Preparation is extremely important in the run-up to busy seasonal promotions, as you need to maximise productivity to manage customer expectations and cope with increased demand.
Below, I’ll be taking you through some of the key areas you need to focus on to prepare your warehouse for these sales events.
1. Embrace technology
Having the right warehouse management system can be invaluable during your busiest periods. It can provide detailed and accurate information, from data records to real-time diagnostics and forecasting trends, all in one place. It can also allow you to control different areas of your warehouse, improving productivity.
2. Watch your stock levels
It’s important you have the correct stock to deal with the amount of orders you will realistically achieve. Ordering too little means you can’t fulfil orders; too much can be a waste of money and valuable warehouse space. Using inventory planning and forecasting software, which automatically calculates suggested purchasing amounts based on previous sales data, can ensure you get the balance right.
3. Reorganise your warehouse
You can save time during picking and packing by reorganising your warehouse. Keep items in the promotion together and close to the loading dock so your staff can get them out as quickly as possible, minimising delays. Then, move your add-on, upsell, and related items nearby so there’s less distance for them to travel.
4. Consider temporary staff
Temporary staff can help you during busier periods, but you need to be realistic about how many orders you're likely to receive and be careful not to hire too many or too few. Taking on seasonal staff can also lead to higher instances of theft and these workers may be less productive than a permanent workforce. So, make sure you provide a good working environment to motivate them and deter theft. This includes incentives and other employee benefits.
5. Focus on communication
You need to make sure that your staff can easily keep each other up to date and approach unforeseen issues as a team. In the weeks before your seasonal promotions, make sure that all your communications systems have been tested or upgraded. You may also want to consider organising extra training for your staff or booking a team-building event.
By addressing these key areas, you can be sure your warehouse will be able to handle even the busiest seasonal promotions of the year.
☛ Craig Powell is managing director of warehouse management system supplier Balloon One.