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Top 3 Tips to Keep up with Holiday Demands

The busiest season in logistics is undoubtedly during the holidays.  It requires a lot of planning and attention to detail.  If you don’t already have a game plan, it may already be too late as inventories increase as early as August in anticipation for the end-of-the-year bustle.  In this blog, we’ll cover the top 3 tips to keep up with holiday demands.

Tip #1 – Take the Initiative and be Proactive

Every year, the average consumer spends around $800 for gifts, shopping as early as October.  Companies must be in constant communication with their carriers as they will be in high demand over the next few weeks. In 2013, Amazon sold more products than they initially anticipated, making UPS, Fed-Ex, and other partners struggle to keep up with the demands.  In fact, many packages that year did not make it in time.  UPS and FedEx actually deal with a lot of outside carriers prior to the holidays for extra transportation support which is why communication and reassuring capacity concerns are being addressed is so crucial during this time. 

Tip #2 – Go over Last Year’s Results

Re-familiarize yourself with last year’s numbers and recognize all the wins and losses from that year.  Have a meeting with your team to go over what went well, and what could’ve been done better to avoid making the same mistakes this year.

Tip #3 – Embrace the Chaos

While it is important to always have a plan B, C, and D during the holidays, recognize that operations aren’t ever going to be perfect during this time of year.  You can always set deadlines earlier and plan for increased staffing needs to compensate for any foreseeable delays but, things are going to be hectic! All that will be in your realm of control is to be prepared, plan well, and stay flexible. 


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3 Steps to Manage Uncertainty

3 Steps to Manage Uncertainty

Even though logistics is one of the world’s largest industries, it is arguably one of the most ever-changing and unstable fields to have a career in.  Economy, changes in regulations, technology advancement on management information systems and modes of transportation, labor markets, competitive landscape, politics, etc.  All these attributes are gears that makes up the machine that is—logistics.

So how do we deal with these everyday uncertainties that influences our industry? When rates, demands, and business change, how do we stay at the top of our game?

 

Step 1: Stay informed.

This goes without saying.  If you can comprehend the entire scope of what is going on in the world, the better you can prepare for it.  Read and watch the news every day.  Take note of trends, and events that take place that can influence the industry.  Subscribe to e-newsletters so you get them directly to your inbox, so you never forget to stay informed.

 

 

 

3 Steps to Manage Uncertainty

 

Step 2: Plan, plan, plan ahead.

Being prepared also means being able to visualize all the possible outcomes of a situation and plan for it.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the unexpected.  Only successful supply chains are able to anticipate the next trend and stay 10 steps ahead of their competitors.  So, if there is an increase of tariffs, a business acquisition, a change of law—staying informed will guide you in creating plans A, B, C, and D.

 

 

 

3 Steps to Manage Uncertainty

 

Step 3: Shake it up.

In all businesses, no matter what vertical or industry, can always benefit from “shaking it up” so long as you know what you’re doing.  Truth be told, this step is the most difficult because leaders tend to put themselves in a box.  However, considering logistics is made up of many moving parts with every small change having the ability to create a ripple effect, you absolutely cannot have the mentality of “well, that’s just how it’s always been done.”  Innovation, creative problem solving, and courage will be the keys to success.

 

 


Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you can get the best of our blog on a monthly basis straight to your inbox!

We offer competitively low prices, end-to-end solutions for your supply chain, and one-on-one attention for every client– large or small. Contact us today to see how we can fulfill your logistic needs!