Using Innovation to Manage Peak Seasonal Demand

Managing seasonal demand is becoming even more complex thanks to the expanding role of omnichannel distribution, increasing product lines, order diversity and goods returns.

Seasonal peaks are something experienced by every sector in some way, and at some time. While the timings can differ from business to business, it is the distribution centers (DCs) that feel it the most when it happens. DCs can expect to double staff levels during peaks, and seasonal employees must hit the ground running at full productivity with minimum training to offset additional labor costs.

To tackle this, operations often need to be escalated with additional automation equipment, which, if necessary, can be scaled back during off-peak periods. Innovative tech can be used to meet the many challenges that seasonal peaks present, from forecasting to fulfillment and future-proofing.

“A single product in a DC might have a huge effect on seasonal demand dynamics, and good simulation software will allow you to forecast this and take the appropriate action.”

Warehouse simulation

Successful forecasting and planning for seasonal peaks in modern warehouses lies in the use of warehouse simulation software.

By examining a series of “what-if” scenarios, across a variety of circumstances, DCs can test their warehouse configuration to the breaking point. This helps them make assumptions on aggregate demand, and forecast for specific percentage demand increases at any point in time.


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