Tips to beat the Christmas hustle and bustle
Tis the season to be jolly, but prepare for the hustle and bustle by staying on your game to manage key areas of your business, the Jamaica Business Development Cooperation (JDBC) has cautioned entrepreneurs.
The entity, in offering tips on how to best navigate this busy time of year often referred to as the silly season, has in its latest edition of the Entrepreneur Weekly encouraged mainly small businesses to carefully plan for the Christmas chaos.
“The key in planning is to start early and to employ more staff, if necessary, as you fill the gaps utilising technology. Businesses should also optimise their delivery options while ensuring that their goods are in adequate supply and orders are managed effectively,” the JDBC outlined in its blog.
Marked by increased shopping, long lines and extended waiting times, the festivities of the Yuletide season can sometimes be dampened by unexpected occurrences. In light of the increased activities set to take place throughout this season, the entity has singled out a few important reminders around some key areas it believes should be given special focus. These include careful planning around order management, supply chain operations, delivery logistics, staffing and technology needs as further explored below.
The first step in managing the Christmas chaos is to forecast. Look at past data, trends, and anticipate order volumes. Forbes says, “What we do is look at the past five years of data we have and pair it with market trends and customer insights to forecast the demand we’ll be expecting this holiday season. This helps us plan better and ensure that all things are in order to fulfil the demand of customers.” Implement robust order management systems to ensure seamless processing, tracking, and fulfilment.
Supply Chain Operations
Evaluate your supply chain and identify potential hiccups. Work closely with your suppliers to ensure an adequate inventory of products. Consider establishing backup suppliers or diversifying sourcing to mitigate risks and maintain a steady flow of goods. The last thing you want is to not have enough supplies to fill your orders.
With an influx of orders comes the challenge of efficient delivery. Look at your current logistics and explore options for improving it. Collaborate with reliable courier service providers, optimise delivery routes, and communicate with customers about potential delays.
Can your team handle the increased workload? If not, consider employing seasonal staff. Seasonal workers can provide support during peak periods and ensure timely order processing.
Technology as a Saviour
Leverage technology to streamline all areas of operations. Invest in inventory management software, utilise automated order processing systems, and explore Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven tools to enhance efficiency. Technology not only reduces manual workload but also minimises errors.