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How to Recover Your Warehouse After Peak Season

The holidays are wrapping up and peak season is coming to an end for warehouses and distributions centers in the US. Peak season is a hectic time of year no matter how much preparation is done beforehand. As such, there is plenty of advice and guidance out there for how to prepare for peak season… but not much about adjusting to post-peak life in the warehouse after the rush has subsided. This article will provide insights, tips and tricks for readjusting your operation after peak season has ended.


1. Reevaluate Staffing Needs.

If you’re in e-commerce, odds are you rely on seasonal workers for extra labor to boost warehouse efficiency during peak season. As soon as peak season starts to wind down, it’s critical that you have a plan in place to balance residual labor requirements while trimming seasonal labor. Finding the right mix of seasonal workers during the peak itself and the transition back to full-time staffing requirements for the new year can be tough but is critical to keeping your labor cost in line with your budget.


2. Trim Excess Inventory.

The smart thing to do prior to peak season is to formulate data based on order projections and try to overstock your inventory with slightly more product than you need, so you are ready for whatever the season may bring. After peak is over, you need to immediately switch gears and start planning on how you are going to trim off that excess inventory while keeping up with the new year’s first few waves of orders. It’s trickier than you might think! The key is investing plenty of time and resources into your inventory management processes so you have an accurate, real-time count of what’s in your warehouse. This will help you restock with precision and quickly get back to a lean inventory.


3. Perform a Maintenance Sweep.

Peak season is hard on everyone working in warehouse and distribution centers — but it’s also hard on your equipment! As a conveyor and automation equipment manufacturer, we know firsthand how true this can be. Peak season for our repair teams is right after peak season for most our e-commerce clients. We recommend all our clients perform a routine maintenance check as soon as possible after peak dies down so that they can identify any potential wear and tear and perform preventative maintenance to keep their equipment running.


4. Analyze Your Data.

If you’re planning on making changes to your operation for next year’s peak season, you should have been collecting as much data as you can during it. Now is the time to analyze it. Take note of things like average throughput, order cycle times, accuracy, etc. and be sure to compare those to off-peak days. This data is critical for identifying bottlenecks or other areas in your operation where you can improve for next year.



If you’re planning a warehouse automation project for 2021, we can help. Find out if CCS is the right automation solution provider for your operation, by contacting Joel Thomas by email at joelthomas@cartercontrols.com or by phone at 240-815-1835.

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