Black Friday has already gotten off to a strong start! According to Coresight Research, holiday sales are expected to be up by 4% whereas e-commerce will be up 16%! Target had a goal to hire more than 120,000 people for the holiday season which is a 20% increase. UPS planned to hire 100,000 which is up 5,000 from last year (maybe because they had to spent $125 million extra last year to fix delays because they were short staffed). And FedEx planned to hire 55,000 additional seasonal workers which was a slight increase from last year (and they expect a record-breaking year).
Is your business seasonal? What are you expecting? Is anyone in your supply chain focused on seasonal business? Perhaps you should find out!
What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Are you prepared for the holiday season? I find this is somehow a common issue among clients. The smartest of clients tend to miss holiday season trends. For example, I worked with one client for several years and key workers took off during the holiday season for extended vacations every year. Yet, it seemed to be a constant surprise when we struggled to keep up with demand. Of course, our customer’s demand didn’t decrease, even in a non-holiday industry. Of course, clients focused on consumer products always struggle to predict holiday sales as you cannot start producing in December! When I worked with Coca-Cola Enterprises, employees only got Christmas day off because holidays were always BIG.
Think beyond your company. Given the statistics above, do you think your carriers might be a bit busy during the holiday season? How about your suppliers that might supply other holiday-intensive industries? Your trusted advisors? No matter the supply chain partner, perhaps a heads up surrounding holiday activity and expectations would be a good idea. Holiday season volatility is another good example of why you should create a resilient supply chain to navigate disruption and achieve peak performance.
Check out our new video and article series as well as our soon-to-be offered Rapid Resilient Supply Chain Assessment service.