Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, marking the beginning of the holiday season. With Thanksgiving also comes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when shoppers head out in droves to get the best deals on holiday gifts and merchandise. Due to the nature of these days, inventory will be in much higher demand than usual, and warehouses need to be prepared. It is undoubtedly a hectic time, so here are a few ways for your warehouse to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday season.
Inventory and Stock
First of all, you should need to check on your inventory and stock. Make sure you are fully stocked with popular items and that your records on inventory are up to date and accurate. It may also be helpful to review sales data from previous years to see what items typically fly off the shelves around this time of year. There will also probably be sales for specific items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so be sure to have those items fully stocked.
Once you know what items you’re likely to need, you can organize your warehouse accordingly for optimal efficiency. The inventory that you predict will sell the quickest or the most should be placed in the most accessible pick-up areas. You could even have a designated area for popular seasonal best sellers.
However, it is important to note what items are being moved- as well as where it was before- and how any inventory is being re-organized. A new organizational system can be hard to get used to, so create proper labels and group similar items together to allow for an easier transition.
The warehouse is going to be flooded with orders, and there needs to be enough staff on hand to handle this influx. The holiday season can be tricky when it comes to finding enough workers, as people tend to get sick and ask for more time off to spend with their families or travel. If it looks like you’re going to be short-staffed during this time, look to outside companies or staffing agencies that can help you find temporary workers.
Being well staffed also goes for any outside groups or companies you work with, such as delivery companies. Reach out to those companies and make sure they will be able to perform and deliver with all of the extra work required during the season.
Technological systems are great for warehouses. They are fast, efficient, and often make life so much easier in the warehouse. However, technology can fail us when we need it most. That’s why it is important to run tests on your systems well before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Bar code readers and systems for keeping track of orders and volumes need to be up to date and working properly. If those systems fail, it could be disastrous, keeping you from meeting the increased demands of the season.
Things are going to be much more hectic on the warehouse floor during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and probably most of the holiday season. There are higher stakes for completing orders quickly during the season, which means some might let safety concerns fall by the wayside as concerns about getting orders out on time take precedence.
However, it is during these times that your warehouse and staff needs to be hyper-aware when it comes to safety, as there are more people and much more going on in your warehouse. This makes the chances of an accident occurring much higher if people aren’t careful.
In order to prevent any incidents, take the time before Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holidays to go over safety procedures with your team. Stress to your staff that these procedures are just as important- if not more so- during the hectic holiday season.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the beginning of a frantic season for shoppers and warehouses alike. But by following these tips and through adequate preparation, your warehouse operations can run smoothly, allowing your staff as well as your customers to really enjoy the season.