Every business usually has a peak season: a time of increased customer demand, sales revenue, and product inquiries. It is also the time of year when customers shop the most, and businesses and their logistics operations are put under the most strain. The peak season in the shipping industry encompasses commerce events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season.
This season comes with a high influx of customers with large orders to fulfill, and it is expected of every serious brand to be prepared for these seasons to take full advantage of it because how well a brand does during the peak season will go a long way to determine their sustainability at the end of the financial year. Peak season has several benefits, including heightened demand, more excellent customer acquisition, and increased revenue. However, it also come with their challenges, but don't panic; we will hold your hand from now on and show you how to prepare for such moments.
When is peak season in Nigeria, and what makes it a peak season?
Typically, the peak season in Nigeria starts in late August, slowly builds till October, and sometimes lasts till December or January of the following year. Different things or events come together to create a period such as back-to-school shopping, and holiday seasons. This may be a hectic but welcome period for companies, especially those in the e-commerce and social commerce segment, as most people are now embracing online shopping. Most online shoppers now expect services like speedy delivery, discounts, and free returns. Peak season can vary based on the industry.
Why is The Peak Season so important?
Increased demand: During peak season, shoppers are ready to shop and take advantage of rare discounts on prices of goods. For instance, customers worldwide look forward to Black Friday and are prepared to shop for amazing discounts.
Customer acquisition opportunity: Peak season allows brands to increase their customer base. There is usually an increase in website traffic as potential customers check out products and make buying decisions, and a well-prepared brand uses this opportunity to increase its customer base.
Brand visibility: A brand that knows how to leverage this increase in traffic and demand will uniquely position itself to become more visible, popular, and profitable during peak season.
How to Prepare for Peak Season
Different brands have different ways of preparing for this season, but it is advisable to start planning early, no matter how successful your brand has been in the past. The best time to prepare for peak season is immediately after the previous year's peak season ends. This way, there will be enough time to implement changes and correct issues that did not go well last season.
Here are some tips to help prepare for the peak season.
Revisit the previous peak season: A business needs accurate data on the last peak seasons. This way, you will be able to learn from previous peak seasons by looking at what worked well and identifying the areas that need improvement. With this, you will be able to make changes and forecast accurately.
Review your current operations: Before preparing for peak season, taking a step back and reviewing existing procedures is imperative. This will give you a good idea of where your business is and where potential bottlenecks might occur during peak season.
Increase staff and logistics level: Ensure adequate staff and logistics strength. They may be just seasonal staff working during the peak season; this will help ensure orders are fulfilled efficiently without delays. It is also essential to ensure adequate vehicles for quick and timely delivery. 3PLs need be available promptly to fulfil orders.
Review and work in sync with your supply chain: To manage peak season, be on top of your supply chain and work hand in hand with them. This way, you will understand your supplier's capabilities and capacities. There should also be a backup plan for situations where the supplier cannot meet demands.
Review your inventory and ensure that you have enough stock to meet demands: Maintaining an accurate inventory and reviewing it is crucial for the success of any business, especially during the peak season. This way, you will know your stock level, make necessary adjustments, and order accurately from the suppliers. Forecasting tools can assist to organize order levels to be anticipated.
Train your staff on current procedures and protocols for peak season: We live in a dynamic world where systems and patterns are constantly changing, even in the supply chain industry, and there is a need to train and educate your staff on those trending procedures for your business not to be behind. Start preparing your team for the new methods and protocols.
Review your equipment to ensure that it is in good condition. Before the peak season begins, it is necessary to check all equipment and ensure it is in good working condition. If not in good condition, adequate servicing should be done as this will help to avoid any disruptions during the period and keep your operation running smoothly.
Establish communication channels: Communication is critical during a successful peak season. By establishing clear communication channels between your various departments, everyone will be ready, and confusion and mix-ups will be avoided. There should also be clear communication between everyone, from the supplier to the carrier, the freight forwarder, and the shipper, to avoid disappointment and meet the customer's demands.
Digitize your business: Build a digital strategy, such as a consistent social media presence, which is a great way to connect with potential customers. Through social media, you can also keep your clients updated on your product and remain in communication with them regarding stock levels, restock periods and delivery timelines.
Want to have a smooth and breezy peak business season? Contact SARA PROCUREMENT SERVICES LIMITED. Our experience and expertise in supply chain and logistics management will provide you with the necessary capacity to deliver seamlessly during periods like peak season, a bullwhip effect situation or fluctuations.
We connect you to the best manufacturers and suppliers from different parts of the world to ensure inbound logistics is sorted well ahead.
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