As we all know, the holiday season is a busy time for businesses across the globe. If you're in charge of logistics and supply chain management, you're probably already deep into production mode for the 2022 holiday season.
Unfortunately, many of the same problems that have plagued our supply chains throughout 2020 are still present, with materials in short supply and logistics costs at an all-time high. Empty shelves and delivery bottlenecks are to be expected concerning certain popular products such as decorations and electronics. Nevertheless, holiday sales are expected to grow as a result of recent inflation. Bain & Co. forecasted sales growth for this holiday season of 7.5% from last year. However; if you adjust to inflation, it's expected growth is between 1-3%, which is below its 10-year average.
Experts are therefore recommending that businesses start preparing even earlier for this year's holiday season, to prevent bottlenecks and disappointed customers wherever they can. Some steps you can take to prepare your supply chain for the upcoming peak season include:
1. Identify alternate sources of supply. As the pandemic has taught us, if you're reliant on a single supplier for key holiday items (or any products), you're putting your entire operation at risk if that supplier experiences any disruptions. By identifying and developing relationships with alternate suppliers, you can mitigate the risks associated with relying on a single source. This holiday season we are seeing many companies negotiating with suppliers and contract manufacturers across multiple geographic locations to diversify their sources for key resources and products
2. Improve supply chain transparency. One of the best ways to prepare for the holiday rush is to ensure that your supply chain is as efficient and transparent as possible. By having visibility into every link in your supply chain, you can identify potential bottlenecks and address them before they cause significant disruptions thus preventing unfulfilled orders and product recalls.
3. Ensure the right inventory optimization strategy. Having too much inventory on hand can tie up working capital and lead to costly storage fees while having too little inventory can result in lost sales and unhappy customers. It's important to strike the right balance, and that means having a well-defined inventory optimization strategy in place. Likewise, with the right infrastructure in place, it is feasible to allocate the right inventory at the right place and time.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your supply chain is ready to handle the increased demands of the retail peak season as we quickly approach Black Friday, Christmas, and the New Year. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can prepare your supply chain for the holidays, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch. Our experts are happy to help guide you in the right direction that best serves your company.