Holiday Magic in the Supply Chain: Challenges and Solutions

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The holiday season is knocking on the door, but the peak season has already started. It’s a demanding period marked by heightened customer expectations and urgent, last-minute shopping, which can strain even the most efficient supply chain operations. To overcome these challenges, let’s find the reasons behind the delays, unwrap the problems, and check out solutions for those issues.

Peak Season Means High Demand and Low Supply

During the holiday season, supply chain operations face the classic conundrum: satisfy high demand while avoiding low supply and stockouts. Consumer purchases create unprecedented shipment and parcel volumes, putting immerse pressure on supply chain and logistics networks. Increased and unpredictable demand often leads to unforeseen delays, higher freight costs, and the imposition of peak season surcharges.

3 Reasons Why Delays Happen

  1. Extraordinary Events in the Shipping World

Unpredictable external factors, such as extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, and global events, can disrupt supply chains. The impact of COVID-19, for instance, has been particularly profound, affecting various aspects of the supply chain. Its global effects have been seen through product inflation, increased shipping costs, and the role of China in the global economy.

  1. Inadequate Technology

Outdated technology and inefficient systems can delay order processing, managing inventory, and tracking shipments. Also, proactive due diligence and screening measures are pivotal in automating the international shipping process, mitigating the risk of compliance-related delays.

By incorporating advanced supply chain management software, your operation can conduct thorough checks on shipping documents, ensuring their accuracy and completeness. These measures can include automated validation checks that flag potential issues before shipments are dispatched. Additionally, real-time monitoring of changing customs regulations and compliance requirements can be integrated into the system, allowing for swift adjustments to documentation and procedures.

  1. Issues at Customs

When shipping internationally, customs and regulatory compliance can cause holdups at any border. Incorrect or missing shipping documents, cargo inspections, and changing regulations can also create delays. Implementing a real-time, exception-based compliance screening service ensures proactive due diligence of international or domestic business transactions, documents, and regulatory lists.

NMB Gateway for D365 has several features that provide valuable guidance to enhance supply chain management and facilitate compliance. For example, NMB Gateway for RPS integrates seamlessly with Dynamics 365 to offer automated screening measures and assists in validating shipping documents, ensuring accuracy and completeness to prevent compliance-related delays.

How to Avoid Delays

To successfully navigate supply chain challenges this holiday season, consider the following strategies:

Communicate Clearly with Customers and Suppliers

Maintain clear communication with both customers and suppliers. Communicate established order and shipping deadlines to manage customer expectations. Keep suppliers informed of your order volume, allowing them to plan efficiently.

Ship as Early as Possible!

Prepare for the peak season by shipping early. Delays at docks and warehouses can occur due to high shipment volumes. Early shipping ensures timely deliveries to customers.

Consider All Shipping Options

Smaller companies can use less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping to reduce costs and ensure on-time deliveries, while larger enterprises can explore full truckload (FTL) and intermodal options for greater capacity.

How NMB Solutions Can Help Your Supply Chain Operations

NMB Gateway for D365 enhances your supply chain’s visibility and scalability by simplifying your shipping complexities and streamlining your operation’s workflow from start to finish.

By incorporating our solutions into your supply chain, you can have a more efficient and compliant international shipping process, offering guidance and automation to optimize supply chain operations.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re interested and want to learn more about our products, please visit our website at NMBsolutions.ca or email us at Info@nmbsolutions.ca.

References

FinancesOnline. "Christmas Shopping Statistics: The 2023 Guide to Holiday Shopping Trends." FinancesOnline, financesonline.com/christmas-shopping-statistics/.

PLS Logistics. "Why Peak Shipping Season Is Important." PLS Logistics, www.plslogistics.com/blog/peak-shipping-season-important/.

Royale International. "Peak Season Challenges for International Shipping." Royale International, www.royaleinternational.com/2021/11/peak-season-challenges-for-international-shipping/.

Retail Dive. "The Daunting Duo: The Holiday Season Meets Supply Chain Disruptions." Retail Dive, www.retaildive.com/spons/the-daunting-duo-the-holiday-season-meets-supply-chain-disruptions/693610/.

National Retail Federation. "2023 Holiday Season to Reach Record Spending Levels." NRF, nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/2023-holiday-reach-record-spending-levels.

 

 

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