Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

Happy Peak Season: May Your SKUs Be On Target

It happens every year the holidays have once again crept up on us and are now right around the corner. For a lot of companies, this means revving up their supply chains for peak season planning in distribution and fulfillment.

This year, retailers are preparing to make the best of the upcoming peak season regardless of the twin threats of economic instability and low consumer confidence.

Did you know that nearly 60% of companies began their inventory build for the 2011 holiday season prior to Labor Day? This is just one of the insights gleaned from the recent Peak Season Trends and Strategies Survey of Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium.

Nearly 80 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors participated.

The consortium asked about the top threats to business success this peak season, and no surprise, they were indentified as economic weakness and low consumer confidence. Although there are no clear forecasts for the season, companies are doing what they can to brace themselves, make a profit and ensure customer satisfaction.

While nearly two-thirds of respondents list the economy as the single biggest threat to seasonal profitability, there has also been much talk among supply chain professionals about holding fewer stock-keeping units (SKUs) this peak season as compared to the last.

How did your peak planning go and what challenges are you experiencing? Is your company holding fewer SKUs?

Jim
Tompkins Associates

TAGS: Supply Chain
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