“It’s the hap-happiest time of the year!” In the logistics world, Autumn and the lead up to Christmas can be the most important time of the year.
This is the time when many retail businesses see a massive increase in demand from their customers.
By October shops are already selling Christmas stock, customers are checking their lists twice and mince pies are flying off the shelves!
Customers put high importance on being able to get their goods in a timely fashion during the Christmas period, so ensuring your business is prepared with warehousing, distribution and order fulfilment is vital.
When does the festive logistics season begin?
As early as September, festive preparations are already in full swing for warehousing and logistics providers. Just prior to Christmas is Black Friday – one of the highest retail sales days all year. To make the most of both, businesses need to be prepared.
Supply chain planning for peak seasons can require months of preparation.
How do you maintain supply chain efficiency?
The sudden increase in orders around this time will undoubtedly boost turnover and profits, but it can also put retailers under a considerable amount of strain. Shops become crowded and stock replenishment can prove difficult.
There’s also the added pressure of increased shipping times and delivery backlogs.
The best thing to do is to start your preparations early. Liaise with your suppliers to ensure you have enough stock, as well as sufficient packaging to handle the extra orders.
Having a good relationship with your suppliers is key. By regularly keeping in contact with them via phone and email in the lead up to the Christmas season, you can be assured that they can supply the stock you need.
Should you use a 3PL?
Third-party logistics, or ‘3PL’, is the management of the movement and storage of parts, products and orders for your business by a skilled partner.
Outsourcing to a 3PL provider will take away some of the strains for the festive season. Your logistics will be handled by experts who will have planned carefully to meet increased demand over Christmas and Black Friday.
Using a 3PL will also allow your staff to concentrate on sales and customer service instead of supply chain management.
How can 3PL help gear up your business for Christmas?
Using a 3PL warehouse in the lead up to Christmas has numerous benefits for your business.
The most important one being cost savings.
Dedicated 3PL providers specialise in reducing costs for the businesses they support. Many businesses have multiple sites or storage facilities, often in different geographical locations. By consolidating logistics operations with a trusted 3PL provider, you can increase operational efficiencies by streamlining your logistics processes.
It’s important to look for a 3PL partner who has flexible solutions so they can scale the service they provide as you grow.
Choosing the right 3PL provider for your business
When choosing a 3PL provider it’s important to find an experienced company that can be trusted to deliver your products on time and in pristine condition.
Beyond having the facilities, skills and experience to deliver what you need now, a great 3PL provider will give you additional services like pallet distribution and transport solutions.
With a fleet of vehicles, your 3PL will also be able to provide you fast and efficient transportation for your goods and products, increasing your efficiency throughout the busy Christmas period.
How can PF Whitehead Logistics help in your busy season?
Here at PF Whitehead Logistics, we provide 3PL for businesses throughout the UK.
From our 500,000 square feet facility in South London, we’re trusted to deliver warehousing, pallet distributions, outsourced transportation and all your 3PL needs.
With almost 60-years experience, we’ve gained an outstanding reputation in a number of key sectors including retail, trade suppliers and FMCGs.
We can help you reduce costs and improve services during your busy lead up to Black Friday and Christmas. Flexibility, reliability and detail to personal service are our trademarks.
If you’re looking for a way to prepare your business’ logistics for the festive season, contact us at 020 8684 4507.