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busy distribution center during holidays

 

While proper inventory management is crucial any time of the year, the holiday sales rush demands that any warehouse or distribution center maintains the best possible practices and control to make sure their customers get what they order, and to make sure there’s always a clear idea of what’s in stock and how to find it. To keep on top of the increase in product demand this time of year, we’ve put together a few suggestions any warehouse/DC manager will want to keep in mind during the holidays:

 

Streamline Your Inventory Process

Depending on the size and type of your business or facility, you might want to spend most of the year with your inventory divided into one or two different channels, such as inventory replenishment and e-commerce fulfillment. Come the holidays, however, it would be a better idea to streamline all inventory into one channel to make sure the correct number of products on hand. You don’t want to run the risk of having a popular item divided into multiple channels and being more difficult to find and fulfill when it comes time for shipping orders.

 

Preplan and Minimize Picking

Especially this time of year, having a strong planned-out picking process is critical to increase order speed and prevent inventory errors. Designate separate inventory zones for pallet, case, and individual item picking (depending on what’s being sent out) and keep those zones well stocked with plenty of industrial wire shelving to accommodate any storage needs that might come up. This sort of plan can also help when it comes time to load orders on the trailer, by sending each portion of an order – pallet, case, or individual items – to the trailer at the same time and reducing load time to get orders out faster.

 

Keep An Eye On Your Returns

This time of year generally sees a massive increase in returned goods, and these need to be strictly monitored. Returns have a bad habit of slipping through the cracks this time of year, and these need to be managed tightly to prevent inventory issues. Control your returned goods to get a better idea of what items can be re-sold, what needs to be refurbished, and what needs to be disposed of, and use this information to bolster your inventory accordingly.

 

Take A Walk Around The Warehouse Floor

Sure, you might be stuck behind a computer or glued to a tablet more than usual this time of year, but you’d be shocked at how much good a walk around the floor can do for you. Getting out of your office and keeping an eye on your processes can help to determine any flaws in your procedure or any areas that are being slowed down by the influx of holiday product, and give you a new perspective on your daily operations.

 

No matter what your warehouse stocks or deals in, these tips should help you better manage the holiday rushes for both your workers, your stock, and your whole business.

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