Peak is in full swing; Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken place and with shoppers spending a predicted £1bn in combined online sales on Black Friday alone, it’s looking likely to be another record breaking year for the eCommerce sector.
In fact, there’s been a marked shift towards online buying, as many national news outlets noted a distinct drop in footfall in stores, as consumers chose to forgo rowdy crowds in favour of comfortable home shopping!
This momentum is expected to continue online throughout Christmas and extend into January as savvy shoppers hunt for the best deals in an ever frugal economic climate.
So, with this in mind, what can we learn from the packaging peak? The answer is, well, a lot.
While the needs of businesses will differ greatly, from large scale pick and pack through to local SMEs, there’s a logical yearly cycle of supply chain optimisation that can be both informed by peak and help you prepare for the next one…
- Review & learn – busy, high pressure times will inevitably highlight areas for improvement. After peak, it’s always important for retailers to review any challenges they experienced and begin considering solutions. Common issues we come across include:
– bottle necks
– packaging supply continuity (this can stem from supplier issues as well as poor forecasting)
– damaged goods
– delayed deliveries and courier problems
– insufficient throughput
It’s also a good time to look at what went well and apply positive insights to other areas in the supply chain to contribute to overall optimisation.
When should I do this? January – March
- Investigate, test & refine – any good packaging partner will work alongside you to develop new solutions and overcome challenges you’ve been experiencing with your packaging. Testing any preferential packaging materials, machinery or new processes before peak is essential. This allows you to iron out any kinks before systems are stretched to their limits and you can make tweaks or changes to suit your business.
When should I do this? April – June
- Implement & improve – you want to be prepared for peak, so you need to phase in any new solutions prior to the seasonal shopping sprees kick in. Ideally, if you’re putting any large scale changes that impact current processes, you should provide training to packers and allow a bedding in period, so everyone is up to speed when Black Friday rolls around once more!
When should I do this? July – September (Just in time for peak to begin in October / November!)
If you’re experiencing any difficulties during peak or would simply like to see if you could get more about of your packaging, speak to the Network Packaging team. Call us on 01902 496666, email us or complete our contact form to book some time with one of our experts.