How to plan a successful Christmas warehouse shutdown

Christmas is the time your warehouse shuts down for a festive break and it requires planning to be successful. Find out how with insight and advice from OGL.
November 24, 2021
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5-min read

Christmas is an exciting time of year for everybody as the lights go up, the tree is decorated, and shopping intensifies. For warehouse managers, it is one of the busiest times of the year as items fly in and out of the site fast. You will have spent weeks intricately planning the logistics of ensuring items are picked efficiently and you have enough staff to cover the busiest times.

Just as important is planning for the festive break. Warehouses tend to shut down during the festive period, giving all staff a well-deserved rest to spend time with friends and family. However, without a good plan in place, your Christmas break could be rudely interrupted.

Every warehouse is different, so you must carefully consider all potential risks and vulnerabilities associated with your site. Are you based in the city or in a rural area? There are various things to consider for a successful Christmas warehouse shutdown. We explore some of these below.

Plan for a peaceful Christmas shutdown

It has been a busy year for everybody, and we are all at the point where we want to go home to our families, eat mince pies and watch a Christmas movie. That is why you want to ensure you have a peaceful shutdown- to ensure it's a silent night for everyone and no stressful situations for anyone as they drive home for Christmas. Once everyone is away, ensure there's no disaster waiting to happen that requires someone to return to fix.

Secure your warehouse

Your warehouse needs to be locked and as secure as it can possibly be. No place is completely impenetrable, but there are certain things you can do to make break-ins unlikely. As long as your security deters guests, most would-be thieves will lose interest very quickly.

If you've not got sophisticated security systems in place, perhaps investing in some would be a good place to start. For example, investing in a motion detector system would protect your site as a signal is sent to a 24/7 operator if movement is detected. This is all part of a wider security system which will include CCTV, access control and environmental control systems across your site.

Every warehouse has valuable assets on-site, which could make them a target while the warehouse is closed. We know that it's impossible to remove every valuable asset but to further secure your warehouse, try to remove everything that you couldn't do without.

Prepare for bad weather

UK weather can be unpredictable, especially during December. Gale force winds and freezing temperatures can cause serious issues if you aren't properly prepared. If you have any items kept outside in your yard, especially stacked items, make sure they are secure to avoid them being blown over. Any equipment that could easily be blown over should be placed in a sheltered area.

Have one contactable staff member

Issues can arise at the warehouse while you're away, even after meticulous planning. If something does happen, you need someone who can deal with it when required. While everybody wants to switch off from work-related issues until you return after the Christmas break, you or another member of staff needs to be contactable in the event of trespassers, theft or other occurrences.

Planning ahead

As you're looking to plan for your Christmas shutdown, you can also use this time to see where you could improve your warehouse management. Are there ways you could improve efficiencies for staff as they accept new orders in and ship orders out?

Is your Warehouse Management software outdated? Not having the best software available for staff can lead to your warehouse being the bottleneck in the supply chain. Get in touch today.

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