The holiday season is upon us, and for business owners, it’s the busiest time of the year. Consumers are starting to flip through the glossy, colorful pages of catalogs, scroll through websites, and fill up their carts online, and in stores, with lists in hand. While the idea of seeing an uptick in sales resulting in higher profits is certainly exciting, the holiday shopping season can spell trouble for global supply chains. Shipping products, meeting deadlines, and keeping tabs on invoices are just a few of the supply chain challenges during the holidays that can affect businesses.
How do Holidays Affect the Supply Chain?
If you’re a business owner, you work in the shipping industry, or you’re just a curious consumer who wants to prep in advance to ensure your holiday gifts arrive on time, keep on reading to find out more about how the holiday season can impact the supply chain.
Factors that Affect the Supply Chain During the Holiday Season
During the holiday season, there are several factors that can impact the supply chain. The most notable of these factors include the following:
Early bird shoppers
It seems like the holiday season starts earlier and earlier each year. In fact, in many stores, Christmas decorations have begun popping up on the shelves before Labor Day!
Consumers who want to get the best deals and who want to make sure that they can get the items that they want often decide to start shopping long before the official holiday season arrives. These early bird shoppers can place strain on your inventory before the busier shopping season arrives.
If you aren’t prepared ahead of time, your merchandise could end up running thin or could completely run out, as vendors may not be able to keep up with orders in order to restock your shelves.
Consumer demand predictions
If the merchandise that you didn’t expect to be a big seller ends up being a hot commodity, you could end up in a pickle. As hot-selling items clear the shelves, trying to reorder them so that you can restock your shelves could have a huge impact on the supply chain and cause many ripple effects.
During the holiday season, manufacturers, suppliers, and 3PL (third-party logistics) companies aim to meet the needs of their clients. That said, however, it takes just one invoice change or one missed email to wreak havoc on your supply chain. You could end up having a hard time keeping up on your orders while at the same time you’re contemplating where shipments are or you’ve received the incorrect items.
As logistics companies attempt to catch up with changes while suppliers and manufacturers aim to place the right items on trucks, the supply chain can struggle tremendously. This can lead to shipping deals and other, more serious issues.
In large portions of the northern hemisphere, the holiday season occurs during the winter. The winter season is often accompanied by inclement weather which can disrupt the supply chain. Rain, stone, and ice storms – and even complete blizzards – can occur, shutting down runways, roadways, and railways. As you can imagine, weather-related issues can do serious damage to the supply chain during the busy holiday season.
Additional Information: Transport delays, labor shortages slow supply chain as holiday shopping begins – USA Today
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