It’s Fall again, and that means that retailers and suppliers are hard at work ramping, shifting and moving inventory to prepare for the holidays. It’s the time of the year when most warehousing and logistics organizations expect to encounter more issues, complications and frustrations than any other. Demand for autumn wares is starting to unwind, the seasonal remains of Summer may still be lingering, and earlier than last year, here comes Christmas.
Seasonality is the number one trigger for significant inventory fluctuation issues. Whether an unexpected disruption emerges or the annual disaster pays another visit, supply chain and warehouse managers still have to meet customer expectations and deliver the goods on time.
On-demand warehousing can help augment supply chain networks during peak seasons and provide proactive solutions to head off the most likely supply chain disruptions, which are inventory delays, capacity constraints and pipeline limitations.
The beauty of on-demand warehousing is that it’s warehousing when, where and for however long you want it without costly, long-term leases and service fees. It is one of the fastest ways to solve temporary overflow problems and it’s helping companies compete with Amazon’s delivery speed using pop-up fulfillment centers.
Here’s how you can use on-demand warehousing this season to address and hopefully prevent these three common disruptions:
1. Inventory delays
It’s difficult to keep things moving like clockwork when you don’t have things to move. Inventory delays can be caused by port issues, manufacturing problems, weather delays and other holdups that are out of your control. When those issues crop up, however, they tend to affect the things that are within your control, creating painful bottlenecks, messing with schedules, processes and staffing, and delaying fulfillment.
One way to reduce the impact during the year’s busiest season is to temporarily expand your warehouse network. By adding warehouse space in key locations, you can diffuse the impact of unforeseen issues by spreading the inventory, work and potential backlog across multiple points. Popping up temporary facilities that are closer to customers also ensures that customer shipping service continues to meet expectations when things go awry.
2. Capacity constraints
Overflow problems can slow down your ability to move products efficiently and cost effectively. They present obstacles that can put inventory management and customer delivery times at risk. If you’re sitting on a lot of outdated, long-term inventory and need to make room for top priority holiday merchandise, adopting an on-demand warehouse solution can give you the flexibility to step back and rethink how to handle overflow scenarios long-term. By augmenting your warehouse network with additional, on-demand space you provide an immediate opportunity to move low-priority product to a low-cost, temporary location. You can focus on handling the most important inventory today without losing sight (or control) of the big picture.
3. Pipeline limitations
The supply chain strategy and warehouse network that serve your business brilliantly all year are likely not designed for those periods when demand temporarily skyrockets, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Dynamic warehousing can enable you to expand warehouse and fulfillment throughput on-demand. Facilities can be quickly secured in just about any market or region and once the peak demand returns to normal, so can your strategy and network. That’s the beauty of no long-term commitments and service fees.
Whether you run into inventory delays, capacity constraints or pipeline throughput limitations, it’s good to be prepared, especially during this time of year. Dynamic warehousing helps you proactively avoid the resulting cost and service implications.
For more information on how FLEXE can help with your fulfillment needs, contact us today!