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Pain-free fulfilment at Peak

30 January 2024

When up to 90% of your annual sales can be done in just 2 months of the year, your Peak season simply has to go right as you can't afford to let your customers down at a crucial time.

CYBER MONDAY delivered a 6% Year-on-Year rise in 2023, and with over 300 million parcels delivered over the peak period, the scale of the challenge is not for the faint-hearted. Through careful planning, however, preparing early and working with your trusted 3PL, you should be able to mitigate all the potential pain from peak failure.

Staci, Europe's leading multichannel fulfilment expert, takes responsibility to keep their brand and retailer clients protected all year round - especially during peak - through careful, strategic planning, intelligent tools and trusted partners to make peak painless for you.

Managing peak is among their greatest strengths, and with PRINCE2 Project Managers, Six Sigma Professionals, and a culture dedicated to the continuous improvement of marginal gains, Staci’s clients cannot talk highly enough about their performance at the most critical time of year.

UK head of operations Adrian Cockett offered the following advice to brands and retailers whose demand increases exponentially during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and shared some lessons for those who may have just experienced a particularly bad peak period in 2023.

Plan early and analyse

“We may be 11 months off the Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) peak for 2024, but that’s not stopped us preparing already,” Cockett said. “The best place to start is our performance last year, and whilst our clients told us it was an outstanding result with 99.9% of SLAs achieved, we’re always looking for ways to improve no matter how small. If we can accelerate or increase our capacity just a small amount, that’s more products our clients can sell, more happy customers, and ultimately more money through the till.

“If your 3PL hasn’t started preparing yet and you have a big peak, then you really need to talk to Staci.”

Forecast forecast forecast

“Forecasting really is vital. Our clients value our support in helping them pull their forecasts together – our data and intelligence experts conduct multiple analyses on historical data and trends, combine this with future data, planned activity and projections and help build a forecast upon which our clients, our suppliers and ourselves can work to. We also positively challenge forecasts as well – by working together to be more accurate we make peak better for our clients. There’s always tolerance with forecasts because there has to be – but having an intelligent, analytical, data driven approach is essential.”

Engage your entire supplier team

“Your whole supply chain has a role to play – you as the manufacturer, your 3PL or warehousing solution, your freight company, your packaging provider, final mile delivery, customer service – everyone is vital to peak success and managing really positive, strong supplier relationships makes a massive difference. Through our supplier charters, our Great Place To Work Certification, our supplier of the year awards and our culture for Teamwork, we bring everyone together and celebrate everyone’s input as part of that collective success”

Ensure your 3PL doesn’t leave it too late

“If you’ve not finalised your plans by July or August at the latest, then you’re leaving it too late. You need the benefit of agility and that’s crucial in the super competitive world of online retail, but making sure your customer experience is protected at peak helps keep new customers coming back next year and the year after, as they know they can rely on you to not let them down. Your 3PL needs to staff up and train early – if additional resource is brought in at the last minute they won’t be as efficient or engaged with your brand as they need to be to deliver the very best when you need it”

You can find out more about Staci’s approach to Peak and arrange a meeting with the team at: https://uk.staci.com/peak-management