Is your Warehouse prepared for Christmas? 6 Tips for Effective Warehouse Management during Peak Retail Period

It’s the middle of August, and for many, it’s a quieter time of year. People are away, enjoying summer breaks, so thinking about Christmas probably seems a little premature. But, even though Christmas is another four months away, as a warehouse manager, now is the best time to prepare for that end-of-year, Christmas rush.

Peak Retail Season

The peak retail season is much closer than most people realise. Whilst Christmas is 4 months away, the start of the peak retail period starts much earlier. For retailers, the fourth quarter of the year is the time that they make profits. Consumer retail results in this period can make or break a financial year. As the last quarter starts in October, Halloween is often cited as the start of the big Christmas retail rush. It’s after Halloween and Bonfire night that consumers minds turn to Christmas and everything that they need to buy

Warehouse Facility Examination

As summer slowly turns into Autumn, wholesalers and retailers are gearing up with their offerings for the peak retail season. The knock on effect means that warehouses will need to be ready and prepared for the coming onslaught. Warehouse managers are well advised to start examining their facilities not, to make sure that they have the capacity and processes to cope.

Whether you are a distribution centre or a producer/supplier, you must analyse your facility now to ensure you are fit for peak retail season. That advantages of a fully optimised warehouse are considerable, but two simple results are that a fully optimised warehouse won’t have to hire additional, untrained staff for the period, and retailers and e-commerce merchant won’t overestimate requirements, flooding the warehouse with stock you can’t deal with.

Analysis of Warehouse Processes

By conducting a thorough analysis of your current warehouse processes you can prepare fully for peak. Here are some simple tips that will help you start.

1. Evaluate Current Distances

Picking time is vital in every warehouse. By asking these questions you will be able to increase efficiency:-

  • How far away is the conveyor from the receiving section?
  • How far does a forklift have to drive to pick pallets from storage?
  • Can the distances be shortened?

Knowing these distances will help with creating an efficient floor layout.

2. Evaluate Condition of Existing Equipment

Consider the following questions to assess the condition of your equipment:

  • How was the last peak period for your business?
  • Did you fulfil orders on time and within budget?
  • Have there been any equipment upgrades since then?
  • Are you still handling the same sized SKUs?

3. Examine your records

By examining your records from last year you will be able to see what has changed. You just might need to dismantle and sell the selective racking and invest in a full mezzanine.

4. Conduct a maintenance check

While you should already have regular maintenance checks in place, this is another opportunity to examine your material handling equipment for any damage.

5. Assess your current picking process

If an alphabetical system of storage worked when you had a smaller range of SKUs, re-assess to make sure it is still fit for purpose.

Do you carry any fast-selling items? You can move these closer to the pickers to reduce the walking distance covered.

6. Consider Automation

This may be the best time of year to consider the use of automation. Even if you don’t install a full AS/RS, consider a WMS. The initial cost is quickly recouped via the increased level of accuracy, reduced labour costs and a greater efficiency.

By examining these issues now, you can help make the right decisions that will create a more efficient warehouse, and a more efficient business.

Any analysis will help you decide on the optimal location for every item and piece of equipment in your facility, from storage through to workers.

With the impending arrival of the peak retail season, now is the time to prepare your business to do better than last year.

Monarch Shelving delivers support and expertise

At Monarch Limited, we don’t want you to simply survive this peak period.

With the right equipment in place, you can reap huge profits this peak period. Whether it’s to sell the racking you dismantle or to buy new ones, contact us today.

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Monarch Shelving Ltd
Unit F,Daltry Street, Oldham, Lancashire, United KingdomOL1 4AB
Tel: 0161 627 3444 or 0161 622 0022 | Fax: 01706 880520