In the cosmetics industry, a strong supply chain is the backbone of your business. It’s what makes sure your product has a safe and efficient journey from the manufacturer to the vendor and, ultimately, to the consumer. And as customers become increasingly vocal (and given credence by other potential consumers) about their experiences with a company, it is vital that your logistics and fulfillment are up to the task.
With such a heavy burden to maintain, many cosmetics companies are discovering that outsourcing their entire distribution system is one of the best business decisions they’ve ever made.
Are You Prepared for the Increased Demands of E-Commerce?
You’ve probably already noticed a dramatic influx of online orders and service activity conducted on websites—and those numbers are only going to keep going up as more companies realize that automating the ordering portion of the process helps to keep costs down. And mobile ordering is expected to follow soon.
Currently, it’s doubtful that even 10 percent of businesses utilize technology that allows customers to place orders and track shipments from smartphones, but that number is increasing rapidly as more consumers opt for the convenience of mobile connectivity.
This new trend is one of the primary reasons that you need to consider a Third Party Fulfillment (3PF) team—which has been able to invest in digital capabilities and solid logistics solutions. Your partner needs to be able to adapt quickly and efficiently not only to the technological requirements of the rapidly evolving landscape of the supply chain, but they must also be able to effectively work with the current needs of your customers, meeting your company exactly where you are now.
They must be able to work with your current technology and have the ability to grow as the company grows.
You Need Fulfillment and Logistics Solutions that Can Grow with Your Business.
This is not an easy feat. Too often a company will hire a 3PF that is qualified to handle only order fulfillment, without being able to integrate smoothly into existing IT, and only order fulfillment as it exists in its current state.
As your company grows, and new technology is introduced, an inflexible 3PF is rendered obsolete because its people are not trained to work with new technology or different systems.
A strong 3PF is constantly training its employees in technological advances, priming them so that they are ready when the company begins to grow—able to fully utilize new, more advanced systems. A strong 3PF is always a step ahead and ready to propel the company forward.
By combining cutting edge technology with traditional distribution methods, fulfillment and logistics providers are able to find a middle ground that best serves the client.
There are three goals that most companies have for their supply chain:
- Increase the rate at which orders are filled
- Decrease the cost of filling orders
- Increase the number of orders filled
This is a delicate balancing act.
Fulfillment and Logistics Must Find Balance and Flexibility.
Multi-channel fulfillment is a fact of life that companies cannot get away from.
There was a time when the only channel was via phone or mail order but the internet has opened new doors and expanded the requirements of fulfillment. And this is why the strength of a 3PF is so vital.
There is no one-size-fits all approach here— every company has its own unique needs, requirements and goals. A cosmetic company that markets as completely natural with all natural ingredients will, for instance, likely have different vendors, manufacturing methods, and order fulfillment processes than a more traditional cosmetic company would.
Any third party provider you choose to partner with must be able to slip seamlessly into the company and move like a ghost, barely discernable. It should be difficult to tell where a 3PF provider starts and your own company ends.
That is the only way to meet and surpass your goals for optimizing your supply chain—integration to a point where, when the company evolves, the 3PF evolves with it.