Planning inventory well in advance before the holiday season
We all know how magical the holiday season can be. Everyone is jolly, and there’s a pleasing scent of comfort and love in the air. But as an entrepreneur, the holiday season is like ‘the golden hour of business’.
Digital sales are experiencing a significant increase this year, mainly due to the early holiday shopping trend. “With inflation and supply chain issues top of mind for shoppers this year, we’re seeing an increased focus on early holiday shopping.” says Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail, Salesforce.
This means that product-making businesses are facing more pressure than ever to deliver. Staying on top of inventory and planning ahead will be key factors for success this year; and managing business operations the right way may bring a prominent jump in sales, and therefore profits.
Make sure to reach out to suppliers in advance, optimize your manufacturing processes, and create strategy for success. Allocating necessary resources to properly plan inventory helps your business stay ahead and manage the increased demand during the busy shopping periods. Once you understand how much you need for the holiday period, a manufacturing ERP software can help you track stock levels and set reorder points to make sure your inventory never falls below a certain level. It is advisable to increase reorder points and reorder quantity to cover a predicted spike in sales.
Don’t try to play a guessing game when it comes to forecasting sales. Make informed decisions, based on real data taken from your own sales history.
As we already know that customers shop differently during the holidays, and this year’s season will be particularly different, take into account only historical data from the holiday months. You might be surprised to find out not only that you need to stock up on more raw materials than usual, but also that your top-selling products might be different from the rest of the year.
Your sales won’t be exactly the same two years in a row, but taking your historical data as a point of departure will certainly strengthen your estimates.
To take things even further, make sure to read trade news and blogs, analyse your competitors’ sites, and check Google trends to find what keywords people use in online searches.
Arguably one of the most challenging parts of inventory management is consolidating all warehouses, sales channels, and deliveries. The various facets of inventory management imply paying attention to several moving parts, and it’s virtually impossible to do so without a proper tool. Simplify your life by making sure the inventory software you choose to implement in your business has synchronization capabilities, so that your sales channels, warehouses, and orders are consolidated into a single point of truth.
The time right before the holidays is just as important (or perhaps even more important) than the holiday season itself for product-making manufacturers. Following these three simple tips will help you be prepared for the busiest time of the year and enjoy the season without stress, frustration, or missed opportunities.