Peak seasons are an exciting time for any business. These busy seasons can mean increased orders, fulfillment requests, and, best of all, revenue. But peak seasons can also be stressful times that lead to warehouse inefficiencies and cause lost opportunities. Lead time can get extended and damage your reputation if you haven’t planned effectively for a higher than normal volume. Here are three useful questions to ask as you prepare for your upcoming peak season:
Sometimes the right warehouse equipment is a full sit-down forklift (like a 3-wheel electric) that can move large pallets of numerous individual products to high-velocity picking areas. For other warehouses in peak seasons, versatile hand pallet or electric walkie pallet jacks that can quickly cover short distances with limited touches are the answer. But as you come into your peak season, take an inventory and make sure you have the right material handling equipment to get the job done.
Perhaps it makes sense to keep pallets of high velocity, peak season products on pallets near the shipping area. Or maybe high-velocity products need to be placed on lower racking levels for easier access by forklift operators and order picking personnel. Your distribution and supply chain needs will dictate what you need, but it’s worth asking if you can reorganize to be more efficient during peak seasons.
The goal of any productive warehouse is to eliminate touches on each product. If you can decrease the number of times a product needs to be moved, then you can shorten your lead time for customer delivery. During high-demand periods, you might consider whether you have an opportunity for cross docking, or the process of receiving a product and then shipping it to its next location without ever moving it to short or long term storage in a warehouse. If peak seasons demand quick delivery of products, it might be best to grab a hand pallet or electric walkie pallet jack and immediately put that received product on the next truck for shipping.