The old adage, “The early bird gets the worm” may be the best way to describe peak 2021. With global supply chains experiencing logjams and retailers contending with labor shortages that will continue through the holiday season and beyond, companies started promoting Black Friday deals much earlier than usual.
Amazon, Target and Best Buy all rolled out Black Friday deals in October. Shopping early for holiday deals was so important this year that 59% of retailers planned to start their holiday season marketing in October or before according to a Digital Commerce 360 report. Some big retailers such as Macy’s and The Gap took it a step further and sent Black Friday campaigns in July.
Across the 6 River Systems customer network we see that the early promotional activity was effective. Holiday shopping at our customer sites started earlier in 2021 than it did in 2020. Our customers doubled their order volume from the beginning of November to Thanksgiving. The earlier start to the shopping season also meant the Black Friday to Cyber Monday surge in our network was not as high as we’ve seen in previous years.
Labor challenges were top of mind coming into peak 2021. One of the biggest retailers in the world replaced their voice pick solution with 6 River Systems so they could use robots to attract new associates and train them faster. With their new 6 River Systems solution this retailer’s warehouse operation was able to double their throughput and meet service level agreements.
A third party logistics customer, Quiet 3PF, highlighted their 6 River Systems solution because automation was key to allowing them to scale and process 58% more units and reduce time to ship by 45%.
So, how are 6 River Systems customers meeting Service Level Agreements, responding to changes in growth and peak season timing, all the while delivering a world class customer experience?
They use 6 River Systems’ solution to address peak challenges:
System Directed Picking Workflows – 6 River Systems’ System Directed picking increases operational efficiencies by aggregating available tasks and creating optimized workflows to direct and pace associates.
Configurability – Chuck, 6 River Systems’ collaborative robot carries a broad range of SKUs or container types and deploys the optimal picking strategy for your operation.
Wall-to-Wall Fulfillment – Our fulfillment solutions go beyond picking to address throughput in the entire warehouse or distribution center and include sortation, packout, replenishment and putaway.
Peak 2021 is showing us that operations must be flexible and efficient to take on whatever comes their way whether it be an extended peak season or a return to Black Friday volume of previous years.
Discover how 6 River Systems helps customers solve three common peak fulfillment challenges: