Inspiration

10 Tips for Planning a Successful Peak

28 Apr 2020 —
Print
planning banner

Anyone who says that Peak isn’t challenging probably isn’t being entirely honest. It can be very challenging. But with the right preparation it can also be very successful and very satisfying. The key is to be aware of the critical factors that can mean the difference between success and disappointment. In this article, our packaging experts share their list of 10 tips that should help make your next peak your best yet.

Anyone who says that Peak isn’t challenging probably isn’t being entirely honest. It can be very challenging. But with the right preparation it can also be very successful and very satisfying. The key is to be aware of the critical factors that can mean the difference between success and disappointment. In this article, our packaging experts share their list of 10 tips that should help make your next peak your best yet.

1. Forecasting and planning

Use historical data as a guide when deciding how to allocate labour, space and shipping resources. Identify weak points and map out processes by running through possible scenarios. It might feel like a chore but setting aside time to do this now will likely payback handsomely when you’re in the midst of peak with a potential crisis on your hands.

2. Packaging supply

Review your packaging supply. What sort of service are you getting from your current supplier? Are they proactive, taking the time to understand your business and talking to you about how you could improve your workflow, or speed up the process with the latest packaging innovation? Or is it a purely transactional relationship? It’s during your preparations for Peak that having a packaging partner rather than just a supplier can make all the difference.

3. Staff training

Peak inevitably brings an influx of temporary staff, all of whom will need to be trained and ready to hit the ground running at this busiest time of year. For many businesses, labour is their biggest cost, so it’s important that all staff, whether temporary and permanent, are thoroughly briefed on their roles and procedures in order for the operation to run at optimum efficiency.

4. Be returns ready

Alongside preparation for order fulfilment, you also need to be ready for the influx of returns that will inevitably follow. Good quality, resealable packaging that can withstand more than one journey will make the process easier for staff and end consumer alike.

5. Automation and machinery

Time pressure coupled with inexperienced and sometimes unreliable staff can result in the quality of output declining and the volume of packaging material wastage increasing. This is when packaging automation can really come into its own. If budget allows, consider introducing or upgrading machinery. Not only is machinery faster and more efficient, it also produces more consistent output than is possible by hand. Speak to your packaging partner as soon as you can so they can guide you through the best options for your business.

 

6. Bespoke packaging

Bespoke packaging can be a game changer when it comes to coping with Peak. It can be designed to incorporate any number of features that will boost product protection and assembly times, reduce transport costs and environmental impact, as well as enhancing branding and the customer experience.

 

7. Packaging Materials

If you only review your packaging materials once a year then make sure it’s with Peak in mind. Over the course of the previous 12 months it’s likely that products will have changed resulting in a defunct inventory clogging up valuable warehouse space. In addition to clearing out old materials, it’s important to also review current packaging materials, including cartons, void fill, cushioning, and even tape. Ask your packaging supplier to recommend products that are more efficient to use and to store.

8. Warehouse set-up

Optimising the layout of the warehouse and packing area is vital if a business is to cope with the step-up in activity during Peak. It’s also important to test any technology and machinery to ensure it is in optimum condition and avoid equipment failure at the worst possible time.

9. Optimising delivery

During Peak, it’s important to ensure that every vehicle that leaves the warehouse is fully loaded. Reducing packaging volume by switching to more robust and space-efficient materials can help to maximise the number of packages on a load as can stacking pallets carefully to achieve cube optimisation. As well as reducing transport costs, it will help to minimise backlogs and limit the environmental impact of a busy delivery schedule.  All of these things can be prepared and fine-tuned ahead of peak so when the volumes start to rise, you’re better able to step things up a gear. 

10. Customer experience

Don’t forget that Peak is an important time of year for customers, too, so maintaining quality control is crucial. If ever there was a time to ‘WOW’ customers with the quality of packaging it’s now. It’s why it’s even more critical that businesses not only don’t allow standards to drop, they should actually be thinking about how to take things up a notch or two. Spreading a little seasonal cheer with festively printed cushioning or digitally printed seasonal messages and promotions, for example, can ensure customers come back throughout the year.

If you’re ready to start planning for peak, contact us to arrange a complimentary Peak Planning Consultation and operations health check with one of our packaging experts.

Or, download our Ultimate Guide for Planning for a Successful Peak here

Peak Planning Guide

Get expert tips on delivering a successful 2020 peak season, which is set to be bigger than ever before.

Download Now
peak-guide_590x400.jpg

Related articles

Services provided

img-home-service-smart-esolution.jpgImplementation of an e-business solution via webcam.

img-home-service-smart-consult.jpgWe'll help develop the right packaging solutions to solve your business challenges