Safety Stock podcast starring Dan and Will

Halloween: A Sweet or Scary Time for Your Supply Chain?

Dan and Will discuss how Halloween is important for businesses to measure if their sales operations and planning team have hit their mark.

Will:
Hey everybody, We are back with another episode of Safety Stock. I have the pleasure of being across from Dan Magida. This is Will Davis and Dan, I want to be the first to wish you an early Happy Halloween.

Dan:
You too, Will. It looks like you’re all dressed up already for this episode.

Will:
Well, thank you Dan. I’m excited. I’m being currently a work from home employee. Yeah. What do you beat? What are your plans, Dan? Do you have any Halloween plans for the weekend?

Dan:
I did get invited to a nineties theme party, which is great. I got plenty of costume ideas thrown out.

Will:
The wardrobe. Your wardrobe probably just plays, right?

Dan:
Yeah. You know, you gotta throw like a, something else on top, but I have a classic Halloween costume that I could always go as my favorite character from a movie, Tweeter, Varsity Blues.

Will:
Nice. well, Dan Halloween is an interesting point in time, not only for all the candy that will be had by kids and adults alike, but also because, And dentists. And dentists. But I think it also signifies points in time when people are working in their supply chains and it’s really, did you do the right things to lead up to this point in time? Because really Halloween comes late enough to where it’s mostly about did you execute, number one, did you order the right amount of goods? Did you make the right amount of goods? And then lastly, did you deliver it to where it needed to go? We see a lot of times people don’t do this, anybody, you know, recently,

Dan:
And it’s a, it’s also a fixed date every year too, So you, you know, it’s, you know, it’s coming.

Will:
Yeah. You know, it’s coming like for the candy companies, right? The biggest thing for them is making sure they have raw materials to make their good. So whether that be, you know, packaging, wrapping for the candy, milk, chocolate, dark chocolate, you know, those specific in ingredients that go into those things, Those are what they’re really looking to make sure they have. But, you know, there’s other sides to the business that I think people aren’t necessarily as aware of what goes on, you know, retail space, right? When you’re in a supermarket, when you’re a target, when you’re in a Walmart, cvs, wherever you are, how does it get determined where people are on the shelves? Like how do you know when you see, you know, something at eye level versus Wyatts down below, like by your feet? Some of the interesting things that come into play is that for certain stores, like when you think of like your big box stores, those stores really reset their shelves twice a year, typically, like in January and in July.
And for those six months, those store shelves are pretty much set unless there’s like a disaster, like where somebody’s like not able to fill their commitment to, like actually being able to supply those stores product to put on the shelves. Those stores are gonna keep that arrangement because it’s too much time and energy to coordinate across the country. It just, they do it twice a year. So people’s timing is aligned to those stores, resetting of their sh of those shelves. You sometimes you gain space if you’re growing. Sometimes you lose space if you’re not doing well. But when it comes to Halloween and the seasonality of things, those things are also pre-planned. And so if you know how much goods you’re going to have, you can go to those retailers and say, Hey, I’m looking for X amount of space, Can you give this to me?

Dan:
And for Halloween it’s also, I mean, it’s a short window. So like we know, like Hershey’s, they plan 18 to 24 months out, but they have a six to eight week delivery window for these codes. And cause we start seeing as consumers who walk tending those big box retailers, retailers, September is already Halloween post, post Labor day probably, or mid-September as, or when fall hits. So you, you’re planning six weeks out already and those storefronts have already transitioned over. And what those brands are doing is they can see over time, they have different teams, obviously manufacturing, but also on the logistics side as well, planning for the storefronts was, well, you know, from experience as well, you gotta hit the delivery times for retailers. That’s like the main, the retailer drives so much of the conversation for not only for Halloween, but for, for anything that’s going in storefronts during seasonality or as you mentioned, when those storefront spaces become available.

Will:
Yeah. But, and, and also typically retailers have fines associated with late deliveries or like missed deliveries from people. And so like from brands, so

Dan:
No different than what we’re seeing in shipyards with containers, Right. Fines as well. If they’re not picked up,

Will:
Yeah. They’re not coming and picking up their goods. And so this is one of those things where if you are a retailer, you are a lot of times in the driver’s seat, but you also have the risk in terms of that as you take on the inventory. But when you, when you know, these numbers are out there, Dan, so when you think about 67% of the US population or US households are going to hand out candy that’s two-thirds, I feel like I see a lot of houses where I remember a lot of houses of a kids like being dark, like those one third, you know, that I, I’m like, that feels like a big number, but maybe those people were just out partying.

Dan:
They also may have those, the baskets out front where take one, which means take more than one, or those day candy bars.

Will:
Yeah, I’m sure you took more than one. You know, I, I tried to play by the rules. 44% of the people are good at CARF pumpkins. Almost 50% of the people are good at dressing a costume. And surprisingly, 28% of people are going to throw or attend a Halloween party. So Dan as well looks like, it seems low, but you know, you’re, you’re attending a party.

Dan:
So I guess it’s different from, you know, like New York City where it seemed like nearly over almost a hundred percent were, were dressing up from what you see. But I guess that’s very regional.

Will:
Yeah.

Dan:
But you’re also not going door to door there for candy. You’re going to bodes little fun fact,

Will:
Fun fact. So, you know, when you think about it as a brand and you’re planning around these like later year holidays, number one, it’s about getting your numbers right. You know, we talked about forecasting, ensuring that you have the right amount of stock that you’re making to get your retailers. Number two, it’s also about being opportunistic early and talking to your buyers and saying, Hey, what is, what can I get? How much space can I get both on my shelves for my normal product? Was there any seasonality plans that I could do around in caps? And then now this is the type also where if you were wanting to try out one of those fun new scents that you’re not sure if it’s going to stay, stay around and be part of your regular business now you can try it, see if people like it and if they do, you got an idea of what you can go to build your core pumpkin li pumpkin spice latte was not part of our lives, I want to say like what, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, Right?

Dan:
But not to, you know, with Halloween, there’s always this part that is the scary part about Halloween. And not to scare people away, but, and we compare this with another episode we, we did on recycling rate. Don’t forget to recycle your single waste plastic candy wrappers as well, because a lot of waste occurs during the Halloween time as well. So make sure you recycle whatever candy wrappers you have and not just throw them on the lawn as you eat them, as you go trick or treating.

Will:
There you go. Well, if you have any ideas for costumes before the end of the week, let us know. Send them in to us at hello@anvyl.com. That’s A-N-V-Y-L.com. And if you’re looking for a demo and you don’t wanna be scared about knowing where your product is once you’ve issued a purchase order, we’d be happy to help you out there too. Dan, it’s been good talking to you.

Dan:
Happy Halloween.

Will:
Happy Halloween. Talk to everybody soon.