With only a few weeks left until Christmas, retailers face their toughest challenge for the year; forecasting and maintaining adequate stock levels to get them through the holiday rush. With sales expected to rise up to 4.5 per cent on last year, according to Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast, now is the time businesses need to be taking advantage of supply chain automation to ensure they can keep up with increasing consumer demands.
With many shoppers expecting real-time updates on their online orders, as well as current stock levels, supply chain automation is crucial to fulfilling their customer’s needs. If an item is not in stock or can’t be delivered in time, shoppers will be quick to go to a competitor who can ship the desired product to them in time for Christmas. This can also lead to loyal customers being lost to competitors if their favourite retailers can’t provide what they need at the most important time of the year.
Businesses should be taking advantage of supply chain automation by automating parts of the supply chain that are labour intensive and time consuming. This will free up employees so they can focus on customer service during the busiest time of the year, as well as maximising inventory utilisation. Automation can be used for simple shipping tasks such as generating shipping labels as well as also being used to provide shoppers with the ability to track their purchases anywhere, anytime and on any device.
With automated supply chain solutions cheaper to implement than ever before, now is the time for businesses to find a tool that can integrate with existing infrastructure that can be easily adopted by employees. Identifying areas where technology can improve current manual processes will help set up retailers for success throughout the holiday period and beyond.
More efficient workplaces and improved processes will increase productivity and employee satisfaction. This in turn will have a flow on effect to the service shoppers receive which is a vital in the fast paced retail industry. Customer satisfaction and meeting the higher than ever consumer demands will ensure repeat business from shoppers and success for the future.