How to Prepare Your Warehouse for the Holiday Rush
As the holidays approach, peak season begins for the retail industry, which means that warehouses get flooded with orders. Customers start ordering hundreds of thousand of products for the holidays at the end of fall and through December. In this post we will look at the holiday rush warehousing needs.
Holiday Rush Warehousing Needs
To accommodate this significant scale-up of order volume, it is essential for warehouse staff to remain diligent. They must manage inventories/order fulfillment with the utmost attention to detail.
Specific processes must be modified and scaled up as needed. Companies must implement measures to ensure everything stays on track and orders are met during this hectic season.
After all, customer expectations are exceptionally high when waiting on meaningful gifts and other holiday-related merchandise. So, the stakes are higher for all involved in the order fulfillment process.
What are the most important ways to prepare your warehouse for the holiday rush?
Although the holidays are a challenging time for any warehouse, surviving this peak season does not have to be impossible. With the right amount of preparation to handle the influx of orders, your warehouse can thrive during this crazy time of year.
The following are some tips to help you prepare your warehouse for the holiday rush:
1. Hire Seasonal Workers
Don’t find yourself understaffed when the holiday season strikes. Having enough hands on deck could seriously make or break your chances of successfully getting through such a busy period.
Although your staff may work extra hours during the holidays, many will want to spend time with their families.
Even if they do work extra hours, the dollars spent to cover all the work needed would be expensive. Rather than dealing with the expense of overtime, hiring and training a significant number of temporary staff makes more sense.
Having more than enough employees on hand will benefit you in many ways during this time of year. If the seasonal cold and flu go around, you will have backup options if people call in sick. Plus, having a larger workforce will remove some of the strain and burden from everyone. Why? Because the work environment becomes less stressful and more productive.
2. Check Your Systems Ahead of the Holidays
Avoid having one of your systems go down in the middle of the busiest time of the year.
That is why everything from your website to API, tracking software, EDIs, retailers to WMS must be working in sync before heading into the holiday season.
Something as simple as a network issue or a lag caused by old hardware could create a snowball effect. One that quickly unravels your entire order fulfillment process. So, it is essential to do whatever is necessary to work out all the kinks ahead of time. This will ensure smooth sailing until the end of the peak period.
Assess how everything performed during previous rush periods and thoroughly check the components of each system. Pay particular attention to how they interacted with your customers and suppliers.
Give yourself enough time to fixed and upgrade what ever needs it before things get too busy.
3. Update Your Floor Plan
Throughout the holiday season, your warehouse will likely be housing a significant amount of inventory. More than usual, which means it might be necessary to move some things around to ensure that everything fits.
Rather than just cramming things in wherever they fit, plan and develop an updated holiday floor plan. Plan for the season that accommodates efficient inventory management without reducing performance. Invest in storage containers or shelving units so you have more places to put the influx of stock.
When organizing a holiday floor plan, consider placing popular items towards the front of the warehouse. Alternatively, organizing everything based on department or size might make the most sense.
4. Train Your Staff on Handling Procedures
When orders are coming in much faster and more frequently, everyone feels the pressure of this influx. Unfortunately, that too often leads to workers rushing to get everything they need.
Rushing can cause standards to drop, damaging or destroying items. To avoid this outcome, put time and effort into training staff to meet your standards without becoming overwhelmed.
In addition, provide comprehensive training on your existing handling procedures. Then develop new procedures that help mitigate potential issues like product damage. Next, test out these new procedures before the busyness of the holidays picks up.
How Wills Transfer Can Help Satisfy Your Holiday Rush Warehousing Needs
Once the holiday passes, the orders do not slow, as post-Christmas sales keep this busy period going for January.
If you have concerns about keeping up with the demands of the holiday rush but want to ensure that your customers receive their orders promptly, another possible solution is to look into third-party warehousing services.
Services like those offered by Wills Transfer Limited.
We have a team of qualified warehousing elves who have experience optimizing order fulfillment, even during the holidays.
Wills Transfer also operates multiple state-of-the-art warehousing facilities equipped with all the latest technology. Technology to help facilitate and organized inventory management that leads to fast and efficient order fulfillment.
Our pick-and-pack services will benefit you during the holiday season too. And, we will complete every step required to get your orders ready to ship out to your customers. Because of how vital it is to keep a close eye on inventory when it is flying off the shelves, our inventory management services will be of great help to you and your business. We will help you decrease your operational costs while increasing your fulfillment efficiency.
For more information about how our warehousing services can help or to learn more about the various types of services we offer, call Wills Transfer Limited at 613-704-7549 or contact us here.