Cosmetics and Warehousing
The cosmetics and beauty industry is associated with lifestyle and is usually heavily brand-oriented, so customers tend not to see their favourite products in the context of the supply chain environment.
However, even the most glamourous items need to be stored in a warehouse and delivered to distribution centres and shops. The difference with such sought-after products is that their desirability leads to a higher risk of theft and a lower acceptable threshold for packaging damage.
The obvious risk with products that are small in size but high in value is theft and loss. If a perfume would retail for a high price, it becomes more desirable to be stolen; either for black market resale or simply personal use.
All stock is exposed to a certain amount of abrasion whilst in the supply chain stages, but for products whose on-shelf presentation is a more significant part of the buying decision, they have to be given an extra level of care during transportation and storage.
Of course this extends to the protection of the product itself. With skin treatments, the product becomes practically unsellable if the bottle or tube is split.
For example, Wingman’s latest shaving creams and shower gels come in tactile plastic bottles which offer good protection for the product under normal transit and storage conditions. However, if the product is stepped on or otherwise crushed, two things could happen: The embossed print on the packaging could become scratched, making the product less presentable to the customer. A worse case is if the packaging splits and the product spills out. Then it loses 95% of its value. It can’t be sold, even at a discount, so it must be discarded.
Some skin creams and similar preparations are also sensitive to fluctuating temperatures. A product can change its consistency so much that it affects its usability if exposed to conditions beyond the normal ambient range. It is for these reasons that more and more emerging cosmetics brands are looking for a supply chain solution that ensures more security.
If a company becomes synonymous with excellent supply chain practice, this will also reflect in its stature as a strong brand. A little extra care in the journey from factory to shelf can make a huge difference.