Top 3 Bottlenecks in the Warehouse During the Holidays
The holiday shopping season is an annual sweet spot for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Unfortunately, the holidays aren't all fun and games, especially for online retailers that can't scale to the sudden influx of orders that this time of year brings.
Like it or not, the customer experience doesn't end when the buyer completes a transaction online; it extends to the delivery of the item to the customer's doorstep. That means customers will evaluate your brand based on its ability to pick, pack, ship and deliver products on time during the holidays.
Holiday Warehouse Challenges for Online Retailers
At Dotcom Distribution, it's our job to successfully guide e-retailers through the logistics and fulfillment requirements of the holiday shopping season. Over the years, we've seen three critical warehouse bottlenecks that can jeopardize your brand's ability to take advantage of holiday retail opportunities.
1. Gift packaging: Gift packaging is an important service for holiday gift buyers. Although gift boxing or wrapping can be a valuable option year-round, holiday shoppers expect the ability to purchase gifts online, have them packaged as beautiful "presents," often including being wrapped in their choice of holiday-themed wrapping paper and including personalized messages when they're shipped directly to recipients.
Normal gift packaging volumes are blown out of the water during the fourth quarter, particularly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The bottleneck happens when the warehouse isn't able to keep up with the processes that are associated with various wrapping options.
Consider separating orders based on the type of gift packaging they require. For example, gift boxes may go to one set of pack stations, while gift-wrapped products go to others. By developing an optimized workflow, you're able to take advantage of process efficiencies and effectively manage a high volume of gift packaging and messaging requests.
Maria Haggerty is CEO and one of the original founders of Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a concentration in Accounting. Maria plays an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. As CEO, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, establishing long range goals, and developing strategies for the senior leadership team. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities while achieving favorable results. She works closely with the leadership team to enhance, develop, and enforce procedures that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation. During her tenure at the Dotcom, Maria has developed an environment of continual improvement by supporting the Senior Leadership Team and their department managers on continuous process, space labor, automation, and financial best practices. Prior to founding Dotcom, Maria was a CPA at Arthur Andersen and was later the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video where she helped grow the company’s distribution business. When Maria is not in the office, she enjoys traveling around the world and practicing her photography skills.