Preparing for the days of chaos after the USA's Thanksgiving is one of the most important things that retailers, distributors, and warehouses can do.
From making sure you're properly staffed to optimizing your facilities for maximum efficiency, here are your must-do preparations for this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. Get your workforce ready
Whether you're a retailer, a distributor, or a warehouse, make sure you have extra seasonal labor on hand to get things done.
For retailers, it's going to be all-hands-on-deck for you and your team come Black Friday; for distributors, your likely feeling the rush right about now. Here’s to hoping you have a big team or an efficient trucking company partner to help you with the huge surge in demand in preparation for Black Friday and for shipping come Cyber Monday.
Now is the time to pull in certain employees who have flexible skill sets or ask them to take up a position they previously held just to relieve pressure during this busy time. Making sure your employees have a good level of cross-training will mean you are more capable of flexibly when dealing with crises.
2. Develop a plan for support
Do you have an all-star lineup of support specialists? By choosing the right people for your support team, you'll increase accountability and set expectations.
Have a customer support plan in place, and be ready to deal with complaints-- because no matter how well you're prepared, there will always be someone who is upset about something on Black Friday.
3. Bypass supply chain roadblocks
If possible, retailers should kit or pre-load seasonal pushes for point of origin direct-to-store shipping.
Likewise, to ensure that stock moves quickly and efficiently, distributors could reconfigure distribution centers for cross-docking so that replenishment orders aren't put away, then pulled right back out again-- resulting in huge inefficiencies during the holidays.
Third, consider slotting your warehouse or storerooms intelligently-- locate faster-moving products closer to operating areas to keep objects traveling swiftly.
It's not too late to begin preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For help preparing your distribution chain for the seasonal shopping rush, or to if you need to move pallets of product quickly by shipping from the US to Canada, contact us for more information or request a quote.