Busy retailers need to consider a multitude of details when planning for a holiday season. In order to meet the needs of customers during a rush such as Black Friday or Christmas, retailers must always be logistically proactive in making sure seasonal displays and products get delivered on time and in ideal condition to attract customers. Even for day-to-day operation or a brand new rollout plan, having an excellent third party logistics provider will guarantee that all customers are satisfied while business runs smoothly.
Proactive Preplanning of Holiday POP Displays
Planning to setup successful POP displays means the displays and products must arrive on schedule and organized in order to maximize efficiency. Working with a 3PL provider can take care of the many details of preplanning an upcoming holiday season, ensuring sales will go smoothly. Using technology that helps scan for and manage issues, a great 3PL provider will assess and correct any potential problems before they have a chance to occur. Your 3PL can also handle all of the logistic planning needed to execute a flawless holiday season, alleviating some of the stress that retailers experience during busy seasons.
Many retailers can make the mistake of using logistics providers that are behind the times. Oftentimes these dated methods are far from the most efficient way to order and transport displays and products. These inefficiencies slow business and create lags in schedules, leading to extra costs and exceeded budgets. By handling all details of the ordering process, 3PL providers cut out many of the “middle men” which may cause confusion and slow the process for retailers. Retail-specialized providers will ensure the most efficient method for ordering, transporting, and delivering all POP displays so retailers can spend their time focusing on the daily needs of the store, rather than the transport of materials.
Safe Handling and Delivery of POP Displays
A number of risks are involved with the transport and delivery of holiday POP displays, including the collection of dust or dirt, corrosion of materials or exposure to the elements. These hazards, combined with the risk of damage due to jostling during transport, can weaken the overall effect of these displays and therefore must be avoided. An experienced and professional 3PL provider will guarantee that all POP displays will arrive safely and in the condition they are meant to be. Searching for the safest and quickest route ensures that POP displays are minimally handled and protected through their delivery.
One of the most important steps to a successful holiday season is ensuring all products and POP displays arrive on time so that merchandise can hit shelves as soon as customers demand. During the busiest seasons of the year, retail employees may become disorganized and struggle to order deliveries properly—resulting in product campaign delays and lost profit. By allowing a qualified 3PL provider to handle the details, retailers can focus on running day to day business rather than worrying about the timing of deliveries. 3PL providers specialize in delivering freight on time, whether it’s for a holiday rush, restock, or rollout operation. STC Logistics ensures timely and safe deliveries for any season with a 99% on-time delivery of undamaged goods for the last 15 years.
As a retailer, there’s no reason to stress over the details of making sure POP displays are handled and delivered correctly when dedicated, professional 3PL providers are willing to make sure each step in the process is controlled perfectly. Making sure each display is ordered in a timely fashion, transported carefully, delivered on time and in great condition, STC Logistics manages any potential issue that could interfere with an entirely successful holiday rush or rollout. An experienced 3PL provider ensures a seamless delivery service, helping any retail establishment avoid challenges during the most demanding time of the year.
Retail planning for the holiday season can be a daunting task. Having the right decorations and an accurate inventory full of all the new specialty products for the season is essential for business success. To meet these retail planning challenges, many savvy retailers turn to 3PL providers to make sure their logistics needs are managed properly. Here’s why:
3PL Providers Meet Deadlines
In retail planning, it’s critical to have freight shipments arrive on time. 3PL providers like STC Logistics utilize an infrastructure based on state-of-the-art technology which recognizes an impeccable route for each specific shipment. The needs of freight shipments are handled and processed by high speed machines, ensuring superlative delivery times. Experienced 3PL providers communicate with affiliates from all over the world in order to consider each possible mode of transportation before deciding on the quickest freight shipment route. Utilizing a retail-specialized provider during holiday freight campaigns begins with computerized recognition of efficient routes with economical rates and ends with precise timing for delivery arrival before the holidays.
3PL Providers Save Time and Money
Distance, equipment, handlers, consolidation and deadlines factor into freight shipment prices. Retail-specialized 3PL providers analyze each freight shipment with a customized rate program to ensure that the most amicable and economical rates available are offered. Optimal logistical efficiency means money is saved in every possible way while the fastest freight shipment routes are taken. Freight may be combined in order to provide additional saving opportunities during the process of transportation for retail planning. Individualized electronic rate quote numbers are created when a freight shipment is rated and this number is used to reference pricing when freight is booked and tracking numbers are generated. This enables the rates and routing to be exact.
The Benefits of Electronic Logistics Format
Multiple rollouts, destinations or assembly services are no issue with STC’s Electronic Logistics Format (ELF). It is a proprietary service which STC Logistics utilizes in order to give clients the advantage. It has been specifically designed to provide an awareness of information between all involved parties during the distribution process. Customized rollouts are drafted, many containing multiple destinations for distribution, along with pieces, sizes and weights and then the spreadsheet for a freight shipment will be received by means of EDI transfer. Updates and changes are simply made and reviewing an entire program now becomes straightforward.
Before the very first pickup is made, outlined instructions that detail requirements for pickup and delivery will already have been prepared and awaiting client approval. Once approved, the ELF will be published to a custom mini-website accessible to clients through the STC Logistics client portal. Status updates are easily viewed, tracking is in real time and reports are easily manufactured. Receiving holiday freight shipments this season in a timely and cost-efficient manner by utilizing STC Logistics enables distribution that is stress-free.
3PL Providers Use Efficient Freight Shipment Methods
Retail planning requires research when partnering with a logistics provider in order to grant an overall flawless process in retail planning. Having a 3PL provider facilitate freight shipments guarantees an enhanced and well-researched process for finding available logistics. Placing an emphasis on the process of retail planning before the transportation plan occurs enables retailers to confidently be assured of the quality they are receiving during a freight shipment. Providing easily accessible status updates and paying sufficient attention to concerns with detailed instructions ensures optimal efficiency during the shipping process.
STC Logistics has established an impeccable reputation throughout its 45 years of experience as a 3PL provider. We offer unbeatable freight shipment delivery times on land, air, and sea—all while enhancing a client’s retail planning process. Our unrivaled technology and catered retail planning programs ensure time and money are saved during the transportation process. Additionally, with a damage rate of less than 1%, our customers can feel confident their shipments will arrive in pristine condition ready to be stocked for the holiday season.
As the holiday season approaches, gifts and displays have been pouring into retail distribution centers. To be well organized for each upcoming holiday season, retailers must implement smart planning throughout the entire year, usually beginning in August. This will allow retail procurement to find the correct balance for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees, as well as the remainder of the holiday season.
The simple steps to the procurement lifecycle that most individuals generally agree upon are as follows.
1. Information gathering
2. Supplier contact
3. Background review
The most important aspect of smart planning in retail procurement is to order the correct quantities of products thus ensuring renewal demands are met. This includes contingency planning for natural disasters and consumer spending habits that can cause logistical disruptions. The goal of smart planning is to capture the greatest number of sales without being overburdened with excess stock.
In recent years, retail procurement has learned to balance merchandise by improving the overall supply chain. This accounts for improvements in the amount of products to purchase/manufacture, where to place them and how to get them to the stores. Two major contributors to these improvements are technology and flexible agreements with shipping lines.
For brick-and-mortar stores, the key to a perfect holiday season is for retail procurement to predict the number of each product the company requires at each retailer. Although there is an arbitrary calculation, the correct answer varies greatly per location. The greatest challenges for retail procurement to calculate the correct quantities include:
- Short timeframe
- No selling activity to indicate buyer behavior
Point-of-Purchase (POP) Displays
In addition to smart planning by retail procurement for products, companies must also create a strategy for POP displays which help drive costs from the supply chain. As a mechanism for advertising, POP displays create value in the retail stores with low labor cost. Therefore, these displays must arrive at the stores concurrent with the products to ensure a timely advertising campaign during the holidays. Therefore, it is critical that upstream logistics is involved in POP display design timelines as assembly and shipping is a major aspect of the process; not just design.
Consumer package goods companies want the POP display to differentiate from the competition through vivid colors and sharp graphics. In many instances, design creates the POP displays to be so complicated to assemble that it adds considerable labor costs, as well as time. In an effort to ship on-time, in some cases, logistics must use expensive transportation methods like air shipping.
Nevertheless, by including logistics and retail procurement in the design and production timeline, POP displays could be scheduled more efficiently to accommodate more cost efficient delivery avenues. By allowing 3PL’s to assist in mapping out the most advantageous transit schedules, improvements will allow for the most intricate displays to still have adequate assembly times.
Shipping POP Displays
Like any other product, there are certain precautions that must be taken when shipping POP displays which should be built into a contingency plan. During transit, shock and vibration can jostle and even damage the display, dirt and dust can collect, corrosion can occur (depending on the material) and exposure to a variety of temperatures can affect the overall appearance or functionality. Therefore, correct testing, proper protection and evaluation of the shipping routes will assist in ensuring safe transportation of the POP displays to their required destinations.
STC Logistics specializes in shipping retail procurement items like POP displays. We pride ourselves on the principal that when we ship your product, it is delivered on-time, 99% of the time. We are a trusted logistics provider for the retail industry and have a successful track record for reliable and flexible logistics solutions. Contact us for all of your holiday shipping needs here or click on the button below!
Logistics during the holiday season requires a significant amount of planning. The holiday season begins on November 1, but businesses and logistics providers should begin preparing in October, and in some cases, even earlier. 19% of consumers begin their holiday shopping in October and 40% are holiday shopping during November. High demand for products means that logistics vendors must ensure that the products are able to reach the end consumer.
In the United States, it is important to bear in mind holidays such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Shipping around the holidays creates a significant amount of traffic, so it’s important to keep in mind international holidays as well. The challenge for companies is to successfully accommodate the demand that the peak season brings.
Keep in mind these four following tips when planning your holiday season logistics:
- Be Proactive – Being proactive about holiday planning is the best way to make it through the holidays smoothly. It’s important to stay in tune with vendors during a rush period.
- Remember last year’s mistakes – Keep in mind the issues that the last holiday season brought and remedy them. This is an effective way to avoid previous mistakes.
- Be Flexible – Flexibility is also important. Handling shipments as early as possible ensures that customers are satisfied even if there happens to be a delay in shipment.
- Bring in backup – Many companies choose to meet this demand by relying on the help of logistics service providers. Effective supply chain execution is the difference between getting products to customers on time… and not. By reducing the amount of goods that arrive late to retailers, companies can avoid discounting their products after the holidays to move them out of stores.
STC Logistics offers a highly efficient, round the clock operation to help alleviate the demands of the holiday season. Our extensive network ensures that your goods will arrive to its destination promptly and safely. Our Customer Service professionals work with you to determine the best and most cost-effective way to get your shipment to its destination. Click Here to request a quote for your holiday shipments.
Image by Main Street Realtors