When you’re a company as big as Amazon, you have the power to create your own shopping holiday. Now in its fourth year, Amazon Prime Day will be a 36-hour online event of discounts and deals beginning on July 16 at 3 p.m. Eastern time, according to a press release from the e-commerce giant.
Prime Day is, in part, a way to attract new Amazon Prime memberships, but, as Supply Chain Dive pointed out, the holiday can also serve as a valuable exercise for logistics providers that plan to rapidly fulfill lots of orders this week. During the winter, when shopping spikes for the holidays, companies working in logistics and fulfillment likely experience certain bottlenecks. By treating Amazon Prime Day like a test run for the end of the year, these businesses can identify issues and plan out changes before Black Friday rolls around in November. If you notice inefficiencies before or during the shopping holiday, reach out to Miner for planned maintenance services. These will help your operations get the most out of the winter shopping season.
That said, as Amazon Prime Day approaches, companies should do whatever is necessary to prepare for the increased demand. Not only will this help them get their operations in good shape for the end-of-year rush, but it’s also an opportunity for them to boost their sales during an otherwise slow period. Bloomberg reported that Prime Day 2017 generated an estimated $1 billion in sales. And Amazon says it expects this year’s event to be even bigger.
To be successful on Prime Day, you need two things: inventory and transportation. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for what may be your busiest day until Thanksgiving weekend.
When orders start streaming in, sufficient inventory and a strong organizational system are essential. The right shelving and racking systems are, in a lot of ways, the backbone of your operation. If you’re not using a racking system conducive to quick picking and maximizing your storage footprint, you could be sacrificing efficiency.
Certain racking systems, such as Automatic Storage/Automatic Retrieval systems, boast highly intuitive and effective item selection. These high-density assets allow for greater inventory levels, and because operators use a control panel to operate the retrieval system, they reduce the time it takes to gather items as well as the risk of injury due to heavy lifting or non-ergonomic practices.
Doors and docks
Without a loading dock, and all the equipment that goes with it, how would you get your inventory out to your customers? This area of your warehouse needs to be in top condition for high-demand days like Amazon Prime Day or Cyber Monday.
If your dock leveler or door isn’t working properly, there’s a chance that it could become dangerous to operate or stop working altogether. Either way, it’s best to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Safety should always be top of mind at the loading dock, even when your employees are focused on getting product into or out of trailer beds quickly and efficiently.
If your dock door is lacking certain safety features such as truck restraints or bumpers, there’s no time like the present to update this space. Truck restraints prevent the trailer from rolling away from the loading dock unexpectedly, while bumpers protect the loading dock from being struck by the truck.
One of the biggest bottlenecks warehouses experience during the holiday season (and therefore a challenge on Amazon Prime Day too) relates to the pick and pack process and its capacity. Simply put, your warehouse has a limit to how many orders it can process at one time, and trying to exceed that limit will inevitably cause strain on your operation.
Maria Haggerty, CEO and co-founder of Dotcom Distribution, suggests evaluating what aspects of your picking process are slower than you’d like. This could include assets that you don’t have but would benefit from or an optimized blueprint for the layout of your warehouse. Are there enough forklifts and order pickers to adequately handle demand? Are your conveyors working properly? Are your packing stations as organized as they could be?
Is your warehouse ready for Amazon Prime Day? Miner can inspect and repair your underperforming assets, and recommend smart additions to your operation.