Logistics planning: reset your logistics after peak season

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After the exciting rush of peak season, the impending quiet of the off-season is bittersweet. Use this valuable time to step back and evaluate how your business can remain relevant and successful.

Many businesses experience seasons of extreme success and quietude. Peak seasons like Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day provide many industries with increased revenue. For B2C and B2B businesses, this time is exciting and requires all hands on deck to keep up with mass orders. But once the peak season shipping is over, many businesses experience a drop in revenue and workload – known as ‘low season.’

The low season can be a bittersweet time for your organisation. But don’t let your business sit idle; evaluate your current practices and develop strategies to maintain and acquire clients. This ensures your business remains relevant and successful in the next peak season. Here’s a quick guide:

How should you reorganise after the peak season?

1. Reflect on the peak season and find ways of improving

53% of consumers will not purchase from a retailer who failed to meet their delivery expectations – so it is key to understand which areas need to be improved. Once your peak season has concluded, reflect on how effectively your business managed peak season logistics and examine whether KPIs were met. Analyse what worked and what didn’t so you can prepare for the seasonal logistics of the next peak season and optimise your performance.

You can also ensure the longevity of your performance by incorporating technology into your business. Integrating emerging technologies like AI and robotics to complement human workers can ensure that your organisation stays ahead of the competition. For example, an automated AI program on a website can use smart learning to organise enquiries and direct customers towards the right service personnel.

Use this time to also automate laborious manual data processes and improve your inventory and warehouse management systems. After peak season is the perfect time to explore digital data analytics and smart warehouse solutions to reduce errors and increase productivity.

2. Prepare for returns

Part of peak and post-peak season logistics is developing an efficient system for reverse logistics. Reverse logistics involves more than returns; it’s your returns policy, packaging management, unsold goods disposal and more. With the returns component, you want the process to be efficient and straightforward. If is slow or cumbersome, such as having a refund process that is complicated or a lack of an online tracking system – it can translate to a negative overall customer experience. If your dissatisfied customer makes a negative post or bad review online, you lose social credit and risk alienating a new client base.

Having a good returns system in place would also ensure your company is effectively addressing waste problems. By addressing this part of the supply chain – of returns, exchanging and recycling – you can reduce your carbon footprint. In this way, you do your bit to minimise the environmental impact of your business.

Over half of consumers care about how online deliveries affect the environment. Sustainability efforts, such as these, do not just contribute to the fight against climate change, but help you resonate with your consumers.

3. Evolve your business

Once the frenetic business of the peak period is over and you’ve reflected on successes and failures, take some time to examine possible trajectories for your organisation. This is the perfect time to determine the future of your service, whether that’s developing a new line of products, revamping your service, integrating new technologies or innovating a new marketing strategy. Through this, your business will benefit from a thorough research and development process.

Analyse statistics from the previous peak season to identify continuing trajectories, or look at your competitors to see what worked (or didn’t) in the past peak season. Push your team to innovate new strategies and ideas for the next 12 months (and more) so that your business remains relevant and is built for success.

4. Continue with marketing efforts

Off-season marketing may seem like a waste of time and resources, but without brand exposure your business will see a decrease in revenue over the year. Remind customers that you offer a service they are interested in. A great way to do this is by creating a blog or social media page. This will help customers get to know you; your business is no longer an abstract entity but a personal service with a recognisable tone and voice.

For example, a florist can create a blog or social media page to cover topics relevant to their service like seasonal flower descriptions, the ecological impact of flower farming and much more. You can also tap into other online channels like online advertising, by running ad campaigns on search engines, like Google or social media platforms, like Facebook.

Whatever your business provides, there are a variety of novel methods for you to ensure your brand remains a top-of-mind choice for your target market. It’s a win-win situation; your clients learn more about your service, and you remain relevant outside of peak season.

DHL Express helps you prepare for the next peak season

It is evident that peak season logistics planning is an important part of a business’ annual cycle. In a world where clients are increasingly concerned with efficiency and green solutions, DHL Express is a competitive option for those looking to remain relevant throughout the year. Our services are designed for businesses; we hold ourselves to a high standard affirmed by our expansive and international client base. With DHL Express, you can focus on providing excellent service, and leave the delivery in our hands. Sign up for a DHL Express account today and feel confident about your next peak season delivery logistics.