With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing your warehouse for Christmas. This festive period is a particularly busy time for warehouses due to a significant increase in demand. In order to keep up with the Christmas rush and ensure workers remain safe in the chaos, warehouses must prepare and implement a Christmas strategy plan.
For many manufacturers, suppliers and retailers the run up to Christmas is their busiest time of the year, and the period where they make the most of their money. All areas of the business need to be running as efficiently and effectively as possible at this time of year, to reduce costs, generate more sales and increase revenue. To help you prepare your warehouse for Christmas we have compiled a list of tips so your warehouse can remain safe and thrive throughout the holiday season.
Tips for preparing your warehouse for Christmas
During the Christmas period, warehouses can expect an increase in demand due to a boost in online sales. Most warehouses see this increase year on year so should prepare the Christmas stock inventory sufficiently.
Warehouses can use previous years’ sales reports to project accurate product quantities. Identifying customer buying behaviour during the holiday season allows your warehouse to ensure they are adequately stocked.
If warehouses understock products, they risk missed sales opportunities and a negative customer experience. Likewise, if products are overstocked, warehouse cash flow will be left on the shelf and high storage costs may be incurred.
Warehouse management software (WMS) is an automated system that allows warehouses and their workers to operate effectively and fulfil objectives through peak demand.
A WMS system digitalises all stock so it can report in real-time and show an accurate inventory level, allowing you to review automatic reports when projecting sales.
An organised warehouse is one of the most important factors in the efficient running of a warehouse. Organisation in the warehouse is important all year round but is crucial to smooth warehouse operations during busier periods.
For example, you can review sales from previous years to identify which products are commonly purchased together and consider placing them within close proximity to each other.
Best-selling items should be easily accessible and placed nearest the dispatch area. Using an organised system allows for quicker processing times and improved productivity.
An organised warehouse can help reduce errors and consequently reduce returns and reprocessing times. It can also improve dispatch time and create strong customer relationships.
A WMS system scans every stock item upon entrance to the warehouse and records its final location. Using a WMS allows warehouses to easily locate stock and ensure 100 per cent pick accuracy.
If your warehouse is struggling to meet demand during busy seasons, you could be limiting your sales as a result.
Warehouse management software eliminates the natural risk of human error and increases efficiency through its automated nature.
Based on sales projections your warehouse can estimate the increase in staff needed to ensure safe and productive warehouse management at Christmas.
It is important to maintain a safe working environment for workers during the holiday season; hiring additional warehouse workers can relieve the pressure.
New hires should understand the operations of your warehouse and thorough training should be provided to new warehouse workers so they can work as productively as possible.
Warehouse management software is quick and easy to deploy allowing warehouse businesses to automate many processes within the picking and packing stages.
This system can support new workers and ensure orders are fulfilled accurately for a seamless experience.
Utilise your WMS when preparing your warehouse for Christmas
Using a warehouse management system (WMS) means that warehouses are far better organised, and that warehouse staff can pick, pack and despatch items much quicker and more accurately than without. Productivity and accuracy is much higher, leading to faster processing and more satisfied customers.
Not all companies store their own stock or have their own warehouse, and so rely on fulfilment centres, ecommerce warehouses, or third party logistics companies to fulfil their customer orders, especially at Christmas. Using WMS software can even reduce the space required for storage, or the number of warehouse operatives needed. With increased productivity comes the ability to handle more customers and more goods, generating more revenue.
There is a lot to consider when preparing your warehouse for Christmas, but these tips will ensure your business is well-prepared for the Christmas chaos. After the rush is over, make a note of what worked well for your warehouse so you can implement the same strategy next year.
For more information about Optima warehouse management software and how it can support your business, get in touch today.