The Art of Scaling Up - Successful handling of rising volumes
Retailers and manufacturers rejoice over pre-Christmas sales, Black Friday’s online bargain hunting and special product launches, but the huge sales volumes these entail pose large challenges for logistics and fulfillment. Thanks to highly qualified employees and many years of experience in peak management, Arvato SCM Solutions can demonstrate some of its particular strengths in this period: implementing complex processes reliably and reacting quickly and with flexibility even during peak periods.
“Above all else, efficient peak management means structured and orderly preparation on our part, so that we can manage peak periods through sensible planning,” says Thomas Becker, Executive Vice President Hightech & Entertainment at Arvato SCM. But not all peaks can be foreseen.. “Our customers can be creative when it comes to marketing and sales. We are sometimes given very little warning for upcoming marketing campaigns, or we first learn about them through a wave of orders at the warehouse."
A challenge for the experts who deal with the planning and implementation of complex processes along the entire supply chain on a daily basis and also have short-term solutions at hand to meet the requirements of customers and consumers at all times.
"Our customers confirm that we are more flexible in our structures than other providers and often make the impossible possible", explains Thomas Becker.
Arvato SCM Solutions benefits from the equipment of the worldwide sites when handling order peaks, because capacities and conveying technology are already designed during the planning of new distribution centers and customer projects so that they also function in peak times. The know-how for this is pooled in the Logistics Excellence area.
To ensure that the classic football game FIFA 19 will be on the shelves of retailers all over Europe on the day of release, the project team follows a detailed plan. During the shipping phase, around 70 employees in Operations and Service Delivery are involved in guaranteeing that the launch runs smoothly.
Not only shortly before Christmas, but also during the year, the European Services division of Arvato SCM Solutions, which works for Sony Music Entertainment, the world's se-cond-largest music publisher, and other well-known com-panies from the music and entertainment industry, is expe-riencing peak order volumes, e.g. for album releases. Arvato SCM Solutions' strengths are its highly qualified employees and many years of experience in peak management.
The Publisher division coordinates the shipping of publishing goods such as books and toys. During the period before Christmas, more than half of the total annual volume is generated in the toy business. Then order volumes increase by up to 150 percent. Upon customer request, parcels can even be individually stocked with inserts, samples or Advent calendars, gift wrapped goods and personalised greetings - services that require special processes.
A structured and systematic approach to peak order volumes and sudden, dramatic increases in shipping quantities is an absolute must in the consumer-oriented sectors of Arvato SCM, where volumes grow with each passing year. Sustainable peak management therefore consists of more than just the ability to set up and implement complex processes, or to respond flexibly and at short notice. It begins even earlier, with the planning of the distribution centers.
In the pre-Christmas period, the growing online business in particular always causes huge spikes, and these are getting more extreme and lasting longer each year. These periods differ from the peaks on specific days like Black Friday or the FIFA 19 release primarily due to their duration. Careful planning must be done to handle a very busy phase lasting several weeks, especially when it comes to human resources planning. Intelligent and adaptable process planning and implementation can make the difference in these cases, and simultaneously helps to prevent problems later on.