IBM: five ways supply chains can prepare for Christmas

By Sean Galea-Pace
With Christmas on the way, the tech giants IBM has established five key ways that supply chains can be prepared for the holidays. Before the holiday ru...

With Christmas on the way, the tech giants IBM has established five key ways that supply chains can be prepared for the holidays.

Before the holiday rush begins, supply chain heroes spend months testing and preparing for significant increases in sales volume and unknowns related to key holidays and events. Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at IBM's five ways to prep supply chains for Christmas.

  1. Align business and IT

Supply chain heroes engage with key stakeholders throughout the year to review issues and concerns from the previous peak period to ensure they are addressed and have an action plan. They start asking questions early to determine if changes are planned, such as new sales channels, partners or functionalities.

  1. Lay the groundwork

Supply chain heroes address security updates, patches and software versions efficiently throughout the year. This allows spare time to focus on critical holiday readiness tasks as peak periods approach. 

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  1. Test the limits

Performance testing is primed around two things: starting early and putting their OMS through their paces. Supply chain heroes start testing in September so there is lots of time to resolve any issues and develop a stable environment prior to the holiday rush. 

  1. Avoid unforeseen risks

It isn’t just about performing flawlessly during peak periods. Supply chain heroes also think about and test for failure scenarios and the ability to respond gracefully and recover quickly. 

  1. Remain alert during peak periods

Supply chain heroes prepare for months for key holidays. However, it’s important to keep in mind that glitches do happen. This has meant that their monitoring, alerting and notification processes and tools must be up to the challenge. Some of the best practices include:

  • Regular standups to quickly identify and address any new issues.

  • Proactive monitoring to detect early signs of trouble.

  • Backlog mitigation with teams designated to prioritise and handle cases before they have an impact. 

  • Mobilisation 24x7 with cross-functional teams equipped for rapid engagement. 

 

For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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