We all pay attention to news about the delivery and shipment issues, or the systems failures that hit a number of retailers across the country during the Peak e-Commerce shopping season in 2015. There’s nothing worse than the sound of an undelivered holiday gift.
Some retailers are happier than others as they looked at all the numbers of the peak shopping season, of course. But everyone can learn from this year’s experiences, good or bad. So while your 2015 peak season might not have gone as planned, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s an ideal time to dive deep and audit your processes and logistics in preparation for the next peak season — only 292 short days away till Black Friday (so named because it’s the time of year most retailers get “back in the black”), or even sooner if you have a back to school season.
Peak season — meaning up to 40% of your annual sales occur in one six-week period — is the standard today. Services such as Amazon have led to even the final week before the holiday being one of the busiest. The peak season insanity is here to stay, and the only true option for coping is to get better each year at dealing with it.
So if your company hasn’t already done a deep and formal introspection of what went well and what didn’t during peak 2015, you may already be a month behind your competition. It can be a career maker if you can figure it out, yet the reverse is also true.
We will suggest some activities you should be considering right now and over the next few months. A company unprepared and inefficient can easily lose money during the peak season, and there is no worse time of year to lose sales. Even more challenging is figuring out how to manage an acceptable cost per unit efficiency and maintain the core human capability during non-peak times at volumes 20% to 30% of peak. This kind of mistake is what causes companies to under perform, or worse, go under.
If your peak season wasn’t what you had planned, don’t just take a (admittedly well deserved) break in January. It’s time to analyze what your company did well and, better yet, what didn’t go as planned. Let Argon & Co show you how to audit your logistics so you can do better next year.
Over the coming weeks, we will provide ways to leverage operating data, how to harness the power of social media for good (including some crisis management), and how to begin repairing the processes that need to be more efficient in 2016. We’ll help you make 2016 (and beyond) the year of unbroken customer promises.
As of September 8, 2020, Crimson & Co (formerly The Progress Group/TPG) has rebranded as Argon & Co following the successful merger with Argon Consulting in April 2018.