accommodate the additional volume and source extra forklifts, handhelds, etc. Identifying and addressing these needs ahead of time can prevent major headaches at the height of the holiday season.
Third-party partners often have the flexibility to accommodate the ebb and flow of peak holiday season volume, helping to meet customers’ peak requirements without adding overhead costs.
Strengthen Your Systems
Systems-based planning plays a critical role in successful holiday fulfillment. Check that your software is capable of handling the increased volume. Data-tracking metrics are also essential for identifying issues and addressing them quickly. If a third-party partner is used, ensure that their systems are effectively integrated.
Information is key. Sophisticated systems ensure real-time visibility, accurate reporting and the ability to optimize inventory across multiple fulfillment sources.
Take time to evaluate fulfillment processes and operations. Fine-tune receiving to ensure that incoming products are compliant (i.e. correctly bar coded and packaged) so they can be put into stock quickly for an efficient turnaround.
Evaluate picking and packing processes to ensure optimal efficiencies. Be prepared for backorders and returns. An experienced fulfillment partner can share best practices and offer solutions to specific challenges.
Be prepared to handle a sizable surge in order volume, deliver the right products on time at a reasonable cost, and ensure customer satisfaction. Read the full article for more holiday readiness tips.