The logistics of planning for Christmas.

The logistics of planning for Christmas.

What are the common pitfalls within the logistics sector over Christmas and how do you overcome them?
Many companies find themselves panicking to get their deliveries completed in time for Christmas.  Very often they find themselves caught with orders fulfilment and forget the delivery element until the last minute.  It is so important to plan as much as possible and there are a few things that all businesses can do to help reduce issues arising. 
Businesses can fail to plan the resources they require over the busy period, including staff, stock, storage, and of course delivery capacity.  A good tip is to check previous year’s activity and traffic, where possible, to give an indication of how much extra resource you will need.  Understand your Market – what are your competitors doing and how it is likely to affect your business? 
If you have done specialist Marketing campaigns, how much extra resources and orders do you hope to be fulfilling and have you factored this into your delivery schedule?  When booking your deliveries, trying to anticipate this in advance can be very helpful.
Which days of the week to you expect to be the busiest over the Christmas period and what planning have you done to align your resources accordingly? You can book deliveries in, but please ensure you have enough resources in place to fulfil the orders in time for collection.
Always speak to your suppliers and check if they have any potential events looming that may impact on your orders or cause you delays. If your orders become delayed and then late being sent, the closer you get to Christmas the more likely your orders will not arrive in time for the Big Guy!
If your business uses temporary Christmas staff, have you sourced them well in advance and have you provisioned for their training needs and time to settle in? If not, this can have an impact on your orders being completed and delivered on time. It is worth noting that background checks, if applicable, can take weeks, so plan well ahead of time. You also need to bear in mind that new staff can lead to an increase in customer complaints as they are not up to speed with the business and its workings.
What planning having you done around weekend working – do you have the resources available – what are the peaks and lows within your working week?
What happens when things go wrong?  Do you have the right vehicles in place; do you have agreements in place for replacements if required?  What happens if there are staff shortages, sickness etc?


What advice would you provide to those last minute orders over Christmas?
For many businesses it’s the busiest time of the year and the logistics part of the customer journey could make or break them.
Plan as much as you can – look at previous year’s trends to give an idea of likely requirements.
Building relationships with reliable logistics companies like Eezeeduzit Logistics can take the hassle away from the customer’s busiest time.  We work in partnership with our customers to find out their peaks and troughs to help them plan their delivery requirements.
Choose a company that can offer flexible services e.g. do you need to use a tracked service for time sensitive deliveries? Do you need deliveries on specific days of the week – book them as early in advance as possible. Do your goods need refrigeration or some other specific form of handling – these options can have reduced availability at Christmas especially if the items are food related.
Check company’s satisfaction ratings – are their customer’s happy?   Would their customer’s be happy to use them again in the future?  Have they failed deliveries and why?
What experience does a delivery company have of working in your sector?
Where possible, use a company that offers a tracking service – this means you can keep track of where your order is at any given point – reduces your stress as a business owner wondering if your orders are on their way.
If you are planning sales between Christmas and New Year ,what plans do you have in place to manage these deliveries too?  The customer experience now can pave the way for further orders throughout the year if it is a positive one.
How can ecommerce industries affect you?
With the emergence of events such as Black Friday in the run up to Christmas, e-commerce seems to be playing a greater role for a lot of company’s Christmas journeys.  More customers have become aware of this and therefore, more orders are placed online now than before.
The larger sales channels, such as Amazon, have their own delivery solutions in place. However the smaller traders rely on companies such as Eezeeduzit Logistics.  More and more businesses are choosing to sell their products online, which is a positive aspect for the logistics industry.  
However the planning and resource management required by traders can sometimes be affected, meaning the ability for logistics companies to be flexible in their approach is being more important than ever.

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