The outcome is a list of operational, technology, lean or training needs that offer improvement. The list may seem daunting, however, it becomes manageable because working together with the team prioritizes the potential initiatives, based on operational impact and time-to-implement. Then it’s time to move onto the design phase.
Many times, gains can be achieved short term, while others may require internal project resources and capital. Work begins right away on the low hanging fruit, while other longer-term must-haves move into the design phase. Material handling equipment delivery and systems modifications almost always drive the critical path in the time-line.
An assessment could include the following:
Flexibly adding capacity to fulfillment and packing by creating new high-volume pick lines, establishing pop-up capacity for standalone products (ship-alones) or building capacity shunts to offline pack stations
Reducing lost capacity through improved end-to-end flow execution and measurement, watching the clock, and optimizing the scheduling of people and equipment based on shift volume projections
Gaining throughput with better process design, institutionalizing best practices, formalizing labor management (metrics, labor standards/LMS), coaching and improving training approaches (building “muscle memory”)
Avoiding failures by reinforcing and expanding equipment preventive maintenance; replacing critical failure risks, ensuring spare parts stocking levels; and ensuring equipment or software service agreements are current
Effectively acquiring talent – staffing and labor-shortage strategies via expanded recruiting to retirees, people with disabilities, college students, teachers, etc.; maximizing cross-training opportunities; and fine-tuning HR peak retention and incentive plans, (i.e. flex time)
Organizing product placement – inbound, reserve storage, and slotting planning; ensuring no “new product” surprises for Operations through connecting and improving communications between operations and merchandisers
Upgrading leadership with floor-level supervisory personnel that are trained to make a difference managing people, process, exceptions and building performance
Leveraging and maximizing brick-and-mortar – with omnichannel strategies via “pick up at store” and “ship from store” capabilities
We hope this helps you to discover your critical needs list and the most effective way to move forward to positively impact your peak season 2019.
To read about preparing for Peak Season 2019 from the beginning of our four-part series, visit You just attended your internal 2019 ops planning meeting…so what’s next?
For the third post in this series about the design phase, visit our post about effectively evaluating timeframe.
Here is a link to the final and fourth post in our Peak Season series… about real-time implementation.
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.