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Supply Chain: Rapid Logistics Ramp Up to Maximize Profits
By: Sum-Sum Chan
Posted: February 27, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 2 of 4
Beauty and cosmetics products can be a delicate business, one that needs to be protected with durable packaging. This includes inner packs, outer packs, shrinking, wrapping, etc. A packaging assembly as well as packaging choices should reflect the weight distribution, changes in temperature, intensity in moisture or humidity, and typical jolting that product may be subjected to. If it is a design-driven product, take extra care to protect the integrity of the investment—minute scratches and bumps will be detrimental to brand image and therefore cost millions. Too many companies have learned the hard way that design must be functional when placed in the warehouse setting.
Although packaging durability for parcel and display may be considered, some small- to medium-sized businesses fail to consider what palletizing can change. Do you know, with absolute certainty, your pallet stability over the course of a day? A week? A year? Find a good packaging consultant, or consider your own battery of tests for weight distribution, stability, handling, and forklift and pick/pack movement.
Regardless of the size of the business, there is no reason not to conduct time tests, both for the outers’ durability and the pallet’s stackability. Remember to test in consideration of long-term warehousing, and note any stress points that could become problematic in the future.
By planning ahead and developing a packaging and pallet planning strategy, you can actively cut long-term costs. The ability to stack two-high saves on volume pricing transportation and minimizes inventory floor costs in outsource warehousing. It also saves costs due to damaged products.
Unique Issues in Warehousing
Beauty companies, on the whole, have increasingly begun adding “best by” dates to their product labels. Many raw materials can spoil, making their delivery time-sensitive. Cosmetic products simply perform better with fresher ingredients. This means logistics providers have to be able to execute a regimented stock rotation program. A high-performing logistics provider will have evidence of its stock rotation system on-hand to ensure that the freshest product is delivered.