The pressure to better manage and evolve peak season logistics before the holidays has never been higher in this era of uncertainty. Meanwhile, uncertainty remains the name of the game in peak season logistics planning. According to Jeff Berman of Logistics Management, “Due to a confluence of COVID-19-driven factors, including reduced consumer demand, lower import levels, heavy job losses, the ongoing United States-China trade war, and overall economic unease, a case can be made that the 2020 peak season is shaping up to be much different than normal.” As a result, supply chain leaders must know how the management of a frictionless supply chain must evolve throughout this unprecedented disruption.
COVID-19 and Preparing for Peak Season 2020
Basic supply chain functions, as well as every interaction in all industries, are rapidly evolving to reflect the contactless opportunity to reduce health risks to consumers and staff. Meanwhile, the expected growth in the upcoming peak season remains on track to match past years’ records. Therefore, preparing for peak season 2020 and making the peak season logistics improvements to accommodate both contactless and traditional expansion of logistics during that time will be critical to success. As further reported by DC Velocity, “Pennsylvania-based omnichannel technology provider Radial surveyed 1,000 consumers across the United States about their 2020 holiday shopping plans and found that, despite the pandemic, most do not plan to change their spending significantly or shop earlier compared to 2019. The survey revealed a stronger preference for online shopping this year, however, with 66% of shoppers saying they expect to increase their online purchases this holiday season.”
Peak Season Planning Needs More Data Sharing and Collaboration
Peak season planning has always needed more visibility, collaborative logistics, and resources. Even organizations that are household names, including Amazon, have traditionally augmented staff and asset resources to meet demands in peak season. However, peak season planning for 2020 must evolve much faster than anticipated. Supply chain innovations have hit record levels in attempting to meet the demands of e-commerce amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of more data sharing and collaboration, supply chain leaders will be able to work together better.
Increased Opportunities to Reduce Rework Will Enable Scalability
Peak season logistics planning also allows leveraging technology to reduce rework. During times of disruption, existing resources are pushed to their breaking points. Any unnecessary redundancy or repetition within the supply chain wastes money and resources. It is that simple. Proactively communicating with supply chain partners and leveraging data to understand the overall health of the supply chain, using big data analytics, organizations can better manage the upcoming peak season.
Moreover, they are more prepared to handle supply chain disruptions, including both the pandemic and the upcoming hurricane season. Year-around peak season planning is the new normal. Furthermore, unifying supply chain data within a single source of truth and applying big data analytics go together.
Analytics identify micro-trends that contribute to big gains or losses for the supply chain. By combining these functions, supply chain leaders can finally create the most up to date freight forecast for the 2020 logistics peak season and better accommodate its changes and needs. In a sense, reducing the rework and improving planning will be the key to increasing near-limitless scalability throughout supply chain disruptions.
Peak Season Responsiveness and Agility Will Hinge on Accuracy and Speed
Peak season responsiveness and agility are top goals for supply chain professionals. However, unlocking the secret to responsiveness and agility within the supply chain means having the resources in place to respond when an issue arises and being able to do so in a timely manner. Yes, equating transportation management efficiency with speed sounds like a stereotype. But increased speed in decision-making can dramatically reshape the state of the supply chain. Having access to more information and being able to make informed decisions in a split second, if not automating them entirely, is integral to leveraging backhaul opportunities and reducing strain on resources.
Peak Season Is Already Upon Us; Ensure You Consider Its COVID-Induced Evolution Now
The summer months have traditionally been the time when supply chain professionals begin peak season logistics planning. In recent years, the dates have inched slowly closer to the beginning of the year. In 2019, supply chain experts began to predict a transition to year-around peak season planning. But no one could’ve predicted what would happen with the pandemic during last-years’ holiday season.
Peak season logistics planning is already underway, reflecting the sudden surge in e-commerce. And the stage is set for the ultimate showdown of how the supply chain and its management capabilities must rapidly evolve to combat both disruption and the expectations for the 2020 holiday shopping season. Request a Turvo demo via the online contact form to get started.