It's never too early to prepare for Black Friday. With more Americans shopping online for Thanksgiving weekend every year, it's important to be ready for the mad rush of orders that may be coming in the near future. Don't wait until the last minute to get your facility ready. Check out these early warehouse preparations for Black Friday.
Looking over last year's sales data will allow you to plan your stock placement. Items that are guaranteed to sell well should be placed in an area that is easy for pickers to access during order fulfillment. If you rearrange the products now, you will give your pickers a chance to get familiar with the new setup so they can be more efficient when Black Friday comes around.
Last year's numbers will also help you see which products you may need more or less of, if you are in control of ordering and restocking. If this is the retailer's responsibility, you can pass the information along to them so they can be better prepared for what is to come.
In the chaos of Black Friday orders, you're going to want your warehouse to run as efficiently as possible. If there are cleaning efforts that you've been putting off all year, now is the time to get them done. For example, if there is an area in one of the aisles that is difficult to get around with a forklift or pallet jack, you can clean it up now so your workers can get around it better in November.
Chances are you will have a staffing shortage right when you need the most workers possible because of holiday vacations. If you know you are going to be short on workers, hire temporary employees to get the job done. Doing this now gives you plenty of time to train the new employees for the rush. You may also want to give extra incentives to employees who choose to stick around during the holidays, like an extra day of vacation or higher pay rates for those days. Evaluate your staffing needs and plan ahead accordingly.
In order for your workers to move efficiently, they need to feel pumped and motivated. This is a great time of year to boost morale with catered lunches, contests, awards, and more. Let your employees dress up for Halloween in their favorite costumes, or give out gift cards for Thanksgiving food. You may need to think outside the box, but doing so will lead to bigger profits later on.
You want to be as prepared as possible for a worst case scenario on Black Friday. Create a backup plan for anything that may go wrong on that day, and go over those plans with your management staff. Have them relay the plans to their workers so everyone can react quickly and keep progress moving forward.
This is a stressful time for retailers and distribution centers alike, but it is also a profitable time. As much as you may want to moan and groan about the chaos you're going through, the fact is that this is the busiest time of the year. Once the holiday season ends, you will all be able to take a much deserved break and enjoy some relaxation. For now though, it's important to stay strong, stay focused, and stay committed to your goals.
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