Temporary Storage – Planning For Peak Season and steps to take to avoid an influx

Temporary storage for peak seasons

temporary storage for peak seasons

Temporary storage is something that needs to be correctly planned for and looked at it many ways. Considering the weather is one vital element. To eliminate product damage through mould, mildew, damp or heat is part of your general day-to-day operation and ensuring that you have the staff to cover periods of greater demands is equally as important. Whatever time of year it is, due to the boom of the online retail world, customers now have the market in the palm of their hands; they can be selective with which companies they choose and one failure on your part can put you at the bottom of your league for that customer, and many more potential customers through bad word of mouth. This is why it is imperative to have your storage solution well equipped to deal with all demands and all times of year.

During the peak season the efficient and accurate planning needed, isn’t something, which just happens. A thorough insight into all current operations is needed, identifying any weakness that could affect the logistics of a business. An ounce of negligence here could be extremely detrimental in a businesses success during peak seasons. Inbound planning for temporary storage is the cornerstone to make the peak season run effectively and efficiently.

Once peak season arrives, you do not want poor inbound planning to have an impact:

Dock capacity, cycle times and dock scheduling:

All of these are closely tied within the activities in the peak season. In the peak season new items arrive with different dates, different shelf lives and different storage requirements – all must be catered to correctly. This means prior to gaining inventory, you need accurate data in place to ensure that you can properly accommodate all stock; anything overlooked could have a huge bearing on your success during this time.

Reserve and remote storage:

When it is peak season you can expect a larger volume of products to be held within your storage vicinities, this means that you will need a greater volume of space. An accurate assessment must be made of the storage capacity you already have in place and how you can gain more, albeit temporary. Running out of space during peak seasons is not an option, but joining hands with other companies in a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of way could be extremely beneficial for temporary needs. You could also look into rents of local warehouses over the duration of the season, the majority will be a minimum of six-month lease but you could always look into negotiations of annual usage.

Slotting considerations:

Look at how to develop a plan of where you will place storage materials of anticipated high volumes and ensure that they will be easily accessible. If not within your own vicinity, then it is of the essence you have your stock held near by, the less travel involved the better. You should not get into last minute put away crunch-storing items wherever some extra space is. You need to put much effort into planning inbound slots. It will pay off when it comes to peak season planning ahead.

Promotions planning:

You need to ensure that all your operations in temporary storage are in sync with sales circulars and promotional events. The inbound operations should not be the last to know of the most popular seasonal items released for sale. If you are proactive and ensure you have sufficient time to put away all items you should be able to save time and worry.

Systems considerations:

For temporary storage when you’re planning for the peak season, you need to ensure that supporting systems are another element that should not be left out. This means things like coordinating with your IT staff in advance regarding when the downtime requirements will need to take place. You need all your schedules in place, reporting and inventory data too and have the knowledge that all those who need to know the data, already will as well as will be able to easily find it.

Load testing:

You should ensure that you have full communication and coordinate with staff so that daily maintenance tasks are in sync with productions. Systems need to be checked thoroughly prior to peak season. Failure to do this correctly could have a huge bearing on the way your company conducts transactions during their busiest times.

Outbound operations:

Ensure that you have enough staff to see you through the peak season; this could mean the hiring of temporary staff. You can look at hiring in temporary staff trained in your required area, which will likely bring a higher wage for yourself or you could hire in someone new to the game, such as a student requiring seasonal work. Newer staff will likely have a smaller wage but the money saved here will need to be put into training that employee. If you are a well established company you will have previous years experiences to look back on and consider what worked and what didn’t, if you’re a newer company it could be worthwhile seeking advice from a more advanced source.

Expedites:

You should always consider that you would have more expedited order requests during peak season. Create the concept of an order expedite budget with your customer services. This needs to be well in advance of the beginning of peak season.

Weather:

Consider what you will put in place in the event of bad weather. You may have storms, snowfalls, freezes or be at the other end of the scale and experience heat waves and humidity – depending on your audience and your products some companies can have their peak seasons at opposite ends of the year. Make sure that you have plans in place for any potential harsh weather conditions with the objective being that products are protected and able to be transported.

Late pickups:

Your carry relationships are critical during the peak season. Key carriers need to have a solid working relationship during the whole year and discuss options available to expedite the unexpected pickups, if one or the other is unavailable during your peak season in temporary storage. Discuss alternatives if there are traffic accidents, bad weather or closures of roads; you don’t a delivery backlog and customers waiting.

Coordination and communication is key during the peak season and it is vital that you plan ahead. Learn from your own previous years in peak season or research others; what worked and what went wrong. Don’t let any mistakes happen again, put better precautions in place. Prioritise workloads; encourage successful performances to get the best results. Communicate with all of your staff to ensure that everyone knows what it is they should be doing and are able to succeed at this. Everyone needs to have the understanding that there will be increased workloads, which requires commitment and accuracy, ensure your staff communicate with each other and are able to communicate with you – if an employee has a holiday booked during this time, legally you cannot stop this but it is vital you are pre-warned and so can arrange cover, if your employees feel they cannot discuss this with you it could leave everything up in the air at the last minute.

This should be an insight to help you plan for the peak season in temporary storage. When peak season has arrived you will be able to run activities smoothly and with less disaster happening. Engage your staff, they are key. Ensure your environment is set up ready for your busiest time. You want to satisfy your customers and your executive management. Don’t allow things to go wrong when things do change or you get the bad weather coming.  Plan, communicate and understand.


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