For anyone working in a retail warehouse, calling the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year may not be the most accurate approximation. Maybe after sales have been tabulated and you can put your feet up, but in the meantime it's the busiest, most stressful time of the year, and one slipup may have repercussions that stretch a lot further than it would outside of December. So before crunch time, make sure your holiday season strategy covers the following points.
One person can only do so much, and even regular employees working overtime isn't an option when you're dealing with higher expectations and shorter deadlines. While there are other ways to handle those things, make sure you're predicting the manpower you need to get things done in due time. Whether that's direct hire through your company or a good relation with a staffing agency, put together a streamlined interview and hiring process to get the most qualified candidates through the door and into work.
Know what people want before they do and you'll solve a lot of problems. What to buy. How much to stock. Where to put it. Pay attention to last year's sales, this year's sales, industry trends, and current reports to find out what's going to sell the best, and make sure you can move it fast. Get that information to your buyers as quickly as possible, then make sure your customers know what you have. Even worse than not being stocked for in-demand items is being left with a bunch of junk at the end of the season that hadn't sold.
How convenient that our busiest time of year coincides with the messiest weather for the better part of the country. Even if you're properly staffed and sales are well forecasted, Mother Nature might throw you a curveball. So buckle down and go through the nitty-gritty details. Stock up on salt, antifreeze, and spill and leak cleanup supplies, form a good relationship with your plow company, test the generators, and make sure you have spare parts ready for all your most vital equipment. This even means taking illness into consideration. Don't let the absence of one employee be a bottleneck to productivity because their children brought home the flu two weeks before Christmas. And don't even think of letting them in the warehouse to spread it around.
Updated Floor Plan
Now's as good a time as any to stretch your legs and look at your warehouse with different eyes. See if you can speed things up by redoing your staging areas and moving rack to store in-demand items. Do your best to reduce the path of least resistance and you'll see productivity skyrocket and accidents fall. There's no better time of year to test your capabilities, and you might find yourself adopting a floor plan that increases efficiency throughout the year.
Speedrack Midwest is around to help you prepare your warehouse for the toughest expectations. Our experts can help you design a floor plan and get you the equipment you need to make sure that the hardest time of year isn't a burden, but an opportunity to do your best and make your customers happy. Contact us online or call our Sparta, Michigan office at 616-887-8886 to speak with a member of our team now.