Blog > How to prepare for supply chain spikes and increase sales opportunities this summer

With summer comes a heightened amount of socializing and events, such as barbeques and picnics, that involve lots of food consumption. With many people dining out at restaurants and bars or hosting barbeques and picnics with goods bought at a grocery store, these seasonal spikes can be prepared for and leveraged with the best supply chain management tools to increase sales opportunities.

Here’s an overview of the major happenings during the summer months and how you can prepare your organization with supply chain management solutions so that you’re ready for extra demands.

Summer Sales Opportunities for Vendors and DSRs

Parades, Festivals And Concerts

Summer parades, festivals and outdoor concert events start around June, peak on July 4, and wind down on Labor Day.

From a foodservice standpoint, parades offer opportunities for micro-targeting pubs and restaurants along parade routes. Most large towns will have July 4 parades, with some of the biggest held in Washington DC, Pacific Palisades CA, Alameda CA, Wentzville St Louis MO, and Arlington TX. The prime times don’t stop there, however, as many towns also hold Juneteenth and Labor Day parades. These are often supplemented with public festivals and outdoor concerts requiring food and beverage concession stands.

What can you do with this information to increase your sales?

Get prepared and leverage this time with venues along parade routes and festival and concert organizers by looking up where the festivals and concerts are happening around the major holiday days. You can also sense check where sales spikes are likely to happen by looking at location sales data from last year. Then you can proactively approach the venues and event organizers.

For example, TELUS ERP gives you access to current and historical sales demand to provide a greater view of the needs of your company. With this information, you’ll be able to know what to buy, when to buy, and how much to buy.

Big Eating Out Days

Father’s Day in particular may be a golden ticket for distributors and food processors in the summer, given that more than a third of US adults expect to dine on premise for Father’s Day, typically for lunch or dinner. To reduce complexity and service times whilst increasing table turn, some restaurants will be looking at set menus.

You can help here with recipe suggestions. Because well organized restaurants announce and promote their opening hours and menus online and on social media platforms several weeks before Father’s Day and will have planned their menus a week or so prior to that, you can expect to start seeing orders for Father’s Day from the first week of June.

State fairs are another opportunity for foodservice concession stands, as a number of states hold their fairs in July and August.

Beyond special events, summer is one of the busiest times for restaurants, cafes and bars as people get out and about to catch up with friends and family. Other occasions include eating out before and after baseball games, whether professional or kids’ games.

Big For Eating In And Picnics Too

Any holidays, along with weekends, are also popular days for at-home family get-togethers and away-from-home family picnics. (40 percent of consumers plan to eat a family dinner in for Father’s Day, for instance). You can expect to see demand spikes in grocery stores for barbecue related categories – proteins such as chicken, burgers, steaks and seafood, as well as accompanying salads – just prior to weekends.

What’s In Demand, And How To Prepare Your Supply Chain

Some of these events have dishes and ingredients that are obvious to spot demand for such as beef, pork and chicken as well as select fruits and vegetables for barbeques.

Some produce varies even by month within summer: stone fruit, corn and cucumber start as early as May where shallots, bell peppers and eggplant run later, starting in July. This means there are multiple opportunities for recipe suggestions to restaurants, cafes and grocery stores, including their magazines and recipe cards. Leverage the things that you already know sell well during the period. Restaurant chefs like to rotate dishes based on what’s freshest in a given month to maintain consumer interest. This can be helped along by an order management system (OMS) that has ‘push’ selling capabilities.

Summer is also the biggest season for seafood, with 58 percent of seafood eaters saying they eat more seafood in summer.

Best Supply Chain Management Tools and Sales Strategies

A good order management system will help you react to increased demand in certain categories resulting from your proactive recipe suggestions. Ideally your recipe and ingredient suggestions to customers would be based on what you’ve seen demand for in previous years in looking at your ERP system, and additionally based on complementary categories to those with the highest sales spikes. You can use your ERP and OMS to form a projected baseline, on top of which then you can add a sales allowance for your proactive cross selling promotions and recipe suggestion activities.

From a warehouse management system (WMS) standpoint, if you have an increase in picks across categories at the warehouse, or more activity on the receiving side, then you need to plan for additional labor. An automated WMS can help with scheduling for this demand, particularly around the spikes for the holidays we mentioned above.

Summer sees a food supply uptick all around, with spikes around the special holidays. Starting with analytics of previous years, some research around major event locations, and together with good OMS and WMS systems you can ensure you’re equipped with the best supply chain management tools to cope with the increase in demand and opportunities you create.

To anticipate seasonal demand and look for additional sales opportunities, you can get prepared with Ignition by TELUS Consumer Goods Supply Chain Management Solutions.

Contact us for more information on how and to request a software demonstration.

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