Now is the time to get serious about holiday planning.
Over the last few weeks, I have published the following articles on the subject:
Today, I want to address Holiday Shipping Systems.
If you are like us, once we move into the Fall season (at the end of September), holiday orders start trickling in and become a daily routine by mid-November. By then, it is too late to think about implementing a ship system.
Our holiday shipping systems need to be set up and ready to implement BEFORE the orders come rolling in.
First thing on our list is going through our shipping supplies inventory. We check the following materials and order where necessary:
- Boxes. Personally, we use lots of USPS boxes which save us time and money. We also save boxes over the year to ship bigger orders.
- Shipping supplies, such as peanuts and bubble wrap. Fortunately, we get most of our peanuts, bubble wrap etc. from local retailers that save them for us. If you don’t have local retailers who do this for you already, start asking them NOW!
- Packing Tape. Purchase several rolls of packing tape ahead of time. Nothing is worse than running out of tape in the middle of the season and having to fight the holiday crowds just to buy more tape!
- Ink and paper. If you print your own shipping labels, check you printer ink and paper inventory. If they are low, order more!
Once all your shipping inventory is obtained, organize it in a way that works within the shipping system you have in place. In other words, put the boxes all in one place near the bubble wrap and peanuts. Have your packing tape and dispenser set up near or on the table where you pack your orders.
Last, but not least, check your shipping providers to make sure you meet all their requirements, have added the appropriate shipping amounts to your website, and have a good working relationship with them and their websites. Most shipper offer discounts if you open an account with them and generate your shipping labels on-line. If you do not have an online account, open one up now.
Typically, we use USPS, but also offer FedEx and UPS on our website. All three are good providers who ship nearly anywhere you may get an order.
If you completed these tasks already, give yourself a pat on the back knowing you are ready to ship during the holidays!