The holiday season is here and before you get into the whole spirit, make sure you have sorted your inventory, and your fulfillment channels are all prepped for the huge incoming orders. If you can still devise a plan, these 4 ways will help you manage your holiday inventory and fulfillment.
So let's get started:
1. Reach out to the suppliers and make orders for raw materials in advance
If you have been in the business for quite some time, you will have an idea of what will be your top seller or what raw materials might be used too often. Use the previous holiday season's inventory list and supply orders, and start stocking up your inventory.
You can stock up quickly, but a safe amount is always a good idea. Also, get in touch with the suppliers and inform them that you might need certain items. This way, the suppliers will also get a chance to be prepared for the bulk orders, and they can strengthen their supply chain as well.
2. Prepare your holiday inventory
Suppose you run a business that includes seasonal products. In that case, it's time to sort your inventory and club the holiday inventory together so the fulfillment process becomes much more manageable.
Start by making a list of items that can be clubbed together. For example, you can put the holiday candles, and wax melts together in the same place, so whenever someone orders scented products, you can reach out to the rack and pick the correct item. Similarly, group and arrange the holiday inventory and then move to label them.
Also, have a plan in place to conduct frequent inventory audits. It will help you quickly identify the best-selling items and stock up on them before they run out.
3. Prepare a holiday fulfillment schedule
The holiday fulfillment schedule will be entirely different from your normal-day fulfillment commitments. During the holidays, you will see a jump in orders; therefore, you need to improve the overall efficiency of your fulfillment process.
Thus, you might alter the way you pack the items or increase the frequency at which you used to purchase the raw goods and ship the final items. Whatever works best for you.
If you are the only one who packs and sends the order, you might have to hire some extra help to ensure that the orders leave on time, get shipped, and reach the customers on time. There might be a slight delay owing to the number of orders, but ensure you convey the same to the customers so they can be satisfied.
An organized holiday fulfillment schedule will help ensure that you give customer satisfaction equal importance.
4. Opt for third-party fulfillment services to dispatch orders on time
As mentioned early on, if you are a small business specializing in handmade products, and if all of the packing and dispatching is also under your surveillance, there is a high chance that the orders might get delayed during the holidays.
Even after hiring someone for help, if you find out that it takes more than two or three people, you can opt for third-party fulfillment services. You can leave a holiday inventory or prepare a holiday schedule. You only have to look after if the raw materials are reaching the factory on time and if the final products reach the fulfillment service warehouse on time. The third-party service would do that for you.