In a recent survey conducted by Supply Chain Dive’s studioID in collaboration with Deposco, a provider of unified omnichannel fulfillment solutions, supply chain executives shared their predictions, expectations, and preparations for peak season 2022.
The survey uncovered changing perceptions about peak season, ongoing struggles with labor as both a challenge and a solution, and the ability of current systems to handle fulfillment requirements during peak season. Get the full report here.
Five significant peak season survey findings:
- The concept of peak season may be evolving. Just over half of companies say they now manage peak season differently from the rest of the year, and just under half report their peak season is now a year-round event. “Demand is up across the board,” explains Michael Johnson, director of business consulting at Deposco. “There will still be peaks and valleys, but, for many, what used to be peak season in terms of fulfillment is now the new normal because of e-commerce and changing expectations.”
- 2022 peak season is expected to be tough. Three out of five (59%) expect this year’s peak season to be more challenging than 2021. Another 33% expect upcoming peak season to be just as challenging as 2021. The majority (60%) cite inflation and a declining economic outlook as issues of most concern. The vast majority (88%) expect to see higher prices for supplies and services due to inflation.
- Delivery delays, escalating pricing, and labor issues are top concerns. Roughly half of supply chain executives report these three concerns as they enter peak season: delivery delays (60%), escalating pricing (48%), and labor shortages, turnover, and retention (48%).
- Hiring, increasing held inventory, and expanding supplier networks are the most-deployed solutions. Half of supply chain executives (51%) plan to hire seasonal or temporary workers to address peak season labor issues; 43% plan to increase labor retention efforts while 40% will ask existing workers to commit to overtime. Meanwhile, 49% plan to increase held inventory. Nearly the same number (47%) plans to grow supplier networks.
- Warehouse management systems (WMSs) and order management systems (OMSs) are top of mind for most supply chain executives. Despite the majority (79%) believing that investing in a warehouse/order management system will improve peak season profitability, only 36% have made the investment. Well over half of (58%) respondents lack confidence in their systems’ ability to handle peak season requirements. Fifty-two percent (52%) are only somewhat confident. Another 5% are not very confident, and 1% aren’t confident at all.
“The companies that will be successful in 2022 and beyond will be those that can merge planning and execution into a single cohesive practice,” says Justin Stone, senior vice president of customer success at Deposco. “While it may be too late in the year to implement large changes, like deploying new technology, there is still time for quick wins in peak season. Find and address the biggest operational bottlenecks in the areas of receiving, picking, packing, and shipping. Maybe choose just one or two of those things that you think provide the greatest impact and focus on those processes. Then look at those small victories to improve that area day in, day out, so that you can maximize throughput without having to throw bodies at it.”
To explore additional information and details about the survey results, get the full report.
The survey, conducted by studioID in collaboration with Deposco, was taken by 160+ retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and 3PL/4PL firms in the United States in July 2022. Respondents were asked about peak season preparation, top peak season challenges, and the solutions they plan to use to make peak season more manageable.
Deposco’s Bright Suite of omnichannel fulfillment supply chain applications is how fast-growing companies rapidly scale their warehouse management and order management operations. So they can see what inventory they’ve got, where it is, and where to position it to fulfill demand when It’s Grow Time™. It’s the only solution that provides this much actionable insight into both your supply chain and the broader marketplace. Streamlined into One Solution, One Focus, One Team.
For more information, visit www.deposco.com
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