For many retailers, the holiday season is the biggest and busiest season of the year. Some companies report that up to 40% of their total revenue comes from the holidays alone. Mistakes during this time are costly, especially because there is a very short window of time to make corrections and recoup losses. Below are four mistakes to avoid this holiday season:
- Not planning early enough. Forecasting and demand planning should really take place immediately after the holiday season is over in January. Your supplier can see an influx of demand in their raw materials come September, so they can drive the prices up.
- Planning too much. Overestimating inventory can also be negative for business. Some companies will keep excess inventory for “just in cases” and “to be safes” but they don’t go without consequence. An excess of materials after the holidays means paying for more warehousing space and less cash flow.
- Lack of online presence and planning. Consumers want to avoid long lines and are shopping online more and more. Make sure that you are ready to handle an influx of e-commerce business because chances are, this year’s online orders will surpass last years. Mobile sales are going up, and lines are getting shorter at big box retailers.
- Underestimating staffing and training. A lot of retailers amp up their staff during the holiday season by hiring seasonal workers. Seasonal workers are cost effective, but often time do not have adequate or proper training to understand your business. Make sure you hire seasonal workers earlier in the year and train them well.
Even if you avoid all these mistakes, a catastrophe can still occur. A container can get stuck at the port, a shipment can arrive late, and strikes can take place. Often times they are beyond your control, but the key is to be ready and have a plan of action. By taking preventative measures and planning for the holiday season early, your business can avoid costly mistakes.
Weber Logistics can help you gear up for this holiday season, contact us today.