Blog Posts A Checklist for Happy Holiday Fulfillment

Holiday 2019 is proving to be a record-setting season, well on the way to a projected $143.8 billion in revenue – up 14% over last year.

Significant spikes in seasonal sales volume put pressure retailers and brands to deliver. The secret to success? Focus on shoring up holiday fulfillment operations.

10 Tips for Fine-tuning Seasonal Fulfillment

For optimal fulfillment performance, follow these strategic steps:

  1. Start planning early – Begin strategic and tactical planning well in advance of the holiday to allow adequate time for implementation.
  2. Assemble necessary resources – Take stock of facilities and equipment and confirm that they can handle increased holiday volume.
  3. Strengthen systems – Confirm that your software is capable of handling increased volume. Data-tracking metrics are also essential for identifying issues and addressing them quickly.
  4. Streamline processes – Fine-tune receiving and evaluate picking and packing processes to ensure optimal efficiencies. Be prepared for backorders, returns, etc.
  5. Plan for contact center needs – To ensure a positive customer experience, consider needs for staffing, hours of operation, returns processes and more.
  6. Prepare for packaging – Consider any requirements for gift pack assembly, gift wrapping, etc. Stock up on common packaging supplies and identify any items requiring special orders or custom printing.
  7. Get all hands on deck – Arrange for extra staffing support well in advance and provide sufficient training and cross-training, so associates in all areas can hit the ground running and offer excellent service.
  8. Fine-tune delivery – Research holiday delivery options well in advance so you’re ready to meet customer expectations.
  9. Make communication a priority – Sharing information – both internally as well as externally with supply chain partners and customers – is a vital component of the fulfillment process.
  10. Seek out support – A third-party fulfillment provider can be a valuable ally for seasonal fulfillment, thanks to scalable space, advanced technology, flexible staffing, established relationships with suppliers and carriers, and familiarity with best practices.

For a more in-depth look at holiday fulfillment, read our whitepaper.