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christmas e-commerce shipping

The Nightmare Before Christmas E-Commerce Shipping

Planning for Christmas e-commerce shipping used to be an annual process. However, strong growth in e-commerce and the ongoing digital transformation of retail forces more retailers to rethink their strategies for peak season. As explained by Troy Graham of Total Retail, the relentless customer demand creates “micro-peaks” throughout the year. This pushes both business-to-business and business to consumer enterprises to invest in added focus and planning. The never-ending peak season planning can become nightmarish for supply chain leaders, who may need to seek better tools for managing the demand.   

Driving Forces of the Nightmare Before Christmas E-Commerce Shipping

The driving forces of the real nightmare before Christmas e-commerce shipping arise from the need to ship more products, guarantee order accuracy, and stay competitive with Amazon and others. Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the operations of every company today, and those that do not work to tackle the beast will face considerable uncertainty. This problem is exacerbated among those using outdated, antiquated warehouse management systems (WMS) and other supply chain technology. Even systems that were implemented within the past five years are on the verge of becoming obsolete, and lackluster integration between systems inevitably contributes to delays in order fulfillment. Pair this with the heightened demand for peak season planning and performance, and supply chain executives can see the risk for an explosion. 

Advanced Warehouse Controls Enable Better Management

Advanced warehouse controls, including the introduction of a warehouse execution system, artificial intelligence, automation, big data, machine learning, and analytics, can mitigate the risks of peak season demand. Unlike systems of the past, modern platforms provide real end-to-end visibility and automate many of the back-office processes associated with warehouse management. As a result, managers and staff can focus on filling orders, not handling outdated and labor-exhaustive systems.

Best Practices for E-Commerce Peak Season Fulfillment

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing e-commerce peak season fulfillment. However, a few best practices can help all warehouses function more effectively during the season. These include:

  1. Review weaknesses within your existing WMS and associated supply chain management systems.
  2. Use analytics to understand more about what customers will expect and want from the peak season, explains
    Logistics Middle East.
  3. Diversify your carrier base, and consider sourcing more local, smaller drivers for transportation.
  4. Provide a better customer experience than big-box retailers and Amazon through tailored, personalized service.
  5. Guarantee order accuracy and delivery, but remember to set realistic expectations for customer service.

Augment Your Christmas
E-Commerce Shipping Strategy With the Right Supply Chain Systems Partner

In today’s world, the Christmas e-commerce shipping strategy is ever-changing and evolving. Supply chain leaders need to start thinking about peak season as a year-long process, not a change in plans that begins mid-summer. At the same time, an evaluation of additional WMS vendors may be prudent in the coming year, with the realization that it is far too late to implement a new system by Christmas 2019. Take the steps toward a happy Christmas morning and choose Veridian to help you sort through your WMS options. Request a consultation with Veridian online now.  

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