Did you know that North America continues to experience supply chain issues and inventory shortages due to Covid-19 business shutdowns? Not only do these challenges currently exist, but they may worsen - which means planning for Q4 NOW is crucial to get your holiday promotional strategy running smoothly.
The holiday season is promo’s busiest time and, with supply chain issues, you risk not getting your year-end branded merchandise gifts in time. If you want to fully capitalize, we encourage you to order in advance - yes, even if it’s still summer! Here’s why you should proactively plan for the holiday gifting season.
Typically, companies begin to order items in the fall to gift to employees and their own customers for the holiday season. This means that promo companies will experience an onslaught of orders and could cause the inventory issues and supply chain challenges to worsen amid the Q4 sales crush. Scare stock and order fulfillment delays are unfortunately beyond the control of promotional product suppliers. Ordering now gives you a better chance at getting the first-choice products or the best alternatives.
To add to the mounting supply chain pressure, there is a shortage of domestic carriers in the transportation industry. Those last-minute orders will likely not make it on time as they have in the past. Naturally, the shortage of shipment carriers creates a domino effect and bottlenecks elsewhere. Deliveries are held up, more staff is needed to meet the demand, port congestion happens, and other delivery methods such as trucks, planes, and trains are impacted. Although promotional product suppliers may have the staff on hand and are operating at a good capacity, they have no control over the shortage that the transportation industry is facing.
As this past year has proven, things don’t quite work out as planned - for better or for worse. Between now and year-end, the economy could ramp up, companies could hire more people, more shipping carriers may become available, and the world can begin to operate as it once did pre-pandemic. However, it’s hard to say, which is why it’s always better to plan for the worst. If you order your products now, the worst thing that can happen is that you get them very early and need to hold on to them for a few months. Order too late, and you could end up gifting your holiday promo products to your customers in February - not a good look for any company!
Plan for your Q4 now and get orders in as early as possible - it’s one less thing you have to worry about come holiday promo time when the frenzy is in full swing.