The festive season is just around the corner. Retailers gear up for the upcoming bulk demands. That’s why you have to identify if you have what it takes for the holiday rush. So, take note of these 8 must-ask questions to the fulfillment center.
Is the Forecasting Accurate?
If you want to become holiday-ready, you have to build accurate forecasting models. First, anticipate the order volume in the coming days, weeks, and months before the holidays. Also, consider the average units per order, product class, and the arrival of inventory dates.
Incomplete forecasting leads to disaster. Consumers have high regard for the delivery time of their orders before Christmas. Failure to do so will fire up negative feedback to your shop.
Furthermore, you have to clarify if your fulfillment center can manage the bulk of the holiday rush. Last-minute web deals unexpectedly spike up e-commerce orders. If they can handle such demand, then your store is one step ready for the holiday rush.
What is the Best Warehouse Layout?
Reassess and reorganize the warehouse layout ahead of the festivity. It helps increase efficiency and streamline operations. This way, it enables businesses to keep up with the increase in demand. Plus, staff can manage complex processes of packaging orders.
Designate stations for pick and pack lines and ort based on the packaging type. Make sure to include boxing, wrapping, and writing personalized messages. It keeps the momentum of each person. Thus, speed up the entire process.
Moreover, secure the storage space and all equipment and supplies needed. Also, stock up tape, carts, totes, and others. Lack of supplies slows down the progress and efficiency of a warehouse.
Are there Hiring Plans?
Trained and skilled warehouse personnel are quite a challenge for a holiday. See to it that the fulfillment center has enough crews prepared for the season. Ask if they actively recruit new staff and if they have enough time to train them.
Most warehouses look for highly qualified candidates. Often, they ask for referrals from the existing employees. Sometimes, they offer monetary incentives for every referral.
On the other hand, training new employees requires guidance from experienced members. So pair them up accordingly to show the ropes until they are ready for the holiday rush.
How do you Communicate with Carriers?
Always have open communication with couriers. It ensures sellers their capability for the anticipated order deliveries. Asking questions to the fulfillment center doesn’t mean you have doubts about them. Instead, it determines if they can accommodate the increase in order during the holiday rush.
Also, have a dialogue with the pricing as early as possible. Then, negotiate with the carriers by providing a competitive advantage. So, you know what to expect during peak season.
What is the Backup Plan?
Despite all preparations, hiccups unexpectedly happen. So, it is crucial to ask the fulfillment center if they have a solid backup plan. If there’s an unexpected surge in orders, what is their next move?
Their answers must involve flexibility with the staffing arrangements and resources. Also, there must be an approach for dealing with technical issues. Since it is more about e-commerce, glitches, unfortunately, occur.
Moreover, query what their solution about the unpredictable damaging weather patterns is. If they have a definite answer for each scenario, you can say that the fulfillment center is ready for the holiday rush.
How do you Optimize Stored Items?
Aside from the physical aspects such as pallet racking, examine the sales of each item. Take note of the location where high sales are. Do it by assessing the metrics in the system.
Organize the warehouse by placing items that often sell together. It decreases the time consumed when packing and preparing. In addition, it speeds up efficiency by switching aisles methodically. Also, instruct the pickers in the warehouse to carefully locate each item in the fulfillment center. This manner saves effort from going back and forth. Plus, you know which items to maximize in the store.
Are Employees Allowed to Share their Inputs?
Employers and employees are a team. So, each member must be ready to speak up and listen. It makes working together smooth and effective. So, let the staff share their inputs.
Often, personnel are consumers too. They have an idea of what’s on-demand and the expectations. So hear them out to address the possible needs of online customers.
Also, be attentive to their needs. The employees are the ones on the floor all day. So, they know the consistent issues. It can be about the stocks and equipment. Be open, especially if they offer constructive criticism and feasible suggestions.
Nevertheless, it does not require you to fix every problem immediately. Instead, ask several employees first. Listen carefully. If they complain the same thing, that’s the time you take some action. Remember, having good teamwork in the fulfillment center makes it ready for the holiday rush.
How Fast can the Merchandise Reach Customers?
The efficiency of fulfilling orders is a vital factor all year round. But during the holidays, it’s more than that. It can make or break a shop. That’s why you have to ask the fulfillment center if they are ready for it.
Set a plan early on how to manage the fulfillment process. Make sure that the products get to the hands of the customers as fast as possible. If there are bonus points and rewards to lower the costs, grab them. It might sound so simple, but the impact is monumental. Plus, it ensures the overall preparedness for the holiday rush.
Making it through the holidays doesn’t mean severe headaches and fatigue. But being prepared together with your carriers helps you overcome it. It is best to assess your shop’s capability and the fulfillment center’s ability to do expedited shipping. Also, make sure to ask these 8 questions to the fulfillment center for the holiday rush.
Red Stag is up-to-date with the trend. The company studies the demands and works on them to cater to all the needs of their customers. Pairing up with them will surely provide security and assurance of deliveries. Thus, it makes you ready for the holiday rush. Nevertheless, don’t be complacent. Always talk and ask questions to save yourself from headaches this holiday season.