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3 Things Your Company Must Do Before 2018

November 7, 2017 by Susan Brooks

Graphic of business & logistics solutions for 2018 | ILS

 

3 Things Your Company Must Do Before 2018

The end of the year can be the busiest. Even if your business doesn’t see the impact from festive season shoppers, there are plenty of other reasons why the last quarter of the year is a hectic time. Employees out on holiday, winter weather, and year-end accounting can all take focus away from anything else. This often leads business owners and managers to miss important areas that should be taken into consideration now.

 

Evaluate Your Logistics

Nothing ruins the start of a new year quite like receiving a massive bill for the fourth quarter shipping. The busy festive season can lead to a welcome increase in sales and a not welcome increase in shipping expenses. The heavy demand can lead to slower delivery times. This can leave you with shipping expenses that no only include an increased volume but also a larger number of packages sent with expensive express delivery in order to meet customer needs.

To avoid an unpleasant beginning of the year surprise, now is the time to evaluate your options and look for logistics solutions. To accommodate heavier demand, consider switching to larger freight deliveries and pallet shipment. These options will reduce both your shipping costs and labour. Consider using storage to stage your products nearer your customers for quicker, as-need deliveries. Freeing up your warehouse space can make life easier for your employees, as well, as keep high inventory from limiting your company’s ability to produce or import more.

 

Address Employee Retention

Whether your company is busy with the winter shopping rush or your employees are enjoying the festive season, trouble could still await. It is easy to lose focus on employee happiness and retention. This is particularly true in the midst of the final quarter of the year. Holiday parties, Christmas trees, and annual bonuses can all help with employee retention but they are not enough. The beginning of the year is a common time for workers to look for new jobs. This means that the well-functioning team you have built may begin falling apart once the new year begins.

There is never a good time to lose valued employees. The beginning of the year can be particularly tricky, however. As employees begin taking time off for winter holidays or become sick during the influenza season, you can suddenly find yourself short-staffed without a quick solution. Do what you can now to minimise employee turnover. If possible, address any simmering staffing issues now.

If employees are working longer and harder than usual during the festive season, make sure the work and any overtime pay is being distributed fairly. This can avoid festering resentment among your employees. Do your best to show your appreciation for your workers’ efforts. A few words of praise can go a long way toward making them feel valued and appreciated. Bringing in Christmas cookies or other treats can also improve the atmosphere at your company. Try to paint a positive vision of the coming year and how your valued employees are an important part of that vision.

 

Think Beyond 2017

Remember that the customers, employees, and other relationships you develop over the festive season may be important to your company year-round. Rather than focusing on simply meeting deadlines and deliveries for the current season, be sure to build the groundwork for the future. The most important thing is to maintain good customer service now.

Any customers left in a bind over missed deliveries, quality issues, or slow responses to inquiries is going to be more likely to seek other suppliers in the future. While your company presents itself in the finest light, be sure to let customers know how you can help them in the future. Whether you present them information on the rest of your product line, promote upcoming special events, or mention the release date of your new spring line, you will be helping to parlay today’s success into future business opportunities.