‘Tis the season to see sales soar – but could supply chain disruption impact your Christmas peak?
The saying goes that you can’t have the good without the bad, and so it stands to reason that Christmas would come with at least a little bit of stress. This year, though, the problems in consumer products go far beyond last-minute shopping and running out of wrapping paper.
But don’t panic! Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to minimise the impact these issues might have on your sales:
- What’s causing Christmas supply chain disruption?
- 4 tips to minimise Christmas supply chain disruption.
- The secret to minimising supply chain disruption.
What’s causing Christmas supply chain disruption?
According to research by business management software company Coupa, three-quarters of all British consumer brands and retailers will be impacted by supply chain issues in the 2023 festive period. As a result, estimated revenue losses start at 5% and keep climbing from there.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that we’ve seen the culprits before. Post-Covid turbulence has yet to fully stabilise, and cash-strapped consumers are still feeling the pressure of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Add the current geopolitical tensions to the mix and it’s not hard to see why things are looking more fraught than usual this festive season.
Still, while organisations are already anticipating stock shortages and revenue losses, it’s important to remember that availability through Christmas is often hard to predict.
And, perhaps even more crucially, that there are things you can do to minimise disruption in your own organisation.
4 tips to minimise Christmas supply chain disruption
Here’s how to avoid or manage stockouts, product shortages, and service delays for Christmas 2023…
Many businesses have already started diversifying their supplier base, and we suggest you do the same if you haven’t already.
By building multiple strong partnerships, you won’t face the risks associated with relying on a single supplier. In other words, diversification provides you with alternatives and flexibility, ensuring a more resilient supply chain.
While this is true all year round, it’s particularly pertinent when demand shoots up during the Christmas shopping season.
Of course, diversification works best as a long-term strategy. In the shorter term (AKA the weeks leading up to Christmas), it’s important to prioritise and promote your highest-demand products.
By prioritising key items, you can more efficiently allocate resources, ensuring that supply meets demand for your most popular products.
A tried-and-tested method, this targeted approach can help organisations like yours manage inventory effectively, even in the midst of supply chain challenges.
Communication with your suppliers and consumers will be key this Christmas.
To start with, ensure there are direct lines of communication between you and your suppliers, along with frequent check-ins to ensure you’re up to date on things like shipments, potential delays, or any other unforeseen issues.
Updates like these should then be passed along to consumers, to ensure your customers are in-the-know about any changes in inventory or delivery times.
Managing consumer expectations will be crucial to building trust and loyalty despite potentially challenging circumstances. It’s well known that the modern consumer appreciates honesty and responsiveness from the brands they shop with.
Your greatest defence against Christmas supply chain disruption? Your teams.
The reality is that the above points are only possible if you have driven, knowledgeable talent throughout your organisation. And, without those perfectly aligned individuals, you can’t achieve true agility.
Ultimately, by fostering a culture of agility, you’ll enhance your organisation’s ability to navigate uncertainties efficiently – not just during the festive season, but all year round.
The secret to minimising supply chain disruption
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to minimising supply chain disruption. But, one tactic that has proven essential for countless organisations across the consumer product sector is building out stronger, more agile teams of top industry professionals.
Want to boost team agility and minimise disruption in your organisation?
Get in touch to arrange a non-committal consultation – let’s talk about what we can offer to help you supercharge your teams:
Call us: 0333 772 7200