The following tips should serve as an effective checklist to ensure you're all set once the holidays arrives:
1) Get your teams up to speed
Given everything that's going on, it's vital to understand what your staffing needs are, and what will be expected of every team once the real crush of work starts, according to Parcel Industry. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what you need, but a last-minute once-over will help you see where you stand in relation to your projections.
2) See if you can make layout changes
Before things get truly hectic, it might be wise to see if you can rearrange any aspects of your facility to ensure a better flow of people and products, Parcel Industry advised. If you can make even incremental changes that open the space up or allow for a better picking and packing process, the cumulative effect on your output could be considerable.
3) Complete seasonal hiring as early as possible
If you're still trying to pull together your seasonal workforce, you need to get that effort wrapped up as soon as you can, according to Redwood Logistics. That way, you can do more to onboard those workers and make sure they really know the ropes before the going gets a lot tougher.
4) Train everyone
When you're thinking about getting your new hires up to speed, it's never a bad idea to re-train even your longest-tenured workers for how best to handle their jobs during the holiday season, Redwood Logistics added. When you do so, you have done more to ensure you're all on the same page and you will have greater organizational success as a result.
5) Make sure your ducks are in a row for all orders
Once you have a good handle on your labor issues, it's important to also collaborate with both suppliers and other partners up and down the supply chain to ensure everything you're expecting will arrive on time throughout the holiday season, according to Material Handling & Logistics. When you do more to increase visibility, everyone benefits, and you can help ensure you're not going to be the weak link in your overall supply chain.
6) Set a maintenance schedule
A lot of your equipment is likely to get quite the workout over the next eight weeks or so, and as such you need to make sure that stuff is up to the task, Material Handling & Logistics said. Scheduling regular maintenance throughout the holidays to go above and beyond what you normally need is going to be a good idea.