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Written by Yitz Lieblich

Fall Preparation for Holiday Fulfillment

Getting ready for the busy season is an important time of year. Processes must be finalized, systems completed and tested, and the team brought up to speed on how to be most efficient during a time of tight deadlines and lots of work.

With planning well underway, or on the verge of completion for holiday commerce, back-office operations are often overlooked until the last minute. However, taking a “fix it when it breaks” approach to holiday can cause delays, lost revenue and unhappy customers. Preparation in fall is essential for an operationally sound holiday that will help your company reach revenue goals. 

Holiday Fulfillment Checklist

Fulfillment centers and warehouses are inundated with rush orders, heavy load days, large volumes at receiving, and managing manual labor during the peak holiday selling month. Quarter 4 can make a break a company’s revenue, as we all know, but it can also make a break a reputation.

What needs to be in place now to achieve success this holiday season? Here’s a checklist of essentials for your order and inventory management system. 

Shipping Efficiencies

Inefficient shipping methods not only eat into your bottom line, during holiday it can cause a bottleneck that is nearly impossible to recover from. Customers celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other gift-giving holidays have a hard deadline, with a lot of sentimental value attached. A lost or delayed order will cause not only loss of revenue, but loss of trust from that customer.

A shipping management system that epitomizes holiday readiness should include:

  • Integration with Top Shippers: Auto-integration with the top 60 shipping companies including DHL, FedEx, UPS, USPS and more.
  • Shipping Price Comparison: See shipping costs comparisons per-order for each supported shipper.
  • Intelligent Decision-Making: Automatically choose the lowest shipping cost, or pick the shipping company manually. 

Fulfillment Optimization

Abilities like in-store fulfillment and BOPIS used to be reserved for big box retailers with a large staff and deep pockets, but a platform like SmartStock360 can integrate with your physical to make this strategy work for your business, with no exorbitant additional costs for implementation of this capability.

Essential Holiday Fulfillment Statistics:

  • Amazon hired 20% more seasonal staff for their holiday season 2016.
  • Online sales accounted for 8.1% of all holiday shopping.
  • 8 in 10 internet users think buy online, pickup in store is appealing, reports eMarketer.
  • Only 21% of US retail IT executives said they had up-to-date technology in place for in-store pickup or return of web goods, reports eMarketer.

Check back to our blog for additional posts from our holiday readiness series. If your OMS is lagging, or you aren’t confident it can provide you a revenue-driving holiday season… Now is the time to upgrade to a future-facing OMS that is customized for your unique company processes and workflows. 

Want a personalized demo of our fulfillment platform? Let’s chat!

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