Christmas is the busiest time of the year for many businesses and while it can be very profitable, it can also put an extra strain on your supply chain at a time when conditions are already difficult. It is therefore important that you do everything you can to make the most of the extra demand without letting your service suffer. So, what should you do to prepare your supply chain for Christmas?

To begin with, it is important that you have the right technology to support your supply chain. At Christmas you need software that can tell you exactly where your stock is at any given time. Last year the Christmas period saw journey times on major motorways quadruple, so you risk delays when moving stock long distances to get to your engineers. Instead, with inventory management software you can have complete visibility of all the stock you have in your supply chain and plan your jobs around the nearest available stock.

Once you have the right technology in place, you can start thinking about how to approach the logistical challenges of Christmas. For example, you should plan your deliveries more intelligently around the quieter times on the roads. Shops often extend their opening hours around Christmas to attract more customers, but few stay open through the night. This makes the night time a perfect time to complete deliveries away from traffic that would otherwise cause delays.

You may also want to consider extending your network so that it operates seven days a week. Working over the weekend around Christmas offers you an invaluable level of flexibility, especially if you are a company that services the retail industry. The weekends are often the busiest shopping days during the Christmas period so being able to offer quick support for retail customers when equipment or machinery fails will certainly be well received.

Finally, if you are finding there is a last minute rush around Christmas because you are shutting for the holiday, partnering with the right logistics provider can be a big help. Some logistics companies will now offer an uninterrupted service, 365 days a year. Just maintaining some presence over the Christmas holidays can help reduce the backlog that builds up during the break and help you have a smooth start to the New Year.

Taking these steps should ensure your supply chain is in the best possible position to deal with the challenges of Christmas and help you take full advantage of the extra demand that you may receive.

At ByBox, we understand that Christmas is a difficult, but potentially lucrative time of the year, so we have devised solutions to help you take advantage of the extra demand. Our best in class software, Thinventory™ can provide full visibility across your supply chain, our network operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and all of our deliveries take place through the night to arrive pre-8am with a first time success rate of 99.77%.

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