“Black Friday” sounds a little sinister, but its name comes from the famous Friday after Thanksgiving when folks take a day off work solely dedicated to Christmas shopping; a noble cause but the sheer volume of people can cause all sorts of mayhem. People in the United States have been conditioned to spend their hard earned consumer dollars on these events laden with special discounts and super deals. Every year this is a major shopping event that retailers and distributors must prepare for and has even expanded to “Cyber Monday” as digital transformation and e-Commerce continue to dominate the markets. Hectic stores plus quick-selling online deals – Whew this could go really wrong. What can you do to get it right?
The very first recommendation we make, and our progressive clients do this, is cycle count! Cycle counting throughout the year allows you to better communicate with your existing and potentially new customers of your inventory availability. It also helps you order enough inventory in time, well before the seasonal shopping window.
Set Team Expectations
Any good employee should understand when business picks up, you want to make the most of it. Let your team members know ahead of time that they may be required to work additional shifts and to plan accordingly. This may also be a time to let your most hard-working employees shine and really step up to the plate. It is very important to remember if you do hire on seasonal or temporary workers to ensure enough supervisors are assigned to each shift to help out.
Training is such an important part of any successful distribution business. Any extra training for new or temporary personnel is essential. If you hire temporary personnel and can not train them on every aspect of the warehouse, train them very well in one specific area (example; receiving) and place people in only specific zones they are responsible for.
Use the Cheapest Shipment Solution if You’re Offering Free Shipping
If you have not read our 7 Ways to Save on Shipping Costs please do. I can assure you there is no such thing as free shipping and someone, most likely you, is going to be picking up the cost. Be clear on your Web Site or within your Customer Service and Sales Department on what carrier you’re using for the Free Shipping and the True Expectation for delivery. Additionally, you should offer alternatives in the case the product is desired sooner.
Check Your Shipments
If you’re not using a wonderful real-time system like DCWarehouse Automation (which allows you to pick, pack and ship your orders with real-time wireless technology that prevents inaccurate shipments) you should at minimum double and triple check the products in your shipments against the sales orders before they are shipped. This can prevent extremely costly shipping mistakes which affect your profitability.
Hey, hard work pays off and people want to feel appreciated. Have a Post Black Friday Meal or Employee Event! Even something as simple as bringing in a nice lunch is a great reward for the people who help make you successful.