With the passing of another holiday season, also came the infamous day referred to as “Black Friday”.  The day individuals and families build traditions around so they can wake up before the sun rises to save money and shop to find the best deals possible for the holiday season. 

The origin of Black Friday was contrived by the Philadelphia Police Department back in 1966 to describe the day after Thanksgiving.  This term had a negative connotation due to the fact police would see massive traffic jams, overcrowded sidewalks, and a heightened number of shoplifters all to try and take advantage of Christmas sales.  Can you imagine how bad things were for the Philadelphia police for them to give them this name seeing that this is the same City of Brotherly Love that threw snowballs at Santa Claus during an NFL Philadelphia Eagles football game?

I had always envisioned this day to be the tipping point for many businesses which have waited 11 months to finally enter the black and make their year profitable.  This would be the make it or break it period for these organizations.  The more products that catch the eye of the consumer the more profit a company can pocket.

We live in a world now where people turn to the internet more and more each year to do their holiday shopping hence the term “Cyber Monday” due to all of the holiday deals presented online that Monday following Black Friday.  More online orders would necessitate the need for companies to expeditiously pick and pack orders in a small window of time.  In order to meet the demands of the consumers during this peak season, a number of organizations have moved toward automation to reduce their labor burden and enhance their throughput speeds to cover these large spikes in demand.

One customer made a statement that always stuck with me when referring to automation.  “I do not need to worry about whether or not the system will be at work first thing in the morning on the Friday after Thanksgiving.”  Makes a lot of sense to me.

It’s only the beginning of the new year, but for e-retailers it’s already time to think about your holiday strategy. Automation may be the answer to reduce labor costs and increase productivity this coming holiday season.