Think about all the shopping you do in the winter months. It's not just Christmas anymore. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the January sales result in millions of pounds worth of purchases both online and in store. Holiday sales can account for more than 20% of retailers’ total earnings for the entire year, which makes it a make-or-break season.
Black Friday and Christmas can be especially demanding on materials handling equipment. The likelihood of breakdowns increases, extra equipment, and staff are needed, and it becomes difficult to keep costs down.
Ensure Product Availability
One of the most brutal ways to lose a customer’s business is to promise or even promote the availability of an item that you sell out of too quickly. Audit your stock ahead of time to ensure that your promotions are able to deliver on their promises.
Forklifts can fail, and if your fleet breaks down on the busiest day of the year, it can cause you big problems. Regular repairs and maintenance of your fleet will help you make sure you’re ready to meet the increased demands without any mechanical issues.
Keep some reserve forklifts in addition to your regular fleet to pick up the slack when times get busy. This is more economical than having too many forklifts during quieter months while providing you with a reliable backup.
Your warehouse space might be sufficient to see to your overall storage needs throughout most of the year, but is a restriction in size leaving you with emptier pockets than your opponents? Having access to overflow warehouse space will help ensure that you can increase your stock before the busy season and have sufficient storage.
Prepare for the Cold
Make sure your fleet is as weather-proof as possible. Snow and ice make it harder for your warehouse’s forklift trucks and vehicles to get around, and for obvious reasons, demand for snow ploughs and gritters increases around the winter season. If you need to clear some snow or ice, make sure you have access to the necessary equipment, such as plough attachments for forklifts. In this digital age of ‘I want it now’, retailers can ill-afford the business loss, not to mention reputational damage, incurred by failing to deliver during seasonal spikes. As Black Friday and Christmas loom ever closer, it’s vital to start early and plan warehouse logistics in order to ensure a seamless service during the busy season. For the biggest selection of second-hand forklift trucks, well maintained and ideal for a scalable warehouse environment, check out our forklift finder.
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