For many companies, businesses and organisations around the world, the time leading up to Christmas is often the busiest of the year. With the festive season comes a whole host of challenges and obstacles which businesses must be prepared for in order to ensure that they can meet their consumers demands, provide a great customer experience and have a successful end to the year.
Here we spoke to some expert courier services in Essex and put together some helpful tips, guidance and advice on how businesses can create an effective logistics and shipping strategy to help them to better manage the busy time ahead.
Preparation and Planning
Preparation is key and the more you do of it beforehand the better equipped you will be to deal with the surge in orders. This might involve looking at your team infrastructure, hiring more staff, contacting your 3PL and ordering extra stock and delivery supplies. Whatever you can do to plan and prepare for busy period will help to reduce productivity problems, issues and complaints so make sure that you invest the time needed to do so properly.
Look Back and Review
Spend some time looking back at last year’s Christmas period to review any shortfalls, errors or mistakes that occurred. It might be that last year you ran out of packaging supplies, were short staffed, had problems with your courier service or you had a lot of complaints about a specific issue.
By determining the areas that may have let you down before, you can work to put in place effective strategies that will help to avoid making the same mistakes this year and help to ensure a more successful season.
If you already have a contract with a 3PL (3rd party logistics) then it’s important to communicate with them in advance to clearly establish your expectations and deadlines for the Christmas season. By discussing these early on, you know that you are both on the same page which should reduce the chance of issues later on and allow them the time to make any adjustments they need to be able to accommodate your consignments.
Think about the way you communicate with your customers and what you can do to encourage early shopping. Maybe consider using discount codes or incentives to promote early purchases as this will not only help to spread out the orders but can also help to ensure there are enough stock units and if you need to order more in advance.
Christmas often involves a lot of last-minute purchases and panic buying which is why you must clearly manage customers’ expectations and advertise accurate lead times and cut off dates on your website, online shop or social media. This will help customers to make smart decisions on whether an item will make it to them in time and reduce the number of complaints and issues of deliveries take longer than expected during the busy time.