Holiday Season Checklist: Materials Handling & Inventory Management
Tis’ the season to be jolly… Or if you are in warehousing and distribution it’s the season where everything picks up and now is the time to prepare. We have provided you with a monthly checklist to help prepare for the coming months.
Planning is key to a successful and profitable season.
Retail, produce and online warehouse holiday season preparedness checklist. How does your plan match up so far?
- This is the time when you should be completing a thorough stock take of inventory. Utilise the quieter months to prepare for the “holiday season”.
- Do you have a Warehouse Management System? Automation makes you more efficient. Invest in detailed reporting on inventory movements in your warehouse over the holiday season – use this data in the new year to plan for the future and review your workflow.
- If you have materials handling equipment in your warehouse ensure your services are up to date. Review your Fleet Management System KPI’s to confirm that each unit is performing to a high standard. If you are unsure, schedule a service now to avoid downtime during seasonal handling peak time.
- Review your warehouse space. If you will be managing an overflow of large items ensure you have a managed 3PL system in place.
- Review the workflow of your goods (see our recent article on how to manage goods in your warehouse here). What has been working throughout the year may not be suitable for seasonal purchases. Analyse your data and ensure you are prepared to efficiently manage a change in distribution.
- Do you have enough warehouse equipment to maintain a profitable workflow of goods? If your operation could use some extra handling help – investigate casual hire options from an equipment hire company. Availability of materials handling equipment becomes exhausted during the season.
- Take the time to remind your employees and operators on the importance of workplace safety. When we are busy our focus can shift – it’s a good time to remind everyone to remain vigilant around the warehouse.
Managing your warehouse well can significantly increase sales and save you money. The key to achieving this is a well managed floor plan.
- Check your consumer purchases regularly – are there fast moving items that will need replenishing? Ensure you allow extra time for your suppliers to fulfill your purchase orders, everyone will be experiencing higher demand than usual and lead times take longer.
- Alert your customers about Christmas delivery periods. Over the holiday season transport, postal and courier services become inundated managing the extra demand. Be aware of delays and communicate this with your consumers to avoid disappointment. Ensure they know to place orders before the last minute rush.
- In the warmer months ensure your engine cooling components are serviced and performing to suit the warmer conditions. Temperature plays a big role in performance, this is true in warmer and cooler months. This month be sure your fleet is prepared for the heat.
- If you are running battery electric forklifts and warehouse equipment you will need to allow for a more time after charging before they can be used. As the mercury rises your battery will retain heat for longer so make sure you leave enough time to allow it to cool down.
- This is the period that most field service technicians are at max demand. During the warmer and busier handling months, there are naturally more call outs due to breakdowns and urgent repairs. Don’t leave it too late to service your forklift fleet.
- Will you continue operating through December? If so, if your forklift fleet relies on fuel supply you will need to ensure your supplier will be fulfilling orders during holiday shut down period. Arrange extra in advance if necessary.
Rest assured you’re almost there! There’re approximately 24 days until the finish line and it will quieten down for a few weeks.
Use the typical shutdown period over Christmas to book in major services with your forklift service supplier. Utilise the holiday season to look after your fleet and get ready for the new year. Why not give your equipment a facelift? With a lick of paint, it’ll look near new for next year – start fresh!
This month we are offering free forklift and warehouse equipment service health checks. Unsure if your fleet can handle the heat this holiday season? Don’t worry, we are here to help. Contact us today to book a free inspection with one of our technical service advisors. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take advantage of this offer to have an experienced technician review your fleet before the holiday period begins.