Supply and demand are two sides of the same coin, the vital coin of inventory management supply chain analytics. Without adequate inventory and supply to go along with capacity and demand, supply chain management will struggle to keep pace during peak seasons. Successful peak season inventory management and fulfillment come down to appropriate strategic planning and implementation.
Peak Season Inventory Management and Fulfillment Depends on Market Trends
As with all things related to supply chain management and logistics, market trends and consumer spending habits directly impact how peak seasons play out. Looking back on past trends, even during unprecedented disruption and upheaval, helps shed light onto what upcoming peak seasons may pan out. Utilizing historical data can help with peak season inventory management and fulfillment. Approaching peak season and the trends that come with it is critical for supply chain managers. Transportation auditing and innovative tools and apps can help ensure market trends are closely followed and monitored.
Strengthening the Supply Chain: 5 Steps for Peak Season Inventory Management
To build up supply chain resilience and prepare for peak season strains and shipping capacity needs, logistics managers and supply chain supervisors need to implement a few key steps sooner rather than later:
- Inventory Sourcing: Reinforce relationships with current suppliers and work with them to ensure they have adequate scale, geographic redundancy, and solid downstream relationships.
- Demand Planning: Ensure the management and your team members understand how not receiving inventory on time from a given supplier will affect production.
- Warehousing Management: Consider keeping management personnel on hand to take action when warehouse inventory becomes inadequate and the current supplier cannot keep pace.
- Inventory Management: Full visibility into current inventory remains critical to making informed decisions regarding peak season inventory management and fulfillment within the supply chain network.
- Customer Service: When orders do not arrive on time or get lost or damaged due to a supply chain data disruption, solid and direct communication with customers is needed.
Peak Season Inventory Management and Fulfillment Strategies to Keep in Mind
Supply chain disruption issues, especially in light of approaching peak season demands and continued effects from the global pandemic, are causing significant challenges for shippers, carriers, and transportation service providers. According to Logistics Management, “congestion issues have not only added days and weeks to our supply chains but have led to inventory shortages impacting our ability to serve our customers. In addition, these delays have added significant transportation and warehousing costs for retailers.” To prepare for peak season inventory management and fulfillment demands ahead of the crunch, several strategies need careful consideration:
- Think strategically to strike the right inventory balance ahead of time to reduce peak demand access.
- Stress-test your operations and procedures to look for weaknesses ahead of peak season arrival.
- Communicate with vendors and team members to ensure goals, processes, and guidelines remain intact.
- Embrace tools for marketing and selling to a digital market to make shipping and tracking easier.
- Be ready to adapt quickly to changing trends and needs of retailers as peak seasons draw near.
- Embrace modern innovations and technology to allow for real-time inventory and shipment monitoring.
Knowing your data such as identifying which hubs have a higher late percentage, exceptions, and damaged packages can help develop your peak season strategic plan. The core business of carrier network modeling and optimization requires the use of analytics and data, including making sure you are keeping an eye on freight audit invoicing and inventory management. It is also critical that network managers use data to improve inbound movements to manage inventory ahead of the peaks to handle consumer demand. Managing supply and demand is the key to successful peak season inventory management and fulfillment.
Trust Intelligent Audit to Help Ensure Your Supply Chain is Ready for All That Comes with Peak Season Demands
Supply and demand represent two sides to the ongoing operations of inventory management and logistical planning. Without enough on-hand inventory to meet peak-demand orders, supply chains struggle to keep pace. When demands are high and inventory is low, it is time to ensure proper planning and optimization are embraced. Successful peak season inventory management and fulfillment come down to appropriate strategic planning and implementation of the right transportation strategy. Contact Intelligent Audit today to get started.