Black Friday is fast approaching, but retailers have been preparing for this event since last year – or they should…

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Black Friday is fast approaching, but retailers have been preparing for this event since last year – or they should have been, according to Gartner’s Vice President Supply Chain EMEA, Frank Vorrath.

“This is not the first Black Friday event,” said Vorrath, in an interview with The Digital Insight podcast. “Learn from the past: use data from previous years and look at what it tells you about the peaks and demands.”

“Black Friday is a special event, so use that data to make a prediction for the next one. This is an important consideration when it comes to your ability to respond to demands.”

“To help this, make sure your environment is prepared to collect as much data as possible throughout this event.”

Planning and making educated predictions are recurring themes when it comes to advice on making a success of Black Friday, but Vorrath is also keen to place emphasis on widespread collaboration.

“Work with your partners, both your logistics providers and your other providers such as outsourced manufacturers and suppliers,” said Vorrath.

“Consider that the activities on Black Friday will not only be about selling your products but also delivering them to your customers. When you sit and collaborate with your partners, you will have better outcomes.”

All this preparation, however, could go out the window if there’s more demand than expected.

“Consider risk mitigation. Things may happen that result in more demand than you ever legislated for, so consider increasing the risk mitigation to avoid being on the backfoot when demand over exceeds your ability to respond.”

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