Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S7


GEARING UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS
popularity will eventually wane. What's
the next big thing - this year's hot new
item? What level of demand is marketing projecting? If you haven't already
done so, it's time to get this information
and stock up.
Flexibility is the key. Boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson could not
have put it better: "Everyone has a plan
'till they get punched in the mouth." No
matter how meticulous your plan, be
ready to shift gears at a moment's notice. What if your New England warehouse gets hit with a freak early-season
blizzard? What if your conveyor system
decides to take a holiday break itself ?
How quickly can you respond to a rush
on an unexpectedly hot item?
Create back-up plans for everything.
From unexpected shutdowns to illness
of a critical staff member, now is the
time to plan for any and every scenario.
Consider cross-training staff so that operations will continue to run seamlessly
in the face of an unexpected absence.
This includes you. Make sure that you
can perform all the duties of your staff
and that someone is capable of handling
yours as well.

Check Inventory
OK, you know which item(s) are
expected to be flying off of the shelves.
Now is the time to check inventory
and consider increasing cycle counting.
If you count two times a day, consider
bumping that up to three. This will help
ensure that anticipated hot items are always available. Make sure that inventory
is moved from the dock into picking
and storage locations. This will minimize replenishments while ensuring that
supply always keeps pace with demand.
The last thing you want is to have to go
looking for items and add chaos.

Staff Productivity
The dreaded holiday staffing. Like a trip
to the dentist, you put it off hoping that
things will magically work out. Now it's
time to get real and begin hiring and

Savvy retailers must
take steps now to
prepare for an
onslaught of business.
training temporary pickers and other
staff. Distribution-floor efficiency offers
the single biggest return on investment.
The faster and better you can get staff
up to speed on the usage of scanners,
voice, pick-to-light and other picking
tools, the more productive they will be.
Start planning for multiple shifts and
create schedules that intermingle temps
with experienced personnel.
What items are damaged most during
picking or shipping? How should these
items be placed in totes or packaged?
These are things that your experienced
staff should know, but what about your
new crop of temps? Make sure they
are trained on all facets of the job as to
avoid lessons learned the hard way.
Some reports indicate that picking
accounts for 51 percent of the time it
takes to process an order. Order fulfillment can be challenging enough during
normal months of operation, but with
the temporary staff, added workload and

stress of the holidays, speed and accuracy is absolutely critical. To increase
speed, consider implementing batch
picking to eliminate bottlenecks. Direct
labeling is also a way to bypass the manifest station and move orders directly to
carriers.

Minimize Risk
Preventive maintenance now will go a
long way to ensure that your equipment
will be able to handle the demands of
longer and harder hours of operation.
Make sure conveyors, forklifts, scanners,
headsets and so on are cleaned, inspected and updated.
Also, check your inventory of replacement parts, everything from belts and
pulleys to batteries. With everything
going on, you might be surprised how
often this gets overlooked.
Now is also the time to make plans to
purchase or rent extra picking devices
(scanners, headsets, etc.). You'll need to
equip added staff and have a reserve of
these on hand.
While you're at it, it couldn't hurt
to remind your IT department to do a
check on their end. Have them take a
look at hardware and software systems
to be sure that equipment is in good
working order and software is up to date.

November/December 2015

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

7


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - SCover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - SCover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S8
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S9
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S10
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S11
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S12
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S13
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S14
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S15
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S16
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S17
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S18
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S19
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S20
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S21
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S22
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S23
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S24
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S25
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S26
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S27
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S28
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S29
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S30
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S31
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S32
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S33
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S34
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S35
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S36
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S37
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S38
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S39
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S40
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S41
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S42
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S43
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S44
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S45
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S46
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S47
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S48
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S49
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S50
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S51
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