It’s that time of year to gear up for the holiday season in e-commerce—meaning, literally Christmas in July! So put on some holiday music and let’s talk about peak planning. The key to success will be good forecasting—using your historical data as inputs to make informed estimates that predict the direction of future trends.
Here are some tips from the best in the business (aka Premier Packaging) to help you make your crazy season run as smooth as ever!
- Start your planning early! Meaning: THIS MONTH, July.
- Provide historical data if you have it (ideally from a previous peak season). Break down the data by months or even weeks.
- Compare last year’s peak to the previous 90 days. Compare YTD last year vs YTD this year. Are there differences that would help us better prepare?
- Verify new items and usages that didn’t exist last year
- Commit to a forecast and set a schedule of deliveries. Customers who agreed to this last year had big wins.
- From a scheduling/delivery standpoint, answering these few simple questions will help ensure a smooth delivery to the customer:
- What are your delivery hours?
- Are appointments required?
- What size truck will fit in your lot?
- Do you have loading docks?
- Do you have fork trucks?
- Does the product need to be single stacked?
- Is this a residential area? (more of an observation)
- Will a truck have issues getting there? (a question and an observation)
- Can we pre-run any of the forecast to our floor or the customer’s floor? This is a big benefit if customers are willing to allow this.
- Set expectations! If we can’t pre-run or don’t commit to a set schedule, we are at the mercy of whatever the lead time becomes during the middle of October and November. That lead time could be as much as several weeks. Are you willing to risk this?
At Premier Packaging, we value the business relationship and understand that things happen and try to help our customers/partners out the best we can.
Contact us today! Let’s get started. We’re ready—are you?