01 Oct 2019 By By Hayley Cowburn
You probably have an action plan for your warehouse, stock, marketing and how long you’re going to put off your own shopping, but how can you alleviate the pressure of Christmas on your packing stations? Here are some of our tips and the most recent Statista stats we could get our hands on without the extortionate premium membership:
Number One: Inventory Preparedness
We’ll assume you’ve already done this, but forecasting the inventory you will need based on historical sales data will be the number one key to avoid delays and maintain a healthy stock balance. Also, consider the organisation of your warehouse; it might be more efficient to move high demand Christmas items closer together or closer to the despatch point.
Test Your Hardware, Software & Equipment
Sod’s law thrives at Christmas. Make sure you to check all of your key warehouse equipment way ahead of peak periods – leaving plenty of times for repairs or replacements. Also, check if you have any backlogged issues with your software or changes you might need to resolve for it to keep up at Christmas.
Add a Backup Courier
Shipster customers often elect to have a “backup courier” the year-round that they only use and pay for at peak seasons. There might be a more suitable shipping service you can use to get orders out quicker or a more cost-efficient service for bigger, multi-item shipments.
Add Temporary Additional Dispatch Stations
This is where your boost in efficiency can become exponential. By adding an additional packing station, you instantly complete an extra chunky % of shipments per minute. Avoid queues at your existing stations or perhaps even assign one station for next day deliveries. The additional station could be used for training or deactivated the rest of the year until Valentines Day!
Optimize the Packing Area
Make sure everything at each packing station is insanely organised, enforce rules that mean equipment will never leave the packing bench it is assigned to. Look into alternative smart storage solutions such as multipurpose roll stands for the paper, tape, guillotining and suspended tool holders. The less stuff you can have sitting on the table the quicker and more freely your staff can move.
Instil some Christmas Cheer
Remind your staff that you are a team on a mission with an end goal that benefits everyone. Decide how you want to reward their efforts: a Christmas do? A bigger bonus? Festive snacks? The promise of staying on after Christmas for temps? Thank them from the bottom of your heart, put up Christmas tree and wear some tinsel; the power of positive emotion and sharing a little joy should not go underestimated! It’s true that happy workers are productive workers.
The UK Office for National Statistics reports in recent years, higher spending is being repeatedly observed in November and lower spending in December. This illustrates the move in Christmas purchases to earlier in the year (perhaps because of Black Friday). The office also states that online retail accounted for 20% of total retail in December 2018 (Retail sales, Great Britain: December 2018). So, as an eCommerce business with all this data working in your favour, it’s time to prepare for earlier deliveries and leave Christmas Eve to Santa.
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