What “Supply Chain Santa’s” need to know ahead of the 2019/2020 holiday season

on October 31, 2019

‘Twas the night before [the Cyber 5], when all through the [ware]house

Not a [conveyor] was stirring, [nor shipping a blouse]…

While it does not take a studied supply chain manager or logistician to recognize that those are not the right words to the iconic poem penned nearly two centuries ago in honour of Christmas, they could be forgiven for believing otherwise during the chaotic shopping-filled weeks that begin at Thanksgiving and continue to the start of the new year.

Warehouses, distribution centres, and shipping companies are notoriously at max capacity during these extremely stressful times as they must ensure gifts, which are increasingly being purchased online, reach their intended recipient on time and in the correct colour, quantity, and size.

Problems encountered throughout the delivery process are well-documented and not only likely to upset little ones on Santa’s big day, but also risk the reputation of manufacturers, third-party logistics firms, and retail specialists well into the next holiday season.

Should they survive the fallout, that is.

This is precisely where delivery service companies stand to benefit from better projections and trend recognition ahead of the busy shipping, er, shopping, season!

Enter Hanhaa.

This firm has not only seen its sleigh full of virtual and physical products keep pace with annual Peak season demand since 2014, but also grow alongside industry leaders in the eCommerce space so as to ensure they have the data they need to better anticipate next year’s requirements.

At Hanhaa, it is one thing to know about a trend, but another entirely to act on it.

They act on it year after year

and here’s how.

Just like Santa’s workshop:

As with any good workshop, especially that of the head elf’s, Hanhaa has everything a small, medium, or large shipper needs in order to address the demands of the holiday shipping season with aplomb.

And no, not the kind of one finds in a pudding on Christmas Day.

But before ticking off each and every specification or functionality afforded the weary logisticians by Hanhaa’s ParceLive tracker and Symbisa, it is important to start with the facts, or:

  • As consumer confidence continues to trend upward since The Great Recession, manufacturers and retailers are seeing increased annual demand for both traditional and technical goods
  • Online sales have been growing on the order of 15 percent annually, with seasonal spikes in July and November through early December
  • As consumer behaviours and preferences become more mobile, nearly 60 percent of global shoppers plan to go online for over half of their holiday spend
  • Nearly 40 percent of all online sales and tracking are likely to take place on a mobile device in 2019
  • The holiday season and shopping window continues to grow and is now known as the Cyber 5, or those five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, which, in turn, saw Peak spending get a boost of some $22.55B in 2018 as compared to a mere $18.90B the year prior
    • NOTE: should this trend be repeated in 2019, retailers could see an income injection of approximately $27B
  • Amazon controls 57 percent of the online e-tail space and is likely to have almost half of its entire annual gross merchandize volume realized during these few critical days

 

While none of this is surprising to the third-party loggie or warehouse operative, the ability to handle such volume is becoming more and more of a creative task with some electing to educate consumers on shipping deadlines or to leverage new technologies in which to ensure same-day or next-day deliveries.

Hanhaa is able to not only get out ahead of this stressful time, but to ensure Santa’s workshop is prepared weeks, if not months, in advance.

The team offers a data repository that easily integrates with current Microsoft Excel products to provide additional insights into a shipper’s likely workload, which means managers can onboard more staff or call for additional capacity in the form of air or ground freight (or both!).

This software service, or Symbisa, makes viewing data easy, customizable, and uploadable to shared platforms for better future planning and report generation so that no manager is caught unawares when a surge in volume occurs to the detriment of the immediate customer and end user.

Flight-following Santa’s sleigh ride this year and next:

All of this begins, of course, with tracking and monitoring those features or functions that the shipping container company (or consumer) deems important.

Consider that Hanhaa’s hardware offering, or ParceLive, does just this.

Imagine being able to not only see where Santa is this year, but to actually be able to predict where he will need to go next year and to drive demand in that direction?

This is what Hanhaa’s recyclable and reusable tracker can do for parcels both large and small as it offers complete network visibility into whether an item was accidentally dropped, unsealed, crossed into the wrong country, tilted, compressed, exposed to extreme temperatures, or otherwise mishandled.

What’s more, the tracker has a minimum battery life of 20 days with a maximum duration of 50, which is good news during a holiday season that now begins well in advance of Thanksgiving and goes beyond the Chinese New Year.

Thus, by being able to keep track, and make sense of, all these data points, Hanhaa’s powerful little tracking device means greater insights into next year (and the year after’s) seasonal holiday trends.

How (not to let) the Grinch steal Christmas:  

Sadly, not everyone is willing to get into the holiday spirit.

This can, unfortunately, include such nefarious little helpers as international postal service men and women, independent delivery personnel, and even warehouse workers that justify their taking a package or two for use under their own Christmas tree or for resell on another Internet retail marketplace.

In order to ensure each and every Who in Whoville gets a gift from Santa, though, is a big job and one that Hanhaa performs time and time again by providing irrefutable dispute resolution.

The team is able to provide this functionality with sensors that report back, in real time, any breaches in box integrity, exposure to light, or rough handling.

This then provides the courier with a time stamp data trail, or cookie crumb (no pun intended!), so as to root cause where the shipment went awry.

Conclusion & call-to-action: 

And just as the cherished poem concludes…

[They] spoke not a word, but went straight to [their] work,

And filled all the [lorries]; then turned with a jerk

And laying [one more package on the load],

And giving a nod, [ensured all the deliveries flowed]…

 

Hanhaa takes care when safeguarding the timely delivery of goods, especially around the holiday season.

The company continues to monitor trends and improve the quality of its hardware and software offerings so as to meet the needs of its clientele as well as ensure that all factors in need of monitoring are tracked, easily accessible, and stored for easy retrieval when planning for the next seasonal Peak begins once more.

Hanhaa’s ParceLive and Symbisa also encourage supply chain personnel to take control over their processes and to critically assess their current capacity so that they can get creative early and build partnerships with other companies stressed by explosive shipping volumes driven, in part, by online ecommerce.

And while Hanhaa may not slide down a chimney or command a serious number of reindeer, they can keep “Supply Chain Santa’s” in the driver’s seat…

so long as that scenario is sleigh-free!

CallumWhat “Supply Chain Santa’s” need to know ahead of the 2019/2020 holiday season

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