Blog Posts How Can We Scale for Holiday Fulfillment?
- Peak season volume can be overwhelming for fulfillment operations.
- Labor and returns are especially challenging.
- Planning for spikes can help to alleviate issues.
The 2021 holiday season is expected to break ecommerce records with projected digital sales of $207 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, according to Adobe Analytics data. What can fulfillment operations do to handle the rush of online shoppers?
Ben Coppolo, Saddle Creek’s Director of Solutions Development, recently shared tips for managing peak season fulfillment with Digital Commerce 360. Following is an excerpt…
PREPARING FOR PEAK SEASON FULFILLMENT
DC360: What can operations do to mitigate the impact of the current labor shortage?
Coppolo: Staffing is always a major peak season challenge, but it’s even more critical this year. Arrange for extra support well in advance and provide sufficient training and cross-training, so employees can hit the ground running.
Returns processing can be very labor intensive and often requires more experienced employees with strong decision-making skills, so you’ll need to factor that into your staffing plans.”
Ben Coppolo, Director of Solutions Development, Saddle Creek Logistics Services
Setting measurable and attainable performance goals can help to keep employees engaged and prevent burnout. Keep your team apprised of progress and reward them when they meet goals. Gift certificates or a catered meal, for example, can be great options.
Seasonal peaks also can provide an excellent short-term opportunity to give qualified employees more responsibility or leadership roles to help determine if they’re ready for advancement.
Peak sales periods can be stressful, so it’s essential for employees to feel supported. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and work alongside employees during significant spikes in order volume.
DC360: How can operations prepare for seasonal returns?
Coppolo: High holiday return volume is inevitable, so be prepared. Clearly define your return policy and explain it on your company website, packing slips, order confirmations and other communications. To make the process hassle-free, enclose return labels with shipments.
Returns processing can be very labor intensive and often requires more experienced employees with strong decision-making skills, so you’ll need to factor that into your staffing plans. And of course, you’ll need to coordinate reverse logistics with your parcel carriers.
There are countless factors to consider when planning for peak season, but incorporating these recommendations can help you stay on top of your game for holiday 2021 and beyond.
Read the full article on page 36 of the Digital Commerce 360 2021 Fulfillment Report.
Related to: Holiday Fulfillment, Labor Management, Managing Returns, Selling Online