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Warehouse Manager Advice: Accounting for Holiday Shipping Delays

12.02.2017 | By Todd LaFond | min. read


As a warehouse manager, you understand that your customers have order fulfillment promises to keep – and they appreciate realistic delivery times. To provide a five-star customer experience, make sure you set proper expectations and are prepared to help with issues caused by unexpected delays. This is especially important as we head into the busiest shipping season of the year. Keep reading to learn how.

Factors that Impact Shipping Speed

Holiday demand and winter weather will have an impact on delivery timeframes. Experts predict that in 2017, we’ll see an overall uptick of 18-20% in consumer spending. Consider the above, along with the following, as you calculate your holiday delivery times and prepare to provide top-notch service.

  1. Do Some Research
    Which products generated the highest traffic, revenue, and volume last year? Have any market shifts affect those statistics? If so, what product lines will create the highest demand this holiday season, and how far away are your high-volume customers? Use your findings to help influence your inventory stock and delivery quotes.
  2. Focus on Your In-House Team
    Making sure each department in your warehouse has a well-thought strategy in place to manage holiday volume spikes is critical to meeting delivery deadlines. Talk to your purchasing, sales, and production managers and make sure everyone is prepared to handle the busy season efficiently.
  3. Be Proactive with Customer Service
    If an unexpected delay occurs, talk to your clients. Don’t let them discover an issue when they click on a link in an order confirmation email. Have someone on your team personally reach out to explain what’s going on. Proactive communication can go a long way in maintaining a good client relationship. And don’t forget to factor in staffing increases to manage returns, which often increase during the holiday season.

Key Takeaways

Your warehouse operations must adapt to meet increased volume and demand throughout the holiday season. Even if that means you have to advertise longer shipping timeframes, your goal should always be to provide the best possible customer service. Being reliable throughout the busiest season of the year will not only help you retain existing clients, but it may also help you land new ones!