Christmas supply chain concerns


The public have been warned to not leave Christmas shopping to the last minute, so the need for retailers to iron out supply chains issues ahead of Christmas is imperative.

Consumer confidence has slipped in light of supply shortages. This knock-on effect is to be expected amidst such uncertainty, especially as shoppers head into the Christmas shopping season. It is, however, important to understand where this nervousness is coming from. As panic-buying inevitably sets in with growing warnings of distribution challenges, retailers urgently need to enhance supply chain resilience. Doing so requires new approaches for managing the workforce, driving positive user experiences, improved forecasting, agile fulfilment capabilities, and system wide transparency.

The major shortfall in labour and fuel in recent months, has left a handful of retailers uncertain on how to manage the fast-approaching holiday demand. For these retailers, focusing on the ways to meet the demand is key, and technologies can ensure that retailers struggling to meet existing customer demand are able to get ahead of the competition come Christmas time. Whether warehouse visibility, forecasting systems, or workforce management tools, over the next two months, I expect we’ll see more and more retailers focusing on ways to optimise their supply chain.

Technology will be key here – whether in diving end-to-end, real-time visibility, supporting with forecasting based on previous trends and behaviours, but also (critically) external unknowns, using smart technologies and integrations will make managing the supply chain lifecycle, improving planning and fulfilment, and maintaining transparency one less thing for retailers to worry about as we head towards the holidays, and beyond.