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Can’t Get What You Want for Christmas? Blame the Supply Chain

Ever wonder why, without fail, popular items quickly and consistently run out of stock during the busy December holidays? Blame it on the supply chain, according to a new survey by Riverwood Solutions.

The Dallas-based company, which provides managed supply chain services, polled 600 supply-chain executives and found that 38% of them said they lack proper visibility and communication with their vendors during the holidays, which is the biggest problem they face during the season.

Moreover, 14% of them said they often overestimate how popular an item will be and end up with too much supply that does not equal demand. On the flip side, the same percentage said they underestimate how popular an item will be and run out without meeting demand for it.

Mark Medlen, COO, Riverwood Solutions, attributed the lack of visibility in the supply chain over the holiday period to poor communication with vendors. “This often occurs as result of distance, time zone variances, and differences in business culture, combined with the disparity in demand and the increased pressure of higher volumes,” he told Design News . “The result is additional unwanted supply chain risk, perhaps quality issues, or even delivery failures.”

Making sure they have enough items in stock isn’t the only problem supply-chain executives said they face over the holidays. Lack of preparation also is an issue, with 10% admitting they don’t get ready for the holiday rush early enough. The same amount also said they don’t process orders quickly enough during the season.

Fitness trackers like the FitBit will be among the top most purchased holiday presents this year, according to supply chain executives polled by Dallas-based Riverwood Solutions.  (Source: FitBit)

Fitness trackers like the FitBit will be among the top most purchased holiday presents this year, according to supply chain executives polled by Dallas-based Riverwood Solutions.

That said, let’s hope the supply-chain has been on top of their game this year if you’ve asked Santa for a fitness tracker, which 52% said they believe will be the most popular wearable gift this holiday season. Thirty-eight percent think the Apple watch will be the most popular wearable under the tree, while 10% said other smart watches will be a top gift this year.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site Design News.

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