Black Friday – A challenge to the supply chain management

During Black Friday, the chaos is visible in the stores, bargain hunters come from everywhere willing to do whatever it takes to get the products he wants for the best price. But the frenzy is also present on the supply chains and logistics network!! As you can imagine, Black Friday requires a careful supply chain management, the planning of the supply chain is tested during this peak season and the key is the correct preparation and having a flexible range of options.

Below, you can see some of the strategies adopted by some major companies, such as Amazon or Best Buyer.

  •  Preparation and training of its workforce so that they will be prepared to lead with unusual situations and be capable of reacting efficiently.
  •  Cross docking* is a good idea, as retail stores ramp up order volume keep shelves stocked. It allows for quick routing of goods from supplier to retailer and it keeps inventory carrying cost low.
  •  Another strategy that has been adopted in the past few years by some retailers is extending the period of Black Friday sales. With this logistics planning strategy, the demand is spread out over a more manageable period of time.
  •  Using the 3PL provider, the third party of the logistics system, can also be a great help. They can provide an extra help in this period when the demand is higher. Using focus groups and surveys to determine the most demanding products allows companies to kitting and packaging the high-demand items to be ready to go. It is important that the warehouses are stocked with a big quantity of items prepared to go to the stores.
  •  In this peak season, some companies use nearby options by sourcing products from the nearest sources to the location of where the customer placed the order. By using stores in the area close to the customer instead of the default distribution channel, companies are allowed to save time and transportation costs.

Written by: Mafalda Caridade

* Cross docking is a logistics procedure where products from a supplier or manufacturing plant are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain with marginal to no handling or storage time. (definition taken from Adaptalift Hyster,



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