Supply chain management and the holidays

Sales are estimated to increase from last year with a forecast of $1.1 trillion to be spent!  Each and every year, the e-commerce businesses, warehouses, distribution center, third-party logistic team and others are getting ready for the busiest time of supply chain management year. One of the busiest buying seasons is approaching: is your Supply Chain Management (SCM) ready for the holidays?

This is how to get your SCM ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and other shopping oriented holidays.

What is SCM

SCM is a concept that has been used for decades in a number of industries. The first business to implement SCM and use it correctly is Ford Motors! In the 1940s and 50s, SCM was focused around being labor intensive, logistics of material handling and making the most out of your warehouse space and storage issues. This started the movement of using pallet racking in your warehouse or distribution center. Pallet racking has several different names: vertical racking, high density storage and ActivRAC.

SCM has since shifted to being about the path of goods getting to consumers. How does point A to point E all affect the process and everything in-between? Here is a great example of using SCM in your life:

You go to Amazon, and you’re searching for the cutest clothes for winter. Once you find these clothes, you purchase them. From here, the warehouse gets an alert on the new purchase. A warehouse employee checks the system, finds the clothing items and sends them on a truck. The truck sends them to a distribution center, from here, UPS or Amazon delivers the clothes to you!

SCM holidays

As the world of e-commerce continues to expand from small businesses to Amazon, the holidays are an increasingly busy time for these companies. While companies and corporations love to see the holiday sales increase their dollar signs before the end of the year, the wrong SCM set in place can change these numbers and dollar signs.

These are some things to get ready this holiday season:

  • Remember the shopping starts earlier and earlier
  • Stop predicting the “hottest,” item and just have enough space
  • Make sure suppliers, manufacturers and third-party logistics companies are all communicating
  • The weather can pause logistics
  • Vendor management

How to get your space ready

Alright, warehouses and third-party logistics, this is how to get your space ready for the upcoming season. It’s important for the logistics industry to be ready for this influx of incoming sales. The first thing for each business is a central warehouse or distribution center location. This allows for truckers and workers to be in one area and everything leave from here. The next is the right storage unit. The wrong storage could stop the flow of items going on and coming off of shelves and possibly sending out the wrong shipment of items. (A holiday disaster to say the least.)

The right storage increases your space by 50 percent, saves you money over time and increases employee efficiency.

The next step is to have a functional supply chain management ready to handle this intake of products. A SCM system lacking from the business to logistics can set you behind the competition, make consumer angry, lose business relationships and other factors. This all happens from a lack of a SCM system in place.

The holidays can be the happiest time of year for businesses, companies and the consumers if an effective SCM is set in place from warehouses to logistics!


No matter the season, it's always important to keep your SCM from beginning to end in tip-top shape. At MSS, we can help you with this task, contact us today! 

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