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Warehouse procurement can be a difficult task at the best of times, but when the holiday season rolls around, these difficulties can only get magnified. 

Even the best-laid procurement plans can encounter unexpected snags and difficulties during the peak seasons for retail and distribution, and if left unchecked, these issues can continue affecting you even after the dust settles sometime in January. 

However, with a little foresight and some active planning, you can mitigate these issues and create a smoother experience obtaining and sorting goods both through the holiday season, and in the months beyond.

Improving Procurement Strategies Through The Holidays


Ongoing cost optimization

Cost optimization is a major part of any procurement process, but a lot of people make the mistake of letting it take a back seat during the fourth quarter. However, by continuing to optimize the cost of your goods, supplies, and needed materials even during peak times, you can help lower overall spending through this challenging period. Who knows – you might even find some end-of-the-year closeout deals that you might’ve missed out on otherwise. 

Keep an eye out for “maverick spending”

From the name, one might assume it has to do with being a hotshot pilot, but in truth, maverick spending can be pretty damaging to your organization. Maverick spending refers to any procurement or purchasing that happens outside existing contracts, which can lead to unexpected increases in cost. 

It can be tempting, especially this time of year where you might be getting a deal on a needed product restock that you keep selling out of, but spending outside of your budget or agreements can make things harder once the dust has settled on the holiday season. Make sure to keep all your procurement above board to avoid any potential hangups.

Continue improving supply continuity

Speaking of items running out of stock, there’s no worse time to have difficulty locating inventory than the holiday season. While it can be difficult to obtain new products within the confines of your existing contracts, making sure there’s space in your budget and agreements to re-up on needed stock will save you a lot of trouble both now, and through the beginning of next year. 

Work with your biggest distributors to make sure the flow of needed goods is at best consistent, and at worst predictable, to make sure the items are arriving on time before they can start to become a problem for both you and your customers. 

Manage your distribution centers at the product level

Finally, all the procurement strategies in the world aren’t going to help if your warehouses are a mess. Continue to keep an eye on your warehouses to make sure that you’re correctly serving your chosen geographic area, and try to rearrange your metal shelving and other warehouse storage solutions to highlight the most popular items and help keep your products moving out the door more quickly.

Any positive change that happens to your procurement solutions now will only continue to benefit you in the future – and just try to tell yourself, the holiday rush will be over soon!

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