How Manufacturers Can Prepare for the Holiday Season

November 7, 2023
 min read
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It’s the week after Halloween and you’re driving through your neighborhood enjoying the last of the leaves that haven’t fallen yet when you see something that stops you in your tracks. It’s your neighbor Joe’s house, and it’s decked from top to bottom in flashing string lights, plastic reindeer, and a huge inflatable Santa in the middle of the yard. Yep, it’s already that time of year again. 🎄🙃

While the holidays can be full of joy, they can also bring a ton of stress to business leaders and owners in the manufacturing industry. Holiday sales are already starting to pick up, meaning the pressure is on for warehouse staff. Is your team ready to tackle the rush?

With proper management and preparation, you can sustain efficiency despite increasing demands and supply chain challenges. In fact, your business can even flourish during the holidays if you lay the groundwork for success. Here are a few steps you can take now to prepare for the holiday season.

Prepare Your Warehouses for Increased Inventory

So, what’s the first step to getting your warehouse to an Amazon-level state of efficiency during the holidays? Conduct a walkthrough of your warehouse floor. 

Analyze the floor and the flow of things. If there’s wasted space, how can you optimize the layout? If there’s clutter in the walkways, where can you add additional storage to handle surplus inventory? 

Machinery that isn’t used to working overtime is prone to malfunctions. Conduct preventative maintenance on warehouse machinery now to avoid costly disruptions to your holiday production during peak season. If you’re lacking the equipment your team needs to get the job done, consider renting used machinery to operate at maximum production (just be sure to check for wear and tear before using).

Prepare Employees for Increased Demands

Nothing leads to burn out more than working overtime in a high-stress environment. Analyze your current demands and analytics, and compare them with data from past holiday seasons.

Then, create a list of current staff across all departments of your business. (Pro-tip: having all of your data in a centralized place where data-driven insights are generated for you and placed into an organized dashboard makes this part of the process a breeze 😉)

Once you’ve conducted an assessment, ask yourself: do you have the hands on staff to handle the increasing demands? Don’t jeopardize your loyal employees by increasing their hours. If your predictions show that you’re going to need extra help, hire seasonal or part-time workers. If they decide to stay after the holiday season, you’ll double your ROI on training.

Incorporate the Right Workflow Management Software

Don’t let technical difficulties and unorganized order management stop production in its tracks during the busiest season of the year. Ensure things are running smoothly by incorporating software that manages every part of the process, from the initial order to shipping, in one centralized place. 

Don’t try to DIY the most vital factor of your business’s success by piecing multiple disconnected tools together. Invest in a software that allows you to centralize communications, automate tasks, customize notifications and permissions, set up standardized stage gates, and create safety nets to prevent things from slipping through the cracks (errr… conveyor belts)!

Plus, you’ll gain invaluable insights on every part of your business by centralizing all of your data. That way, you know where to improve and where to invest. 

Is your team prepared to survive the hustle and bustle of the holiday season this year? If you’re unsure, chat with a team member today to see how we’ve helped businesses like yours quadruple their efficiency with little-to-no effort on their end.

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