The fourth quarter is the most important for many businesses. Every aspect of your enterprise must run smoothly to make a reasonable profit. As such, you want supply chain services that create a great experience for your customers, and we want to provide it. Here are some steps you can take today that will help optimize your supply chain for the 2021 holiday season:
Prepare for Price Increases
You’re likely already aware that shipping rates are on the rise, but in case you don’t know, we aren’t expecting relief from the continuing increases before the end of the year. That means stocking up early to avoid expedited charges could save you big, or you may want to consider increased pricing for the holiday season. Either way, know that working with your 3PL team will give you a better chance of negotiating shipping prices because of their ability to buy in bulk and pool the resources of the rest of their clientele in addition to your own needs.
Improve Inventory Management
Consumption rates for the holiday season saw a sharp increase in 2020, and it’s expected to happen again. As families and friends are unable to gather in the numbers that were typical historically, many have chosen to supplement their fondness through gift giving. This means that your usual demand forecasting may not be as reliable for your team. As such, we suggest a higher level of safety stock at your warehouse to help cover gaps in deliveries from your manufacturer that can be expected due to the supply chain labor shortage. It’s also a great time to adjust your ABC priorities to optimize your warehouse according to which products are most important to your customers around the holiday season.
Familiarize Your Team with Transparency Tools
Tis the season for lost shipments, doorstop package thieves and delayed deliveries. To provide the best possible service to your customers, make sure that your team can access their tracking tools and navigate them easily. This will allow them to quickly track down the status of a package in question and help give customers updated ETAs or process a new order in the case the delivery was completed successfully.
Shore Up Security
Package thieves run rampant on doorstops, but they’re just as susceptible in the warehouse or on a truck if they’re not protected properly. At MWCold, we believe in building a culture of integrity and our clients’ security starts at the hiring phase. We work to create secure space both in our team and with robust safety training. Reinforcing basics like strict adherence to GAAP and security checklists can go a long way, but we are also invested in security technologies such as motion-sensing lighting and cameras that can help deter thieves as well as catch them.
Diversify Your Distribution Network
As previously mentioned, supply chains are experiencing a lot of volatility between the spike in shipping rates and the ongoing labor shortage. The best way to ensure that your freight is able to move as quickly as possible is by having a variety of carriers, modes of transit, and more generous timelines. Working with a third party logistics provider is one of the best ways to connect your business to carriers around the world and pool resources with other businesses for better supply chain technology that can help optimize your distribution.
You can probably tell that some supply chains are going to experience complications this holiday season, but knowing what you’re up against can make a world of difference. Having a team of logistics experts on your side will give you an edge over the competition. Reach out to our team of supply chain specialists to learn more about what your business can do to improve your customers’ holiday experience.