The shopping frenzy known as Black Friday is here. While you will probably see lots of stories about long lines and huge crowds fighting over the latest toys and electronics, there is another story taking place behind the scenes. A story of careful planning, lots of moving parts, and plenty of risks. It’s a story of logistics.

Black Friday is one of the biggest logistical challenges for retailers and their supply chains. Many companies spend all year analyzing data and building inventories to prepare for the holiday rush. And the stakes are incredibly high, one mishap can throw off a company’s entire supply chain, leading to a major loss in sales for the day and the rest of the year.

While most B2B manufacturers, industrial companies and procurement teams aren’t directly impacted by Black Friday, there are certainly lessons to be learned from the retail world that can help improve efficiency, reduce risks and optimize their supply chains. Here are four of them:

Have an omnichannel logistics strategy

Dedicating efforts to an omnichannel logistics strategy, which requires an integrated fulfillment and delivery experience across all channels, gives brands the flexibility to lean into e-commerce in a way that makes sense for their business.

Be demand-driven

To become more demand-driven, it is critical to invest in technology that not only makes online shopping easier for consumers but also makes business more profitable. To help give consumers a seamless online experience, it is imperative to implement artificial intelligence. AI offers one of the most significant ways for retailers to respond to this change in e-Commerce as it encompasses a whole range of algorithms supporting business processes.

Data reliability to be prepared for reverse logistics

When selling in large quantities, it can happen that some orders are being shipped back. And when working with multiple warehouse providers, reverse logistics often face complex communication and execution processes. Eventually, all order return information needs to be updated with stock levels and pushed back to internal systems. At this stage, working with reliable data is uncompromising for your inventory management. Plus, your customer service teams need to have all return information available to make decisions on either compensate with a refund, send a new order, or reimburse with a store credit.

Automate processes

Take advantage of technology, like tools that ensure transportation capacity, both to track packages in real time and to evaluate your team’s productivity and find opportunities for improvement. Implement a system that allows your staff to maintain constant communication with your fleet or operational delivery suppliers and customers. This will help to identify extraordinary needs such as route changes, delays, among others that impact customer service levels.

It’s an exciting but busy time of the year for all businesses. Yet, dealing with fluctuating demands has never been a simple task in the logistics field. Even more so now, what separates the good and the bad is changing. Lower prices and product selection are not enough anymore. Quality is increasingly being defined solely on the experiences companies provide to meet consumers’ rising demands.