The Christmas Rush – Reflections on Procedures

All through the year, we have been building up processes, dealing with the increase in sales and figuring out how to reduce errors and create processes to make the business run more smoothly.  Christmas is now happening, and all these procedures and processes are put to the ultimate test. Some have failed, some need to be adapted to deal with the Christmas rush and some have worked marvelously.

The Successes:

  • The 2 person ship procedure where one person pulls, another packs.  The process is slightly slower; but definitely more accurate than our previous 1-person shipping procedures.
  • Pre-Orders & the New Board Games pages.  They’re great at reducing customer questions on upcoming products; though we do still get these questions.

The Adaptations:

  • Out-of-stock contacts. We generally contact customers immediately when a game is out-of-stock; but since XMas is here and our orders have passed through faster than normal; we have adapted the procedure to only contact customers who have a product that is only going to arrive after XMas.  This way, we reduce questions and save a bit of time – especially when delays are generally only a day long.

The Failures:

  • Our order procedures for stock.  This is an interesting failure, and the fact that it’s been so complete is quite outstanding.  We generally keep a low level of stock, and while we’ve increased our pick-ups to twice a week; we’re still seeing stock-outs at an outstanding pace (for us).  A lot of this is due to an increase in sales that we just weren’t expecting; but some of the blame has to lie with how we deal with re-ordering product.   I’ll have to review our stats and figure out if there’s something we can do to ensure that we don’t stock out as much after XMas is over; though the puzzle of ‘guessing’ what our sales on new board games are remains.  Frankly, I’m not sure there is a solution to that one.