The holiday season is fast approaching and businesses all over the world will be all hands on deck to keep up with demand from consumers. Whatever your business may be, chances are you will have your hands full with all the orders coming in, many of which will occur during the last-minute period. 

The holiday season happens only once a year and it is very important that you get your supply chain prepared so that you can maximize revenue. We have prepared some tips that should get you started in achieving a fully ready supply chain.

Maintain an accurate inventory

A neat shelf of books on the left side of a corridor

The thing about the holiday season is that it can be very different from year to year. This means that you’ll want to be prepared for any changes that could come about in your supply chain over the course of the season itself.

To help bring in extra revenue, many retailers are planning to increase their inventory levels for the holiday season. It’s important that you maintain accurate inventories so that you can meet these increased demands. 

On the other hand, you don’t want to end up with too many orders at once, so having an accurate count of everything is important when it comes time to get those orders filled. You also want to ensure that your suppliers are able to do the same.

Hire more warehouse workers to manage the increased workload

You may need to hire more staff members if you’re unable to keep up with demand without them. This will help ensure that all items are delivered on time and in good condition so that customers can receive their orders without any delays or problems along the way.

But you have to be proactive about hiring holiday help. Before the holidays hit, start planning for your busiest time of year. Hire seasonal workers now so you’re ready when they arrive. Hire seasonal employees at least two months in advance of when they will be needed. This gives them enough time to get trained on their new jobs and familiarize themselves with your company culture before the big rush hits in December.

Consider using temporary staffing agencies when hiring seasonal employees. These agencies can help you find the right person for your business at a lower cost than hiring full-time employees or even temps from within your own organization — they’re often referred to as “temp-to-hire” positions because they can become permanent after.

You can also purchase additional equipment like pallet racks, forklifts, and sorting containers to help expedite deliveries during peak times. This equipment will make your operation more efficient during these busy periods of the year since there will be less manual labor involved in moving products throughout your warehouse facility.

Do transportation route planning

Cardboard box with “fragile” sticker on it inside a truck with a driver in the background

You should also make sure that when you are out of stock, but still want to deliver to customers, you have an idea of where it would go from there. For example, if you have a product that has been out of stock for two days and you know where it will be shipped from, then you can send it to where it is needed instead of holding it in inventory until the next shipment comes in.

If this sounds like something that is important to your business, then consider using online freight forwarders so that they can help with all aspects of this process for you.

Transportation route planning is something that every business owner needs to do in order to ensure that there are no disruptions in their supply chain during the holidays. If you have not done it yet, here are some tips on how to do transportation route planning:

1. Identify routes that need improvement. For example, if your company has a warehouse located near an airport, then you should look at other options such as shipping directly from the airport to save money and time. If all else fails, there are always express delivery services available at low cost which will save you more resources.

2. Reassess your inventory levels and take action if needed. Make sure that all of your inventory levels are correct before placing orders for items needed during the holiday season, especially for goods or raw materials that are very important in your business.

Offer a holiday-friendly returns policy

As the holiday season approaches, you’ll see an increase in your customers’ orders. This means there is a higher possibility for returns. One of the things that you should prepare for is a holiday-friendly returns policy that allows customers to return items without having to pay restocking fees and other charges.

A holiday-friendly returns policy is one that allows customers to return an item or order for up to a certain amount of days after purchase without any penalties. The buyer will make sure that the returned item or order can be processed within this time frame. It makes sense for retailers to have this kind of policy because it allows them to capture more sales during the holidays and also helps them retain loyal customers who may not want to buy from other brands during these busy months.

While most companies offer free shipping on their online sales, some do not offer free returns for online orders. This means that even if someone wants to return an item, they could end up paying for it if they aren’t aware of the company’s policy.

While the holiday season is a time when most retailers are increasing their profits, it also means that there is a higher possibility for returns. A well-crafted returns policy will surely save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Be ready for fulfillment delays from your suppliers

The holidays are about joy and celebration, but for the supply chain, it can be a time of stress — especially if you’re planning on distributing products from your own factory to customers around the world.

The reason for this is simple: during the holiday season, most companies expect to receive a large number of orders from their customers. And because these orders are usually placed at the last minute, it’s likely that your suppliers will also be busy with their own customers.

This means that your suppliers may need more time to fulfill your orders than usual. If this happens, it’s important for you to plan ahead and make sure that everything is ready in time so you don’t have delays in delivery or shipment.

It’s not uncommon for suppliers to experience a surge in demand to meet the needs of their customers over the holidays. Unfortunately, this can create challenges for many businesses and customers who expect their orders to arrive within an acceptable timeframe. The only solution for this problem is to plan ahead and talk with your suppliers to forecast the demands needed.

Preparing your whole supply chain for the holiday season

The holiday season is fast approaching and you should prepare your whole supply chain to be able to cater to more customer orders. To know more about the other trends that are affecting the supply chain in 2022, you may read this article from us. Here are Soul Logistics, we are committed to helping our customers fulfill their deliveries during the peak holiday season. If you want to get in touch with us, visit our contact page and send us a message to know more about our services.