If you haven’t put the wheels in motion for your peak season planning, now is the time. All signs lead to another record breaking year for eCommerce holiday sales, with the majority of those transactions happening soon.
Here are 8 ways to prep your DC for peak season 2018:
#1 – Analyze 2017 Performance
Revisit cues from last year’s peak season performance – what worked? What areas of your fulfillment operations needed improvement? Make sure your best practices are in place once again this year – and create an action plan for improving what didn’t work in 2017.
#2 – Ensure Product Availability
What’s worse than not shipping orders fast enough? Having no product available to fulfil orders. Ensure your product reorder points are established so there’s inventory available at all times. This will prevent you from getting into backorder or partial order status with your customers.
#3 – Optimize Your Warehouse Layout
Make changes to your warehouse now so your fulfillment operations can meet peak volume. Move top-selling SKUs to the closest pick locations to improve pick time, based on velocity. Set up temporary work stations to accommodate value-added services. And utilize warehouse automation as much as possible to save time and manpower.
#4 – Test New Systems
Test any newly implemented systems now – before peak season arrives. Have a backup plan in place for any equipment or technology failures. Create documentation that outlines who is responsible for handling any emergencies that happen. And have buy-in for your emergency plan from management and internal departments.
#5 – Staff Up
Staffing up for peak season requires accurate forecasts. Include receipts, orders, returns, and value added services when assessing your staffing needs. The current state of the economy is putting a strain on the number of qualified job candidates out there, so take advantage of flex labor opportunities and also consider incentives to recruit and retain the best possible talent.
#6 – Have a Transparent Returns Policy
Having a transparent Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) process in place can greatly simplify and improve your returns process – especially during peak season. PFC’s RMA solution gives customers the ability to make easy, hassle-free self-service returns. They can submit a return request online, print a merchandise return label and track the status of their return.
#7 – Deliver a Great Customer Experience
Create a great customer experience that goes above and beyond what’s expected. When it comes to unboxing, include a small gift or personalized thank you card. Or provide a discount voucher for a future purchase. When it comes to package delivery, make conservative promises and then overdeliver to exceed customer expectations.
#8 – Look into a 3PL
Should you be looking into a 3PL for 2019? Let your performance in the coming months be the determining factor. Contact PFC today if you’re ready to optimize 2019 with the support of an experienced dynamic fulfillment partner.
About Promotions Fulfillment Center
At PFC, our clients’ success is our number one priority. Since 1974, PFC has delivered outstanding quantifiable results, with turnkey solutions in fulfillment and contact center services – all backed by leading technology. Retailers and ecommerce brands that partner with PFC have historically achieved considerable cost savings in excess of 35% and have significantly improved their program ROI.
Want to learn more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-493-7063.