How 3PLs Can Help With Seasonal Fluctuation

Many companies experience seasonal fluctuations that can make them extremely busy during some months and very slow during others. If your store sells clothing, for instance, it probably experiences a rush between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A period of relative inactivity will generally follow that rush, as customers no longer want to spend much money. These fluctuations can make your business inefficient, which means you're probably wasting money during certain parts of the year. Instead of struggling through these times, work with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that can meet these three goals.

Respond to Consumer Needs Faster

Holiday shoppers spend about $52 billion between November 1 and December 16. This is a season when most retail companies cannot afford to have empty shelves. Without the massive influx in spending, they might not show profits by the end of the year.

There are, of course, other times of the year when some businesses experience more activity. If you sell swimwear, for instance, you probably have busy summers. If you sell video games, then your busiest days probably happen when developers release their most popular titles.

No matter what industry you work in, you have to take advantage of increased interest. A 3PL can help you do that by analyzing data and predicting future trends. When a product becomes popular among consumers, you'll be prepared to respond so you don't miss any sales.

Track Your Inventory More Effectively

Ideally, you should know how many items you have on the shelf and in your warehouse at all times. When an item sells, your system should update immediately. If it doesn't, then you don't really know whether you can match consumer demand.

Most retail stores don't have the right technology to pay such close attention to where their products are. Fortunately, successful 3PLs thrive in this area. By working with one, you'll gain more control over your stock so you're prepared when customers want to shop. When a popular item starts to run low, a 3PL system will make sure you're ready to order more.

Build an Efficient Supply Chain

An efficient supply chain is essential to meeting the demand of seasonal fluctuations. Just because your supply chain works well during most of the year doesn't mean that it will keep items on the shelf during your busy season.

An experienced 3PL knows how to build a supply chain that avoids common risks, such as delays caused by:

  • Factory disruptions
  • Inclement weather
  • Poorly coordinated transportation services
  • Access to materials

Retail store owners and managers don't have time to handle these details. Instead, they need to focus on things like customer satisfaction and marketing. By connecting with a proper 3PL, you can get the advantages of a more efficient and flexible supply chain that can adapt to temporary disruptions.

You need a 3PL that's able to seamlessly handle the capture and integration of data to be used for seasonal fluctuations. Not every 3PL has in-house data processing departments and updated software to enable the integration of data for rapidly changing requirements, but TALG does.

If you work in an industry that experiences seasonal fluctuations, then you should talk to an expert about how a 3PL can help your business. Request a free consultation with the Apparel Logistics Group so you can get information specific to your industry and business.

Posted: 3/24/2016 4:57:44 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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