With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting internationally in both production supply, business model, and customer shopping experience, there is no denying that holiday shopping seasons will be vastly different than what they once were.
Don’t be overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve got you back. Welcome to Part 2/3 of the “Manufacturing in China 10 Tips to Peak Season Preparation” series where we list the most important and useful tricks in production plans when it comes to peak seasons. If you want to review some of the previous tips, click here to see what they covered.
Today, we will show you more tips. Let’s dive into part two.
Click here for the previous parts of the peak season preparation tips:
4. Prepare for Warehouse Strategy
You may be aware that your warehouse will experience an influx of work thanks to the increased demand for your products during the upcoming peak holiday seasons. However, what you may overlook is that your warehouse will remain busy even afterward because it needs to deal with return volumes after promotions end.
In this case, you need to have a detailed warehousing strategy to operate your warehouse more efficiently during the peak season, including using a better system to keep track of each item and having more warehouse space and extra staff to handle the sales and returns. This is because poor strategies focus on maintaining the status quo and relying on outdated and simple inventory systems that may negatively affect your sales performance if they cannot share data between other supply chain platforms.
When it comes to predicting how much warehouse space you need for all your products throughout the peak season, be sure to account for more than just enough room by calculating inventory based on the previous number of orders or other relevant data.
Don’t risk leaving too little warehouse space for your inventory because it will be difficult to rent another warehouse during peak season – either the location is too distant or the lease prices are not affordable, and most importantly, you don’t have time to deal with it. But it’s also important not to overstock and be left with unsold inventory once the season is over, which can hurt your cash flow.
It’s not only essential to know your product units so that you can prepare internally for where they lie ahead, but you also need to keep your manufacturing partner in the loop so that they can allocate those same resources effectively. If you don’t, the resources might get promised to your competitor.
5. Diversify Production
In the past, many foreign buyers used to have a sense of building a strong, solid relationship with one manufacturer when outsourcing production to China. But this way of thinking has been thrown out in recent years.
From the threat of a global shutdown due to the pandemic to the Suez Canal blockage putting the transfer of goods at a standstill, it’s never been more important than ever before to make sure that your business is prepared for all potential eventualities.
To avoid supply chain disruption, it seems that more buyers are opting for diversifying production to lower the risk of delays and raise profit margins. In other words, rather than relying on only one supplier in manufacturing, they are securing deals with a few different factories or service suppliers. Not only can this option avoid single points of failure, but also creates a much more reliable and predictable supply chain, which is of paramount importance for your peak season preparation.
You can keep production costs lower through higher quantities when working with a single supplier in China, but when choosing multiple production partners, you can seize the opportunity for cost reductions through continued negotiation and reordering. Additionally, during peak seasons it is useful to work with different producers for an unlimited supply of goods when you have multiple SKUs.
6. Understand Lead Time
When it comes to production, you need to understand the lead time of your production project when you make an order before the peak season.
Typically, lead time is the amount of time between an order starting and finishing. To put it simply in your manufacturing situation, lead time is when you can measure the period from signing a production contract with your supplier up until the completion of production and its readiness to ship out.
Once you understand what the lead time means, take time to review potential problems which can affect your desired amount of lead time – for example, any foreseeable issues regarding raw materials being unavailable or too expensive. Discuss these with your supplier and see if they can do anything about it before finalizing a purchase order.
Of course, sometimes delays and disruptions can’t always be avoided. To prevent any potential issues, you need to act quickly and communicate effectively with your suppliers.
Keep in mind that the holiday season will be so busy that many manufacturing service providers may stop taking new orders a few weeks before. Thus, it’s crucial to make an order ahead of time with an accurate order volume to avoid getting behind on orders. Don’t forget to confirm what the exact time frame is from when an order is placed until when it’s shipped and arrives at your warehouse.
Also, stay up to date with your manufacturing partner to ensure that the production of your project will remain at its usual high standard within the time frame given. It will be a good idea for you to leave enough time not only just for production but also for the final inspection to ensure your product quality.
To be successful during the peak season, there are several things you need to think about beforehand and one of the most important parts is choosing a reliable and professional manufacturing partner to get your products made in high quality.
This is because working with a knowledgeable expert can help you handle the whole production without risks and avoid many potential problems, so you can focus on making a business strategy.
At Shield Works Precision Manufacturing, we provide a wide range of custom manufacturing solutions to suit any type of business – large or small. From prototyping through production and assembly, we’re able to take care of everything. Click here to discuss your project with our experts to achieve peak season success.