Is Your Supply Chain Ready For New Year Sale?

Festival season in India is synonymous with shopping festival. Companies don’t leave any stone unturned to lure the customers looking for good deals. As per a recent survey conducted by Retail Association of India commissioned by Litmus world, 86% respondents were looking forward to shopping during the festive season.

Year end sale

This is no surprise that apparel and footwear industry record 40% of their sales during the festive seasons only. Not only the online retailers but the brick and mortar shops witness this surge of customers and want to be fully prepared to handle the increased volumes.
A successful festive season requires the right promotions strategy, marketing efforts, merchandising and an agile supply chain plan in place. Failure in any of the departments would result in your customers moving to the next shop or browsing the other website. Below 5 points would help your supply chain to be ready for the new year sales:

1. Know Your Capacity Requirement
As the new year or any other festive season approaches, your network would need to carry double the usual volumes or maybe even more. It is important to do your calculations before you start pushing your stock in the network. The first step is to get the forecast data and accordingly, plan how much you want to stock at each stocking point. Another key factor to address would be to ascertain the no. of vehicles would you require for replenishment and what would be your replenishment frequency.

2. Identify Bottlenecks
Do you face space shortage in the mother warehouse? Do your stores choke during new year sales? Is your logistics partner capable of assuring you transportation as and when required? You should know the weak points of your supply chain and accordingly strategize to eliminate the bottlenecks one by one.

3. Flexible Capacity in place
Whether you are a new player or a well-established MNC, whether you sell online or offline; you can’t design your network for peak capacity during new year sale as that would lead to added cost for rest 11 months. Therefore, smart retailers work with 3PLs or at least, partner with them during the season sale. A reliable 3PL can help you to provide the excess capacity on pay per use basis without passing on any long-term liability.

4. Cut your TAT
Once you have taken care of your capacity constraints in terms of physicals assets like space and vehicles, you must increase your throughput. You should be able to pick, pack and dispatch at double the speed. The number of trucks to be loaded or unloaded per day would drastically increase during the new year season sale. It is going to be difficult to significantly increase your manpower for such short period. You must resort to technology to cut your TAT. Sorters can increase your sorting speed by up to 10 times and telescopic loaders can comfortably ease stress at your loading bays. What is critical in deploying automation is that you must prepare well in advance. Finish your automation implementation at least one month in advance of the season sale, so that the ground staff is fully accustomed to the new systems in place.

5. At the end, it’s people business
Don’t wait for last day to hire. There are limited resources available and everybody needs more manpower for their peak season. Be smart and put your hiring strategies to work at least two months in advance. Automation, along with the right team can easily sail you through the best month for your business.

You can’t have a successful new year sale unless your supply chain is in place. Physical capacity and processes both must match the capacity requirements. Automation and staffing have higher lead times and should be planned well in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises. For capacity enhancement, it is advisable to tie up with 3PLs who can provide you the much-needed flexible capacity.
Holisol is a leading supply chain organization providing solutions in retail (end-to-end fulfillment), Auto & Engineering (packaging & supply chain) and Consulting. Holisol works on the value proposition of Design-Implement-Manage to offer customers an experience of working like their own extended team, with affordable strategic and operational expertise.

Headquartered in Delhi, Holisol has a workforce of +300 supply chain enthusiasts who are continuously building value through leadership, innovation and relationships. For more information, visit us at www.holisollogistics.com