We are heading into the holiday shopping season with our ports already congested and shipments from months past not showing up to their destinations. As retailers face increase in demand, these stifled routes will only become further burdened.
How reliable can they be when your entire year’s profit hangs in the balance? Retailer’s must look to alternative ways to trim their costs to survive a difficult season.
Every year, holiday shoppers are looking for the latest in technology, most of which relies heavily on delivery of electronics parts from Taiwan. Although the current administration recently called for an increase in microchip production, we don’t know if we will see an increase in availability in time to satisfy consumer demand.
Given the pending war time situation in Taiwan and neighboring areas, we should be prepared for a season of supply chain disruptions. Businesses need a strategy to meet demand, on time while turning a profit for their efforts. While these are everyday goals, each one is a gigantic leap in our current economic environment.
How to Prepare?
Getting ready to face the challenges of surcharge increases on shipping takes a bit of creativity. There are some discounts available for early shipping and strategies for management shipping changes and cancellations. Preparing for shipping as soon as possible allows for the necessary time to file proper documentation and seek alternative ways to ensure on time delivery.
You can incentivize your customers to order early with discounts that allow you to move the bulk of your holiday sales early enough to harness these shipping advantages. If a shipment can be split up, it won’t be delayed waiting on a container that can fit the entire bill of lading. Being flexible in shipping times and ordering in advance will give your business the wiggle room to anticipate and plan around the various delivery times of your order.
Supply Chain Forecasting
Imagine if you had a crystal ball to let you know when bad weather would hold up delivery of your shipment. Forecasting isn’t quite that savvy; however, utilizing historical data combined with information about demand, pricing and product analysis can provide insight that allows you to adapt to challenges quickly.
Continuous monitoring of inventory levels, costs and waste allow you to assess where changes to your supply chain can bear fruit. If an overseas supplier cannot deliver on-time, perhaps a local supplier with a shorter lead time can offer an acceptable alternative.
The major carriers are encouraging early planning for shipping and building inventories to satisfy demand during a strained holiday season while anticipating hold ups at the docks and continued supply chain disruption caused by floods, heat waves, political turmoil, war, closed transportation routes and labor shortages.
We’ve already endured a holiday season that manifested a storm of supply chain disruption variables. Preplanning for the same this year will keep us all in a better position to meet demand, plan for the headaches, and turn a profit wherever possible.