We hear a lot about planning for expected peaks in demand such as Christmas and Black Friday, but what about those unexpected peaks that suddenly creep up on us out of nowhere? You may have some contingency plans in place in the event that this happens, but if not, it could get a little crazy. Packing quality could reduce as busy packers rush to fulfil orders, processes could be thrown out the window, and so on. This can ultimately cause late deliveries, a poor customer experience and a negative impact on the environment, not to mention a shortage of products on the market.

If you find yourself in an unexpected peak, what can you do to efficiently manage the situation?

Our packaging experts have created 8 tips to help.

1. Predictive forecast planning

When you find yourself in an unexpected peak in demand it can sometimes be difficult to forecast for, as each sudden surge in sales will be different and caused by varying factors. You’ll find yourself in a very different situation to your seasonal peaks, which you can plan for much earlier. But, in order to keep things moving it’s important to carry out some form of forecasting.

2. Audit your packaging and processes

During any challenging situation it’s important to take a step back and review your entire packaging operation. Often one small change can make a big different to efficiency and help to keep costs low in times when order volumes are high.

3. Packaging supply

Working with a packaging partner you can trust can be the key to effectively dealing with unexpected surges in demand. The distinction between a partner and a supplier is a crucial one. While a supplier may be able to sell you materials at a great price, a partner will take the time to understand you needs and supply you with the very best services and solutions to support you during challenging times.

4. Packaging materials and solutions

During times of high demand it goes without saying that it’s important to make sure you have consistent supply of the packaging materials you need to fulfil those all-important orders. But it’s also an opportunity to review your packaging to identify alternative materials that can free up space, speed up packing, and reduce costs.

5. Warehouse set-up

The set-up of your warehouse and packing area should be a key consideration during any peak as it’s another crucial component in maximising efficiency. A disorganised warehouse is sluggish and unproductive, and that applies all year round, so getting it right will reap benefits during a peak and at quieter times. Look at the layout of your packing area and store packaging close by so it’s easily accessible.

6. Staff training

When in a peak it’s essential to train permanent and temporary staff on your new packaging procedures. Clear structure and planning are important to ensure staff are able to quickly get up to speed.

7. Optimise your delivery

Transport and delivery costs are expensive so it’s important to maximise the number of packages per load. This is even more crucial when you also want to avoid backlogs and keep your environmental footprint low during busy times. The key is cube optimisation – essentially this means getting as many packages onto a pallet, safely and efficiently.

8. Machinery and Automation

At times when demands are high, adding machinery or automation to your packaging process can instantly speed up packaging times and relieve the pressure on your business. This can include anything from pallet wrappers, case erectors and sealers to strapping equipment. Your machinery partner will be able to recommend the most suitable options for your business.

For more guidance on effectively managing unexpected peaks in demand and, to find out what Antalis Packaging can do to help, download your free copy of our ultimate guide here

Want to speak to someone now? Contact our experts via antalispackagingsolutions.co.uk/peak-support