For most warehouses, the peak season isn’t until the last quarter of the year. That’s when retailers start filling their inventory levels for the holidays and when people start actively shopping online. That doesn’t mean that distribution centers can wait until that time to start their’ prep work. Here at Overflo, we are already getting ready for the demand to come.
Here is a look at why warehouses should start preparing for peak season now and what we’re doing to improve the experiences for our customers.
Learn from Last Season’s Mistakes
Last year’s peak season wasn’t that long ago. This is the perfect time to assess any issues that occurred during that time and make plans for the upcoming year. For instance, in 2015, there was a significant increase in online retail orders because big stores like Walmart and Target started releasing their’ Black Friday deals the internet, not just in stores. Cyber Monday has been a major shopping day for years, but Black Friday tends to be a high-demand time for stores. That year, shipping companies and warehouses across the country had to scrounge to get enough staff members to meet the demands of the consumers. In 2016, the demand was still high, but most of us were ready for it.
At Overflo, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our warehousing, inventory management, and logistics systems. This past peak season worked like clockwork, but we still look for ways to improve our efforts. That is what keeps our clients and their customers completely satisfied.
Make Plans to Hire Seasonal Workers
For warehouses that did not have enough workers last peak season, now is the time to plan for the hiring process. The hiring itself may not begin until after the summer is over, but this is a good time to determine how many workers will be needed, how long the training programs will be, etc. Some warehouses hire seasonal workers immediately before peak season because they don’t want to pay for more labor than they “need.” The problem with that philosophy is that you end up losing time to train the employees. This hurts the clients, and it puts the orders at risk. Even if a person is only going to be working for three months, he or she needs enough training to do a certain task with maximum efficiency.
Upgrade and Reorganize
The early months of the year are fairly slow in the warehousing industry, making this the perfect time to upgrade inventory management systems and reorganize the warehouse. The management team can work out a strategy to improve efficiency levels and increase productivity levels for peak season. If the adjustments are made shortly before the season starts, employees may not have time to get used to everything before they go to work. This delays processing times and can have a major impact the supply chain.
The best warehouse workers are the ones who can work in multiple departments with ease. They may do well in one area, but that does not mean that’s where their training should end. Offer incentives to workers who are willing to train in other departments so you can have a set of versatile employees. If you get shorthanded in one area, there are people available to take over the work and keep the warehouse functioning as a whole. This is especially true for seasonal employees that have transitioned to full-time work. Expand their skills, and you will subsequently expand the abilities of the warehouse.