It's that time of year again! That's right, it's almost the holidays and that means, you guessed it, the busy season! As with seemingly everything this year, 2020 has geared up to be different than years past. This year we have seen unprecedented order levels and we expect the same for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To help make sure your operations and team are set up for success, please find our checklist to ensure an efficient and productive peak season.

Black Friday Checklist

Check In with Your Customers

  • Talk to your customers to align on expectations. Ask about their products and marketing strategies to learn where and how your business can set you both up for success.
  • Review 2019 transaction levels for any return customers and discuss how inventory spiked during the previous peak season.

Organize Your Warehouse

  • Set up pick and assembly lines and instill best practices now so ensure they are polished when orders start to pick up.  
  • Review scanning, picking, and receiving operations so warehouse teams are tight on the best practices and are firing on all cylinders.
  • Run an inventory turns report for current inventory so you can start to position the expected fastest moving items.
  • Have supplies clearly labeled and formatted so everyone knows where things are especially if you are going to bring on seasonal staff.

Check Your Inventory, Technology, & Supplies

  • Preform a cycle count and ensure your warehouse management system (WMS) is as accurate as possible. This can be very helpful to ensure when someone goes to pull a product it is where it is supposed to be.
  • Ensure you are set up with back up supplies and that all tune ups to equipment have been performed… maybe even backups if necessary.
  • Make sure to reserve seasonal help or have a plan in place to secure temporary labor when and if you need it. Things get crazy during the holidays and with everything that happened this year you can’t be too cautious. Losing even a single employee can really hurt things so have a plan just in case.

Safety First

There are many things to consider when a 3PL business thinks about safety in the warehouse. This isn’t a complete list but it’s a great place to start.

  • Mark and label everything clearly
  • Use directional arrows for pick path
  • COVID-19 temperature checks
  • Social distancing measures
  • Sanitization between shifts 

We hope that you were able to pick up a few things from our check list and feel a bit more prepared for the holiday peak season ahead. If you are able to implement even one of these, you and your team are in a better place than you would have been without. Any preparation goes along way! If you’re looking for even more tips this holiday season, I would recommend downloading our Peak Season Playbook for general tips and best practices for warehouse efficiency.

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