Still would like to hear the results, after the dust settles and the bills are paid.
How do you distinguish a 50%-off sale from your competitors, who are racing to the bottom? There is always someone who can price their stuff lower than you.
I'm aware of many brand-awareness and return-customer claims. I'm just asking if it's worth the personal sacrifice of 80-hour weeks after Black Friday to sell stuff near cost. How loyal will your customers be, once you raise your prices back to normal?
@jwolthuis My estimate right now is $45K to $50K after the dust settles. I guess we will find out in the months to come!
@haggul I think our bottlenecks are trained people that know the products and can pull orders and ship them. We need to increase the number of trained people to pull and ship orders.
We use endicia label server api with our in house development application. Put the package on the scale, the application reads the weight from the scale, scan the bar code on the pick ticket, click the print button and out comes the label.
We do have some products that are purchased by themselves a lot that we could get boxed up and ready to go, but for Black Friday they were buying all kinds of stuff. Most orders had more than one product.
@votrechien We do around 50 - 75 order per day normally.
We've had promos in the past where we saw 10x increase in orders, we planned ahead though. We expected it, stocked up on packing materials, premade up boxes, brought in extra staff for grunt work (taping boxes, loading skids, loading trailer)
Not expecting a huge increase and getting it, not much you can do other than bust ass and crank them out!
Sounds like you pretty much have the automation down so not so much you can do there. I'm assuming you have pretty good scanning processes for the picking / packing too?
We do the same - once the order is "shipped" as far as the system is concerned that is the point of no return - the process of weighing/scanning/allocating carrier fires the customer an email with their tracking info and at that point they are past the point of being able to change or cancel - once that parcel goes into a cage there is no way we are fishing it back out.
Short-term solution: Are there any bigger companies that do a lot of pick-n-pack in your area? I've found that employees from these types of places tend to be great hires...if you call around to temp agencies and see who has worked for a particular company (in my area it was Honda), you might have some luck. Lots of these places go with temp agencies when they have an influx of work and need staff immediately - that way, your hires are already familiar with the hustle and bustle of high-volume pick-n-pack.
Long-term solution: Another option is incorporate metrics into your pick-n-pack process (say THAT three times fast...) I've seen companies that have barcode/binning systems and pick carts with laptops. The laptop tells them what row to go into, what bin the item is in (so has to be integrated with the inventory and bin-assignment system). If you have a huge warehouse/inventory, then it'll be a good idea to make sure the scanning software sends them on the most efficient route. The scanning will give a different sound if the correct/incorrect item is scanned, and once it is correctly scanned and picked, it will tell the picker to go to the next item and where that item is located. The employees had goals they couldn't fall below - eg, X amount of items scanned per hour, get spiffs/incentives if they go above Y items per hour, etc.
Not sure if your pickers also do the packing, but if you're doing enough volume, you'd probably want to split it up. When the packers scan the package/barcodes to close-out/weigh the package, they will have goals to hit as well.