Peak season is challenging for almost every industry that relies on a logistics process to keep its supply chain flowing. Whether you’re a manufacturer or an ecommerce company, it’s critical to be prepared as a surge in demand is just around the corner.
Going into peak season unprepared could mean shortages, overages, stock-outs, or unbalanced supply—all of which are avoidable with a bit of forethought, the right technology, and a solid logistics partner to back you up.
Four Top Peak-Season Logistics Challenges: Solved
Companies face many challenges during peak season, but some are more common than others. Here are four of the top issues and how to solve them.
7 Essential Skills That Improve Logistics Decision-Making
1. Unexpected outages
During the past couple of years, most of us have come to expect even the best-laid plans may change. Having a “plan B” in your back pocket allows you to shift quickly if things go awry.
Solution: Logistics software gives you visibility into your routes to see where things could go wrong and plan accordingly. If the unexpected happens, you’ll be able to pivot quickly, minimize delays, and maintain the best possible service levels under the circumstances.
2. Balancing inventory
Maintaining adequate inventory levels during peak season is a balancing act. Too much stock usually results in loss as you’ll end up selling the excess at a discount. Too little, and your customers will go elsewhere.
Solution: The best way to accurately forecast your needs is through historical data, combining warehouse management software and historical sales to predict what might happen. Inventory tracking software helps you gain visibility into where your products are so that you can shift stock according to your needs.
3. Increased shipping demands and expectations
Whether you’re selling to stores or direct to consumers, every link in your supply chain, from your suppliers to the end customer, has increased expectations during peak season. Capacity is already limited and will become more competitive. Customers want things fast and often free, which puts additional strain on logistics managers and the bottom line.
Solution: The right technology will help you gain visibility into all your shipping options, allowing you to leverage multiple carriers and modes of transport to ensure your goods get to their destination without unnecessary additional costs or delays
4. Limited warehouse space
You want to stock up on popular items before the peak season starts, but maxing out warehouse capacity reduces agility and ties up resources. Similarly, if you have too much warehouse, you’ll wind up with a lot of wasted space the rest of the year.
Solution: Warehouse management software (WMS) helps you optimize inventory management and scheduling, delivering data that help you anticipate your needs to get ahead of seasonal surge. Alternately, working with a trusted third-party logistics provider (3PL) puts these capabilities in your hands.