Case study - Early Learning Centre at Christmas.
The overall approach to fulfilment and delivery for Christmas was based upon getting it ‘right first time’, the continual improvement of proposition and driving cost efficiencies.
The Christmas planning and preparation for Christmas was as follows:
- Christmas preparation starts in May
- Use of ‘core team’ to support training of temps for peaks
- Support from core business if required
- Increase in number of shifts and working days during peak
- Open, regular communication between Early Learning Centre and Zendor
- Good relationship with carriers
- Planning at lowest level of detail (space, stock, % of collates, vehicle schedule)
- Gradual recruitment of new staff to allow adequate training
- Emphasis on brand and product training
- Understanding product mix and impact on packaging
- In implementing a successful delivery and fulfilment policy, the situation was dealt with as follows:
- Approx 50% of enquiries were delivery related
- Particularly problematic at Christmas
- Opportunity to use different carriers with new system
- Migration to a new carrier ‘stream’
- Simplify carrier process
- Average delivery time reduced by 2 days
- Reduced customer enquiries
- Same overall cost
The most important factors were therefore to maintain a good dialogue with suppliers and carriers, and to gather and use data for planning and forecasting. Based on the previous year’s demand, the Early Learning Centre are now able to plan for the following year sufficiently in order to meet the influx in sales expected at Christmas.
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