PREPARING YOUR WAREHOUSE FOR PEAK SEASON Are you ready to meet your customers’ needs once the holidays hit?
any retailers are starting to plan now for the 2017 holiday shopping season — some even began planning immediately after last season’s rush. Not everyone needs large strategic transformations to prepare their supply chains for peak season. Most oftentimes, there are a handful of small, and sometimes simple, adjustments that can be made to increase throughput, boost system performance, and maximize the effectiveness of your labor force. Check out these four best practices that can transform your holiday readiness strategy into a well-oiled machine. SYSTEM TUNING Many organizations have system “jobs” that must finish prior to productive work being started or that require downtime from operations such as pick waves, shipment confirmation, or batch order load. As volume increases, typically waves take longer to run, which cannibalizes operational activity time. There are actions that can be taken to minimize
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or neutralize this impact and extend outbound processing hours such as: Reducing the amount of active data through a purge and archive strategy Boosting platform horsepower either permanently or temporarily during the holiday season Reviewing and enhancing processing jobs to increase efficiency and speed Creating multi-threaded jobs where single-threaded exist TRAINING AND ONBOARDING Most retailers increase their workforce leading up to and through the holidays with variable capacity contract labor to absorb increased volume. To maximize their effectiveness while minimizing total cost, it is critical to establish a highly operative onboarding/training program to get them up to speed as fast and efficiently as possible. A company’s traditional training program should be enhanced to create real world, hands on, situational education for its temporary workforce. Extra investment in this incredibly important variable in holiday preparedness will have guaranteed ROI.
Companies should carve out areas of their warehouse and create simulation areas that mimic the actual work activities as close as possible. The more advanced the training is, the faster the holiday workforce will come up to speed and become productive. PROCESS STREAMLINING There are simple process changes that can be made through system configuration or physical layout optimization that will make significant performance and throughput improvements. Small performance gains, multiplied by hundreds or thousands of instances a day, add up to serious improvements, especially during the heightened volume holiday season. Areas of common gain are: If picking with paper or labels, there is often time required at the beginning to sort or burst these into groups or by task to facilitate picking. This process can be laborious and time consuming. Many times, there are small amounts of information that can be easily added to these documents that will