Be on top of your inventory all year round
Even though we are still holding onto a bit of sunshine through Autumn, there is no denying the colder winds are beginning to make an appearance once again. Naturally, with the leaves falling and the brisk winds approaching, consumers may turn their attention to holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. But for companies, this means looking at their stock control.
For the warehousing, logistics and manufacturing industries, holidays such as these have been on the horizon for a long time throughout the year. When managing a warehouse, forecasting demand isn’t as black and white as the seasonal weather changing in front of you, it takes planning for resource, informed estimates of stock for new and old trend products as well as accurate forecasting of traditional stock items.
Seasonal supply disruptions can be made easier and more seamless with Sage stock control, however, staying on top of demand fluctuations throughout the year can be difficult for distributors to navigate without the proper tools and processes in place. This doesn’t just occur for distributors, seasonal supply disruptions happen the whole way through the supply chain and in this blog, we are going to look into how you can overcome some of these issues.
Seasonal events that can affect your stock control
Before we look into what can be done to overcome the issues of seasonal changes in consumer demand, we are going to explore a few examples of popular holidays that can have major implications on your stock management if they are not planned for correctly, and what may occur if you don’t have a solution such as Sage stock control in place.
Christmas Inventory Demands
Christmas and New Year’s, a very popular and exciting holiday that can quite literally take up the whole year planning and getting the right levels of stock ready and sent out to retailers at the right time leading up to the festive period. As one of the busiest periods for many distributors, many warehouses need to draft in temporary staff to cover the extra workload and to cover full-time workers who want to take time off for the festive period to spend time with their friends and family. This can cause major disruption to supply chains as well as your inventory management processes if you are not using the right stock management solution.
In order to make temporary staff as efficient as possible, it is imperative to have a solution that is simple to use and intuitive. Spending time training temporary staff on how to use stock management software is time wasted, so the quicker they can learn to use the software the better.
Christmas can also throw up other stock management issues such as where your stock is being sourced from, supplier lead time and how efficiently you can replenish and stay on top of movement of stock in order to cover the extra demand over the festive period. Manufacturers, in particular, cut down on production operations to the bare minimum and most likely have only a few members of staff to assist over the festive period, with some even shutting down completely. This is due to prior planning and the advanced manufacturing of the products and items that lead to the countless isles and shelves being stocked with everyone’s favourite presents.
Chinese New Year – Demand Forecasting
This holiday has a huge impact on distributors and warehouses in the exporting and importing industry. The Chinese New Year, depending on the lunar calendar can be celebrated for up to 2 weeks or often longer. This results in a number of employees taking holiday shortly after Christmas and can have implications on processes, manufacturing and logistics.
So, whilst manufacturers are slowing down, warehouses and inventory management are doing the opposite. If production is slowing down immensely, software solutions like Sage stock control allow distributors and warehouses who source from these manufacturers and suppliers to ensure they have enough inventory to cover their demand leading up to and throughout the holidays until production resumes.
So, that begs the question, how does Sage stock control help to achieve this?
Coping with Supply Disruptions with Sage Stock control
These annual supply disruptions are unavoidable for your supply chain because reality is, we can’t change the seasonal calendar. So how can you make sure to maintain your fulfilment rates and keep customer satisfaction levels high?
With Sage stock control, you gain visibility into your stock in real-time data. With an effective inventory management software solution, you can manage your annual supply disruptions, so you know when you need to replenish your stock in time to meet consumer and seasonal demand. However, there are also additional variables that need to be taken into account, and a number of key questions businesses need to consider.
What are your key products over the festive period?
How long is the lead time on those products?
Do you have enough to cover demand?
Manually forecasting is always a good place to start when it comes to the replenishment of your stock. However, a more effective way is implementing the use of an inventory management solution like Sage stock control. This puts you at a competitive advantage as you can consider the different demand types for each product and have real-time insight into your inventory levels.
However, it is a balancing act between stocking enough inventory to cover demand and overstocking (which can result in tied-up capital and obsolescence). While it’s important to ensure you have enough stock to cover your demand through the holidays, it is equally important to make sure you do not over replenish leaving you with excess stock that is unlikely to be sold once the holiday period is over. This can be a delicate act, but with Sage stock control, it can make forecasting your demand easier.
Communicate effectively with your supplier or be a good communicator
Whether you are dealing with a supplier, or you are the supplier, chances are, you will be managing warehouse stock movements and it is easy to get inundated with orders whilst trying to prepare for the holidays. Typically, as a wholesaler or retailer you will plan in advance with your manufacturer what stock you will be needing, however it is up to you to make sure that lines of communications are open so that your supplier is not blindsided by a large order that they will not be able to fulfil in time and that you take into account your supplier lead times and possible extensions to that lead-time during a busy period. Sage stock control can notify you of any stock levels that are low so you can prioritize these items. Understanding the pressure around the holidays and being able to do something about it can be the difference between having a successful holiday period or not.
Streamline processes with Sage stock control
Streamlining processes when it comes to warehouse management is something to consider all year round. However, the hectic festive periods can highlight this importance even more. Holiday periods are busy enough without scrambling to put together replenishment orders or analyse data for forecasting, so make sure that you are in control and your supply chain is operating smoothly from start to finish with a Sage stock control solution. Using a software solution instead of manual stock management will help you to manage your holiday procurement more effectively from start to finish and get rid of any unnecessary stress. Not only will your speed and efficiency improve, but costs and errors will be reduced. By preparing your supply chain for these annual disruptions, you can make sure that your business will remain operational and trusted by both your suppliers and your customers. If you’re interested in making the festive holidays less stressful and help your business flourish with seamless integration of Sage stock control, give us a call today.