With the festive shopping season well underway, many retailers across the country will be experiencing their busiest sales period. From managing stock and filling the shelves; to increased footfall and extended hours, high-street shops and online retailers have got their hands full.
In distribution centres, the pressure can be even higher. With the increased demand on next day delivery, if this crucial cog in the company machine isn’t working effectively, satisfying customers’ needs could be all but impossible. Managing distribution centres efficiently is therefore essential. Having a facilities service provider that really understands the demands that are put on your workforce throughout the busy festive period, can help them through what is a challenging time of year.
Seasonal sales hike
In 2015, online Christmas sales were up by a whopping 12% on the previous year. Digital retailers took a total of £24bn over the festive period, with £114bn spent online throughout 2015. This year’s figures are set to smash records once more, with millions shunning the high street and buying their gifts online instead. This highlights just how important Christmas is to online retailers. If their distribution centres aren’t functioning at full capacity, consumers may experience an unsatisfactory service and order their goods elsewhere.
A distribution centre marches on its stomach
One thing facilities managers can do to ensure their distribution centre workforce is energised and ready to face the Christmas rush is to make sure there’s great quality catering available. Like an army, a workforce marches on its stomach. Giving employees the fuel they need to work will help them perform efficiently and effectively. What’s more, great food will help to boost company morale, and as happy employees have been shown to be 12% more efficient, this is something that’s certain to improve productivity.
Keeping the premises in order
A clean, tidy and secure premises makes it easier for everyone to do their jobs. Distribution centres are often a hive of activity, so a facilities management company can help to increase operational efficiency, allowing employees to focus on the job in hand. High-value areas of support include:
- Supporting the pick and sort teams by keeping the area clean and tidy, preventing any disruptions
- Keeping pathways and high traffic areas clean, reducing the number of slip and trip hazards
- Increasing security during peak times, which is backed up by a 24/7 Alarm Receiving Centre
- Resolving maintenance issues promptly, preventing any costly delays
Communication is key
Increased sales, overnight deliveries and tight deadlines put a lot of pressure on distribution centres, especially in the run-up to Christmas. In order for these pressures to be properly dealt with, communication in the workplace has to be fluent and effective. Facilities managers need to be continually talking to colleagues to make certain they are aware of operational demands, ensuring there aren’t any disruptions to the running of the centre, and issues are dealt with before they become a serious problem.
As Christmas gets ever closer, the days won’t quieten down just yet. Last minute shoppers and bargain hunters will keep retailers busy well past the January sales. Act now to make sure you’re fully prepared for all the challenges that Christmas will bring and that you’re perfectly placed to ensure your company makes the most of this crucial period. Find out more about our services or contact us to find out how we can help.
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