Preparing for Black Friday next year
HIRING MORE PEOPLE
Hiring talent is the biggest challenge facing a growing business. If you could only clone your best people in each department you'd be a powerhouse in no time.
Hiring, retaining and motivating one of the largest teams in an eCommerce business is hard work. Mis-hiring and training staff on the trickier parts of your fulfilment is expensive.
PEAKS IN ORDER VOLUMES
Drapers reported that IMRG stated '...UK shoppers spent £21,6Bn online for the 8 weeks between November 2 and December 27, which was an increase of 13% on 2013.'
One off sales events like Black Friday further accentuate the spike in demand.
Whether your orders each day increase to 25,000 from 10,000 or to 1,500 from 200 this creates the need for scalability day on day, let alone what's required to cope with the following year's forecasts.
SCALING YOUR INFRASTRUCTURE
Each piece of critical software needs to be able to grow with a business.
Most companies have outgrown a piece of software during high-growth. Usually this has meant things have stopped working, servers have crashed or databases get locked.
There is a clear correlation between having the flexibility to change out parts of your infrastructure and scaling with reduced friction.
If you've remained nimble by focussing on getting point solutions that have served you well, remember that.
If you've already made the mistake of investing in an all-eggs-in-one-basket solution you'll be keen to avoid another one
RUNNING OUT OF SPACE
Scaling multi-channel retail increases inventory and order volume. Both of these mean you are going to need more physical space in which to operate your fulfilment.
Consistently hunting for a bigger warehouse is one way to overcome the space issues you're facing and probably the most disruptive and expensive solution. These should be kept to a minimum.
Better alternatives are used by companies like Amazon who increase available shelf space by up to 35% by mixing multiple products together in one location.
Being able to delay a warehouse move by even 6 months can save over £100,000 for companies doing over £5M in revenue.