Typical consumers believe that the “busy season” for most companies is the last three months of the year, since that is when they do their greatest amount of retail shopping. They do not understand that the peak season for many companies, and especially for logistics companies, is considerably earlier than that. Retail businesses need their inventory in place well before the holiday season, and those who manufacture products that are used to create those items that are ultimately purchased as gifts need their supplies in stock even earlier so that they can make the goods that need to be shipped for holiday purchasing.
If you are not completely knowledgeable about your peak times, you will frequently be caught short or be overstocked. Either of these conditions reduces your income. Falling short means you miss out on sales you should have made. Being overstocked adds the cost of storing excess inventory, causes a loss when forced to sell at a lower price and causes additional problems when forced to make room for new inventory.
Continually analyze when you deliver your products to your customers. It’s not enough to believe that a given time is always your peak time because it’s always been that way. Times change, and people’s buying habits change. What was good timing three years ago may or may not still be good timing today.
It’s impossible to be completely accurate in your planning. Only forecasting the weather is as complex as forecasting what you will need for a given year’s popular items. But, you have to be like Wayne Gretsky, who said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Keep up with trends. Read about what is predicted to be “hot” for the coming year. That is much more important than knowing what was hot last year. You will never be completely correct, but you’ll come closer if you stay on top of future trends, rather than making decisions based on past trends.