It’s a time of great sales. Gear up.
Yes, it’s only June, but Q4 is coming and you’ll need to ramp up your operations to prepare for the onslaught of customer orders this holiday season.
We’ll show you how to avoid squandering this opportunity and how to capitalize on it instead.
Let’s get started
Here a few questions you should be asking yourself as you draw one up:
- What’s your objective this season?
- Is there any special packaging involved?
- Is there a specific date during the holiday season you want your products to be shipped?
- Any new collateral you want to include with your products?
No matter how big a company you are, you need to understand the pressure the holiday season brings and be ready to conquer the challenge.
What’s the plan?
- Have your products manufactured well before November. If you want your products shipped in time for Christmas day, they need to be manufactured and in your partner warehouse by November 1st the very latest. You shouldn’t have to worry about storage fees if you have high product turnover.
- Plan to pay more for shipping. This is not the time to look for the cheapest shipping options. You’ll get what you pay for and regret it. You need a reputable service that will not only ship your packages quickly and in one piece, but also be able to respond effectively when things go awry.
- Run a cost analysis of what you’re willing to pay and how soon you’re willing to ship it. It’ll be in your favor to ship it sooner than Christmas, the first couple of weeks in December.
- Consider your limited-edition packaging and collateral. Order any special packaging and inserts ahead of time and have it arrive at your partner warehouse when your products come in as well.
- Create your order projections. This is is important for you and your 3PL partner because when you understand how much you’re going to sell, it makes planning much easier.
Approach your logistics partner at least 2 months in advance with your plans and order projections. Having these conversations early gives everyone time to think and prepare accordingly.
Well, this depends on when you notice the spike in orders. If you catch them in November or the first two weeks of December, then you’ll have the chance to act quickly and make sure your orders go out on time.
What if I’m late?
If it’s too late in December, then you’ll most likely encounter delayed shipments and pay significantly more money. Note that you’ll have very little negotiating room regarding prices because everyone is being squeezed at this time.
- Sending your 3PL partner a freight with mislabeled or unlabeled packages
- Inaccurate inventory
- Last minute shipments
It takes approximately 1–2 days to asses new shipments and relay that information back to you. That’s why it’s important to have your product in by November 1st the latest as it’ll give you partner time to properly review their checklist.
It’s better to let your 3PL partner arrange the freight so they can have a pulse as to when it’ll be arriving. If not, then keep your partner up to date with the freight information as it’ll give them time to plan ahead.
Make sure to verify your customers’ information.
Have their complete info at hand: Names, Phone Number, Email addresses. Your partner needs to be able to forward tracking numbers, updates, and be able to contact your customers in the case of delivery issues.
When companies don’t plan ahead and communicate with their 3PL, there tends to be a false sense of confidence and security in the logistics systems.
Companies like this have unrealistic expectations as to when their products will be shipped and how much their 3PL can handle in this given moment. Everyone involved is taxed to the brim.
With preparation and lots of communication, you’ll come out on top come this holiday season. Your customers will see you as dependable, efficient, and appreciate the care you put into ensuring a joyous time.