Is your supply chain ready for the Black Friday chaos?

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping and the holiday season in the west. The holiday which usually falls on the 4th Friday of November is marked on 27th November this year.

The one-day long event observes several shopping giants like Amazon, Flipkart, etc host great offers and deals for their customers. With all the shopping activity that takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving, the day became one of the most profitable days of the year for retailers and businesses. While the day holds special significance for countries like the United States, it has begun to gain importance and relevance in several countries around the world including India.

It has been observed that companies across the nation are offering great deals to their customers leading to an upsurge in demand almost as similar to other shopping festivals that take place throughout the season.

Where on one hand, the companies have to prepare for the upsurge in demand, they also have to be prepared for a delay in shipments from overseas.

For instance, if you have products manufactured overseas, then if those products are not either on the ocean right now or en-route over land to your distribution centres, then you are already in trouble as you are going to face a major setback in your inventory levels.  

Thus, to ensure Black Friday readiness in your supply chain, you need to have this checklist handy as we tell you everything that it takes to ace the logistics of Black Friday:

Bring in Visibility

Do you know if your product is still being manufactured, in transit, or they are already in your stores or Distribution Centres? Without having the basic knowledge of the whereabouts of your products, it is difficult to cater the best to your customers.

Retailers often use integrated, real-time data to know the status of their products and identify the risks that may cause disruption in their supply chain. Complete visibility within the organization supply chain, last-mile supply chain and within the partners can help eliminate issues like quality problems, or specification issues, and take necessary steps to get them corrected.

Suit-up your Warehouses for the surge

Creating a right balance in the demand and supply coupled with fast movement of inventory is one of the biggest challenges during festivities. Thus, making it necessary to prep up the warehouse for the up surge.

Grouping up the incoming inventory from the fastest moving to the slowest moving can certainly fast up the processes. Keeping the fast moving inventory near the shipping dock or at the central location can reduce labor and cut on time.

Furthermore, adding a hint of technology like WMS, Automated inventory control platform, Automated guided vehicles, etc in the warehouses can help increase efficiency by manifolds and help maintain high level of services.  

Being Agile

In movements of upsurge demands, agility in an organization is essential to deliver satisfaction, make fast decisions to resolve the in-hand issues and protect the bottom line.

An agile supply chain with alertness, decisiveness and flexibility can be a game changer when dealing with supply chain hiccups or time crunch crisis.

An organization that is alert in detecting changes and threats to your supply chain, decisive in creating a quick plan to fix the problem, and flexible enough to change its operations for the solution to be implemented is prepared enough to handle the hiccups that the festivities throws at them.

According to Gartner study, best companies in the world are the ones with best supply chains. Many companies have mastered their supply chains by focusing on innovative approaches based on products/services offered, customer demographics, supply chain processes, use of appropriate technologies and trained/skilled manpower.

Managing supply chain stakeholders during an event like Black Friday is one of the major challenges.

Although a single day cannot make or break the business of supply chain professionals, it can certainly bring in high stress and pressure. With businesses wanting to handle more orders than before during the festivities, the readiness of their supply chain becomes a big deciding factor of their success.

Looking over the entire supply chain ecosystem and testing the capabilities and readiness in all the areas in advance can ensure the well applaudable performance of the supply chain and handle the high volumes with a smile during the festivities.

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