By Kate Lester, CEO and founder of Diamond Logistics.
Some carrier networks have voiced concerns about the magnitude of this year’s peak season which traditionally runs from Black Friday – around Thanksgiving – and continues throughout January to encompass the New Year sales.
It’s no surprise that some operators are a bit nervous. The uncertainty of Covid-19 has made planning more difficult. Some are still catching up with the permanent shift to online and the accompanying uplift in eCommerce business and sales.
Then you have the challenges of supply; with issues from the driver deficit, to the price of containers, to the packaging shortage.
And well, Brexit. This year’s peak deserves proper consideration on how it might affect your business.
But fear not. If retailers and their logistics partners work together, it’s possible to avert disruption.
Here’s the Diamond tips on how retailers and their logistics partners can work together to top peak.
1. Provide your forecasts to your courier/carrier – they will need to budget for the resources to support you.
2. Do not have Dec 21st as your cut-off date. Don’t even think about it. Leave lots of time this year as there will be deviations from the traditional 24 hours.
3. Encourage your customers to buy early. It’s worthwhile offering incentives such as free delivery or 10% off to encourage early purchases.
4. Get plenty of stock in. Gone are the days of six weeks to replenish stock, from China for example. We have seen client after client run out due to unexpected demand, then lose promising business because customers don’t want to wait 3-4 months until stock is replenished.
5. Order LOADS of packaging – or source from your local logistics provider. It’s in short supply as eCommerce has gone through the roof.
6. Look for a logistics management service so you don’t have to take charge of peak deliveries. Diamond has a proactive exceptions management service, so any delivery problems can be resolved quickly, improving the customer experience.
7. Make sure the logistics management service you choose offers a logistics platform which gives users complete transparency. Diamond gives clients full access to Despatchlab so they can see what’s being picked, packed, despatched, delivered, same day courier or overnight carrier. If something does go wrong, it shows what we’re doing to resolve it.
8. Remove as much human error as possible. Integrate booking and management systems. If you can, link your website, inventory and despatch. Automate where possible. It saves time, it stops mistakes, it enhances the customer experience by knowing the products you advertise are in stock. At the same time, make your customer service human centric, like we do. At Diamond, our client service team are real, local people at your local service centre.
It’s not too late to partner with Diamond Logistics ahead of peak. To speak to a member of our team complete the following form: