Black Friday and Cyber Monday are absolutely chaotic for retail and e-commerce stores around the world.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to curb the physical mob-like mentality of shoppers on this day — particularly for owners of physical store locations (those e-commerce businesses have it easy, don’t they?)
Truth be told, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can put a lot of stress on business owners. However, they are a couple of great days out of the year when it comes to earning a decent portion of your yearly revenue.
In addition to this, it also gives you a great opportunity to get rid of some of the older items you have in stock.
After all, the deals are what brings everybody to the stores or to your website.
The key to making sure that your Black Friday or Cyber Monday go off without a hitch is preparation.
Today, we’re breaking down the 9 tips and tricks to get your warehouse ready for the biggest sales days of the year.
Let’s get started — because it’s never too early to start prepping!
Re-Organize Well in Advanced
You may have just organized your warehouse earlier in the year and may feel pretty confident in how it is currently laid out.
And, kudos to you for doing so!
But, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, it’s a good idea to take a few days to go through your warehouse and make sure that everything is where it is supposed to be.
You should also look for improvements you can make to streamline the picking process for your warehouse workers.
Maybe there is a specific item you anticipate being a hot seller. Having that close to the front of your warehouse can help you save tons of time and help improve your efficiency.
Mark and Label Everything Clearly
During the non-chaotic times of the year, sometimes you can get away with having areas of your warehouse not clearly marked — as your warehouse employees have more time to find everything because there are fewer orders.
But, once Black Friday and Cyber Monday arrive, you need to make sure that all signage and labels are easy to read and understand.
When things get hectic, you don’t want your employees grabbing the wrong item and shipping something to someone that they didn’t order.
Mistakes happen — especially on these days — but by clearly marking and labeling your warehouse, you can help limit them.
Bring in Extra Employees if Possible
Sometimes you gotta bring in reinforcements to help make sure that things go smoothly.
By having all hands on deck, you can help ensure that no individual employee is too stressed out from running all over the place and making sure that they get the right items to ship.
Or, if you’re at a retail store, making sure that the warehouse workers there aren’t overworked either, in addition to cashiers and other employees.
There is strength in numbers — and this certainly applies to Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Make Sure Your Inventory is Filled to Maximum Levels
Yes, this might seem like a redundant tip, but you’d be surprised at how many business owners underestimate their current stock leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It never hurts to double, triple, and quadruple check your inventory to ensure that you have everything you need to fulfill all your orders.
Obviously, you can’t have unlimited supplies of stock on hand and some items will sell out, resulting in disappointed customers.
But that’s part of the allure of these two annual shopping spree days: to get the best deals before they’re all gone.
Check to Make Sure You Have Safety Stock Just in Case
In tandem with making sure your inventory is fully stocked, it’s also a good idea to have some safety stock on hand for some of the items you anticipate being big sellers.
The idea behind safety stock is to help mitigate the risk of running out of stock for bigger ticket items, and it’s important that you plan ahead and try and anticipate where you’ll need some extra stock hanging around, just in case.
To be clear, make sure that you emphasize getting safety stock for the items you know will be big sellers, otherwise, you’ll just take up valuable space.
Place the Safety Stock in an Area That is Easily Accessible
The earlier you plan ahead, the easier it’ll be for this trick.
Those who don’t plan ahead, simply throw their safety stock where there is a room without organizing it to maximize efficiency. This can make it very difficult for warehouse employees to find it quickly.
So, well in advance, make sure you look for extra space in your warehouse specifically for your safety stock. Also, make sure it is well organized so that your workers can access it without any trouble.
Make Sure Your Equipment is Working Properly
Another big mistake some warehouse managers will make is not checking their equipment and tools well beforehand to ensure that they are working properly.
Once you do that, you should make sure you have back-up equipment on standby just in case anything breaks down.
Do You Have an Inventory Management System That Can Make the Job Easier For You And Your Team
Listen carefully, because this tip is important — you have to have a comprehensive inventory management system for your employees to use.
If you’re still using out-of-date tech for your inventory management, then you’re making Black Friday and Cyber Monday much, much more difficult than it needs to be.
If you’re looking to upgrade your Inventory Management Software, then turn to Scout’s topShelf — a revolutionary cloud-based inventory application that allows you to pick, pack, and ship seamlessly from your mobile device.
And if you’re worried that you’ll have to overhaul your current systems, you need not worry. topShelf easily integrates with your current software applications.
To learn more about how topShelf can help improve your inventory management, contact us today!
Plan for Audits and Cycle Counting After
Once the dust has settled and all the orders have been fulfilled, your work isn’t done yet. You’ll still have to make sure to plan for audits and cycle counting after the fact to make sure that everything is where it is supposed to be and that all the numbers match up.