Blog Posts What Can Fulfillment Operations Do to Manage Seasonal Spikes?
- With record ecommerce sales projected for Holiday 2021, retailers and brands need to be prepared.
- Accurate forecasting can help fulfillment operations to plan for seasonal spikes.
- Fulfillment solutions should be scalable to accommodate peak order volume.
When designing a fulfillment solution, it’s important to keep your peak sales volume in mind. Your usual volume might be 10,000 orders a day, but what will you do when sales spike to 90,000?
– Ben Coppolo, Director of Solutions Development, Saddle Creek Logistics Services
U.S. holiday spending online will increase 10% over 2020. What can retailers and ecommerce brands do to help fulfillment operations prepare for the holiday rush? Ben Coppolo, Saddle Creek’s Director of Solutions Development, shares strategies for managing seasonal fulfillment in the latest issue of Digital Commerce 360.
Following is an excerpt…
Preparing for Peak Season Fulfillment
DC360: How should retailers and brands plan for spikes in order volume?
Coppolo: The best plans start with thorough data analysis. Make use of surveys, market analysis and other tools to ensure accurate forecasting. Understanding projected order volume will allow you to plan for space and staffing, material handling equipment, packaging, shipping, and returns.
Be sure to share your plans with fulfillment and transportation partners, so that they can prepare accordingly.
Of course, there will always be surprises, so you need to have contingency plans in place. For example, what will you do if there’s a snowstorm Thanksgiving weekend? How will you adjust routes? Will you hold trucks? How will you communicate with partners and customers?
DC360: What can fulfillment operations do to help scale?
Coppolo: When designing a fulfillment solution, it’s important to keep your peak sales volume in mind. Your usual volume might be 10,000 orders a day, but what will you do when sales spike to 90,000?
The best solutions can scale quickly and easily. Consider optimizing outbound SKUs by velocity or setting up work cells for peak season promotions, for example. Always approach process optimization with a Lean mindset. Look for opportunities to create efficiencies and minimize touches for put-away, picking, and packaging.
Remember to load test systems and automation to make sure they can support increased volume. It’s also wise to plan for more tech support for peak periods. For optimal results, involve engineering and technology teams as early as possible in the planning process.
For tips to help mitigate the impact of the current labor shortage and prepare for high holiday return volume, read the full article on page 36 of the Digital Commerce 360 2021 Fulfillment Report (registration required).Holiday Fulfillment, Managing Growth, Selling Online