It’s no secret that the holiday season is the lifeblood of retail, for both e-commerce and bricks and mortar. That makes it not just an annual sales frenzy, but an annual logistics nightmare too.
And then there’s the 2021 holiday season.
By now, many of the pandemic-related supply chain challenges that retailers face are fairly well-known. But the holidays amplify their effects. So we thought we’d do a quick review to make sure you’re prepared.
3 Supply Chain Challenges for the 2021 Holiday Season
The following are just a few examples of the logistical issues you might face in your supply chain when preparing for this holiday season.
1. Warehousing Space & Management
Shipping delays and raw materials shortages have forced businesses to keep more inventory on hand. That stretches their warehousing capacity like never before. It stretches their warehouse and inventory management systems too. The risks include not having the space you need for holiday stock, and increased time and costs due to lost and/or mismanaged inventory.
2. Transportation Slowdowns
Maybe you’re just getting on top of this issue, having just communicated with your customers about anticipated shortages and delays. But these are the holidays. Even your most recent projections can fall short of the capacity you’ll really need. And an interruption could be devastating.
3. Labour Shortages
Do you usually hire extra staff for the holidays? Do your suppliers do the same thing? The demand for labour, both skilled and unskilled, is higher than it’s been in recent memory. There are driver shortages, people wanting to work from home and people who haven’t returned to the workforce after last year’s layoffs.
If you work with a reliable third-party logistics (3PL) company, like PiVAL, you’ll have a partner to help you deal with these and many other issues you might face this year. If you don’t work with a 3PL, now’s a good time to start.
To learn more about how a 3PL can help your business as the pandemic continues to affect it, check out our article “How to Survive Supply Chain Disruptions“.
What challenges are you currently facing that are disrupting your supply chain, ultimately impacting how you service your customers? My team and I are ready to help you optimize your supply chain. Contact me today to discuss how we can support your growth.