The world’s a much different place than it was over eight months ago. Supply chains continue to be tested, manufacturing is still playing catch up, and digital transformations are no longer a luxury—they’re essential. Businesses in all industries find themselves at a crossroads: embrace digital technologies or die.
And with the 2020 holiday season fast approaching, it’s no secret that this will be a holiday season unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
But what can you do to prepare? And how can you ensure your business is ready to capitalize on this new norm?
1. Expand Your Ecommerce Capabilities
The best way to protect your business is to expand your ecommerce capabilities. We are living in a new world, and that means a holiday season full of unknowns.
The days of selling your products through a single channel are gone. Successful ecommerce sellers and brands are already focusing on a multi-channel approach.
But what does this mean? Your company needs to explore all avenues—whether that’s selling through brick and mortar retailers, Amazon, dropshipping, or something else. Choice is king today, and you need to give your customers the luxury of choice.
The new push for digital has made this easier than ever. You can easily configure your existing systems to meet the trading requirements of new channels, ensure your products are properly specked, and ready for shipment come the holiday season.
But don’t wait too long. You need to get accepted and onboarded in the system before it’s too late.
2. Ensure Your EDI System Is Up to Speed
You rely on your cloud EDI system to do a lot of the heavy lifting for your business. It keeps you compliant with your trading partner’s requirements, streamlines and automates workflows, and ensures your data is compatible and standardized.
You need to act quickly before the busy holiday season, and that means having an integrated EDI system that keeps up with changing demand.
Take the time now to assess your current EDI system to see whether it’s meeting your needs, can cope with increasing holiday demand, and future shopping trends in the ever-evolving world of ecommerce.
3. Optimize Your Inventory NOW
You need to start optimizing your inventory immediately to avoid getting blindsided when the holiday season hits.
Remember, your retail trading partners are overworked, short-staffed, and struggling to cope with increasing demand.
Take the time to optimize your inventory. Look at what items are low in stock (or at risk of going out of stock). Go the extra mile and tell retailers what products they should restock based on your sell-through and inventory data.
4. Be Wary of New Retail Relationships
Many businesses have forged new relationships with retailers that were more prepared for this new digital-first world.
But keep in mind, these new relationships are still an unknown. It’s important to protect your business by diversifying and not over-relying on any single new retailer too much.
Make sure you communicate with your trading partners at all times, so you can meet their trading requirements, fill orders, and work through hiccups as they occur.
5. Be Prepared for the Unknown
Experts will try and predict this holiday season—but the truth is? We don’t know what’s going to happen. This is uncharted territory in the digital age.
Will consumers flock to brick and mortar stores, malls, and other popular holiday locations? Or will they go all-in with digital?
The best thing you can do is to prepare for these trends. Here’s what we recommend:
- Ensure you have enough merchandise to restock retailers should they sell through initial orders
- Have a stock replenishment plan in place with your retailers
- Develop a rock-solid fulfillment strategy that leverages a powerful fully integrated EDI system, sets expectations with retailers, and keeps shipments on time and on budget.
Need Help Preparing for the 2020 Holiday Season? Tangentia Can Help
The 2020 holiday season promises to be an exciting one, for one reason or another. Here at Tangentia, we’ve been helping our clients optimize their cloud EDI systems in preparation.
Are you looking to do more with your EDI system? Get in touch with our EDI specialists to see how you can leverage enhanced functionality, automation, and more to improve your workflows.
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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.