With the holiday excitement comes the stress of sellers. With the billions of dollars being spent by consumers comes an enormous responsibility to meet their shopping needs. When it comes to managing peak season logistics, understanding the challenges is the best way to avoid them.
Same-day peak season delivery is attainable, as long as you have the right processes and partners available to help bring it to life. If you can manage your peak season deliveries well, there’s plenty of success waiting for you on the other side.
By preparing early, the challenges listed below won’t affect your peak season logistics. Find out what challenges might be waiting for you, and find the best solutions for every barrier.
Top Challenges in Managing Peak Season Logistics
Peak season challenges look different for everyone, but there are a few that stick out. These challenges are likely to show up for most sellers, unless you set the right processes in place to avoid them beforehand.
Here are 5 of the most common challenges faced when managing peak season logistics.
1. Affordable and easy shipping
Offering delivery is easy — but offering great delivery is not. Poor delivery standards can turn customers away from buying from your store, which is why finding the best solution is crucial. To be a truly great experience, delivery needs to be both fast and easy for customers to keep up with.
When customers approach the checkout, the last factor influencing their decision to buy is the delivery. The overall cost and the speed will impact whether they place the other or not. To have more customers complete their orders, shipping needs to be cheap and as fast as possible.
On the merchant side, shipping can also be a challenge. Finding the right partners is essential to completing orders without difficulty, and can also save you time and money when done right.
Solution: The solution to your delivery problems is finding a method that is affordable and also high quality. For example, you need to find a reasonable price that doesn’t cut out the features you need to keep customers happy. Both of these are equally important to you and your customers, and finding a solution that only checks one box will leave you having problems on the other end.
Our recommended solution is to check out a same-day delivery provider who can meet all your last-minute delivery needs over the busiest season of the year. Shipping needs to be easy for both you and your customers, which means having live tracking features and real-time notifications to keep everyone involved up-to-date. With all the technology available today, there’s no reason for visibility to be lacking in the delivery process — or for prices to be so expensive they turn away customers.
2. Technology Challenges
Technology challenges during peak delivery season can hold you back. If your infrastructure can’t keep up with your deliveries, you’ll have more problems to deal with down the line. Having strong support from your technology is crucial to managing peak season logistics.
Although shipping technology has become more reliable over time, not every provider has the tools to offer to make delivery so simple. If you’re relying on outdated software, deliveries can be much more difficult to place and will also be impossible to track once they’re out of your hands. Hence, working with a provider who has the technical expertise to keep your deliveries working is a necessity.
Solution: Our recommendation for avoiding technology challenges during peak season deliveries is to work with trustworthy partners who have the resources your business needs. While most delivery couriers rely on old methods of delivery, most new couriers will implement novel technologies to streamline the delivery process.
What is important about the technology you rely on for deliveries is how clear and scalable it is. For example, offering full visibility into deliveries for customers is very important, and the technology you use needs to be able to support that. On another note, the number of deliveries you take care of daily could increase very quickly over the peak season. Hence, the software you work with needs to be able to handle this spike in volume without compromising on the quality of each order.
Hence, the technology supporting your deliveries will likely be in the hands of the provider you work with. The best decision is to work with a company that uses innovative, in-house technology that can be adapted for various needs.
3. Equipment malfunction
If you’re looking to have a successful peak season, you can’t forget about the equipment that helps your business function.
It might be easy to overlook the small pieces of equipment you use to manage deliveries, but they’re essential to the process as a whole. Equipment like a label printer and computer can be essential devices, even when you outsource deliveries.
To prepare parcels for delivery with your provider, you will need to place the others online (hence why you need a trustworthy computer). You will also be responsible for packaging the boxes and preparing to be delivered, which includes printing and attaching their appropriate shipping labels.
Solution: Our recommendation for avoiding equipment malfunctions during the peak season is to set yourself up with durable equipment that will last. Although it can feel easier at the beginning to choose cheaper options, they might not last you when it comes time to pick up the pace. If you don’t have the means to print efficiently and prepare your orders, you’ll quickly fall behind.
If you’re looking for high quality printers that will last through peak season volumes, check out this article with our top choices.
It can also come in handy to have backup processes in mind in case an issue does arise. If your laptop crashes or your label printer breaks, do you have the equipment you need to work around it?
4. Having too few workers
The workers helping you through peak seasons are essential — and without them, you might find yourself falling short.
With the possibility of a sudden rise in volume over the peak season, your workers will be one area you can’t forget to maintain. With more work coming in, you might need to hire more employees to keep up with the workload.
Having too few workers can cause you to face plenty of sudden problems. Work might not be finished on time, and your current team is at risk of facing burnout. Hence, it’s crucial to maintain a strong team, and have processes set in place to hire more if need be.
Solution: Our recommended solution to staffing shortages is to plan ahead. Similar to thinking forward in terms of stock or inventory, you can plan for staffing in the same way.
If you have an estimate of how busy your business will be at its peak, you can predict how many employees you will need to manage it. Hiring ahead of time is one way to avoid work not being finished because you simply don’t have the workers to do it.
On the other hand, you could take the route of hiring seasonal workers. Hiring workers who will stay with you for only a few weeks or months takes off the pressure of needing to maintain the employees after your work, and instead gives you flexibility to hire who you need just for the busy season. This is one way to avoid worker shortages or burnout without getting in above your head with employees.
5. Managing inventory
Your inventory will be the one thing that can single handedly hold you back from completing any deliveries at all. Without a strong sense of inventory management, you might not have any products to ship to begin with.
Managing your inventory is the base of your business. Without it, you obviously can’t make deliveries and give customers the products they’re looking for. Going into peak season, it’s important to take a step back and think about what’s to come so you can be prepared.
Solution: To make managing inventory before and during peak season easier, we recommend forecasting volume and using inventory management systems.
Forecasting inventory means can be made much easier when past data is used to make an estimate. For example, seeing how your orders were affected by past peak seasons or shopping holidays can give you a good idea of what is likely to happen this year.
To make this even easier, you can rely on inventory management systems to help do the predicting for you. These systems take past data and sales into consideration to estimate what your sales will look like in the future. This makes it much easier to forecast how much inventory you’ll need to order before the peak season hits. Plus, they can even recommend the best inventory levels to keep so you can have enough, but not too much, product.
How to Prepare for Challenges with FlashBox
FlashBox is your number one resource for preparing for the peak season. With the help of same-day delivery,you can easily overcome the shipping challenges that are out of your hands. By managing the challenges above that are within your reach, like employee numbers and inventory levels, you’ll be on track to having a successful peak season.
FlashBox makes it easy to master peak season logistics by offering affordable same-day delivery to major Canadian cities. You no longer need to worry about customers abandoning carts at checkout because of slow or expensive deliveries. Plus, you’ll have a competitive edge when you offer the fastest delivery available.
Here are some of the key FlashBox features that merchants love, and that help them be successful at any time of year.
FlashBox offers same-day delivery for residential addresses and next-day delivery for commercial. Hence, your customers will receive their parcels just hours after ordering them. With a 99% on-time delivery rate, you can rest assured that all your parcels will be well taken care of quickly.
Handling deliveries faster also means you can successfully bring more orders to a close every day. Rather than keeping up with customer queries when parcels are kept in warehouses for days on end, you can easily move onto the next batch within a few hours. This is especially important during peak season when customers are not willing to wait for their packages.
FlashBox offers flat-rate prices as low as $6 per parcel. If you add delivery fees onto the customers total price, these low prices help you avoid “delivery shock” from customers.
High delivery prices are one reason customers often choose not to complete online purchases. When the added delivery cost increases their final fee drastically, they look around to find better options. FlashBox delivery is cost-effective and competitive, meaning your customers will be jumping at the chance to receive their items the same day at such a low price.
Finally, FlashBox technology will help make managing peak season logistics a breeze. There are three major technological points that set us apart from other couriers.
For starters, merchants make use of the FlashBox dashboard to place and manage all delivery orders. The dashboard allows you place single orders or bulk upload orders all at once, significantly cutting down on order time. Plus, you can find on-time delivery metrics specific to you and see the areas you deliver to most often.
Secondly, we offer APIs and plug-and-play apps to make ordering deliveries from your website even easier. FlashBox integrates directly with platforms like Shopify and ShipStation so you can place all the orders you need from one place.
Finally, customers benefit from FlashBox technology through live tracking and notification features. Customers can watch their driver live on a map once their delivery starts to see exactly when the drop-off will take place. Plus, they receive real-time notifications throughout the entire delivery to keep them updated as to where their parcel is.
When it comes to managing peak season logistics, you can’t do it alone. The holidays bring on a major increase in work, and you need the right team to help you accomplish your goals. By understanding all these potential barriers, you’re one step closer to a successful peak season.
Offering same-day delivery can have plenty of benefits for your business during peak season, and FlashBox is the best partner to help you out. Avoid the typical challenges and have successful deliveries, every time.
For help managing peak season logistics, speak to a FlashBox delivery expert today or setup your own account to start same-day deliveries.