To most families the “Festive Season” is the celebration of a relevant religious festival or significant historic event. It could be Eid or Ramadan, Yom Kippur, Diwali or Christmas. Whichever, it creates a period of local or general change in behaviour. Families prepare elaborate meals, buy presents, take trips to meetings of like-minded people or family gatherings. Goodwill is shared, spread and enjoyed.
And for manufacturing and distribution businesses, festivals mean increased demand for everything plus a surge in once-a-year fashionable products, special deliveries in special packaging, large or more frequent loads with increased drop-off points. Oh, and it means shrinkage and theft, absenteeism and temporary workers. It means pressure on working capital – larger purchases are needed to fill fatter order books – debtors collections get tougher and later as customers also feel too much month at the end of the money. Yes, it’s “peak” season.
So it’s time to check your ERP system and ensure correctness in inventory parameters approaching and over the period like order-quantity, order-point and fulfilment lead-times. Time to check your logistics ability is optimal to ensure customer service at a time when sympathy for delays is rare. You may have to add co-packer and subcontractor master data to your system, add in smaller more frequent deliveries to key customers to help them manage their shelf space
Then your factory WIP hits queuing, priorities and broken promises for some customers. Competitive pressure and longer hours lead to poor decisions due to exhaustion and tempers. And that’s just for bricks and mortar business. On-line goes crazy while on-time promises cannot be met due to volume demands.
You need your ERP of course to enable transactions and processes – all affected by specials, discounts and bonuses – thank goodness for SYSPRO Trade Promotion Management. This is business unusual or maybe just different – testing predictability and forecasting which may not be accurate then suboptimal plans creating nervous delivery.
And for those who love Christmas spare a thought for Santa. He – or is it she – also has to deal with innovative technology. An autonomous sleigh with no more need for Rudolf the Reindeer which gets lost when networks fail and navigation goes quiet. No need for squeezing down chimneys but last mile drone delivery to doorsteps and gardens.
An the no-need-for-transport-or-packaging presents – checked, selected and ordered on-line like data bundles and music, eBooks and vouchers for future shopping or swapping.
If your system doesn’t support your business you’ll change happy customers to mutants, testing delivery patience and anger when loved ones are adversely affected through missed execution. Delivery to your daughter a day after Christmas is a life-lesson you learn. Like experience – that element of knowledge you gain 5 minutes after you needed it.