How to Ensure your Supply Chain is Ready for 2020’s Holiday Season



It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of 2020. For many, this comes with relief - 2020 has been a challenging year, and it has rocked every sector of industries across the world. As always, with this time of year, comes the preparations for the holiday season. 

With the holidays approaching, customers begin purchasing decorations, gifts, and hunting for the best deals, either online or in their neighbourhood stores. It is a great opportunity for businesses to cash in on the seasonal spike in customer demand. However, this also means that there is high pressure on supply chains, especially given the rollercoaster 2020 has been and since we are still seeing spikes on COVID-19 cases across the globe. 

This time of year poses great opportunities and challenges for businesses and retailers. The real question is: is your supply chain prepared for this holiday season? Here are some things that can be done to ensure a successful holiday season:

  1. Holiday Season Inventory 

It is normal for retailers to see a greater demand of orders during the holiday season. Due to this, it is important not to lose sight of season inventories. Keep a close look on stocking levels - not only your own inventory, but also your supplier’s. Be aware of things such as labeling, packaging, promotional materials, and finished goods so that you don’t end up with obsolete stock. 

  1. Supply chain diversification 

Though supply chain diversification is something retailers are mindful of throughout the whole year, it is especially important during the holiday season. It is critical that you have other options available and are prepared to deal with disruptions in the event they arise. Don’t wait for a crisis to arrive to look for solutions—have a back-up plan.

  1. Track shipping delays

Delays happen, and COVID-induced delays have slowed normal goods movement this year. Depending on what you are trying to ship, delays can lead to odours on goods, or even the formation of mold. It is important that you continuously investigate transit time and the storage conditions of your products. 

Supply chain disruptions during the holiday season are expected, and this year, retailers need to ensure that they are more than prepared to deal with what is to come. Understanding the risks allows retailers to create contingency plans to lessen the impact those disruptions may have on their business. It is crucial to have a good understanding of customer expectations, and how to meet those demands. 

At Thompson Ahern, we understand how stressful this time of year can be, and we are here to help. We do not believe in the “one size fits all” mentality. We ensure that all of our personnel are well-trained and informed in the urgency, complexity, and challenges of supply chains. For more information, please feel free to contact us at info@taco.ca

From all of us at Thompson Ahern, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy and safe holiday season!

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