Is your beauty business in desperate need of a makeover? Are there any wrinkles in your product/service range that need to be smoothed out?
If you want your company to smash through the proverbial glass ceiling and take that next all-important step in its development, you must go above and beyond to improve your cosmetics supply chain. How you source, purchase, produce, sell, and distribute your cosmetic commodities will have a profound impact on the number of consumers that you attract. Quite simply, if you fail to optimize every stage of your chain, you better be prepared to endure a loss of custom and, in turn, a downturn in profit.
Do not worry; enhancing your supply chain need not necessarily be a troublesome endeavor. If you put the advice laid out below into practice, you will be sure to perform this all-important task in a highly effective and efficient fashion.
Here are eight things you must do to improve your cosmetics supply chain:
Enhance your supply chain management expertise
It does not matter how knowledgeable you are when it comes to beauty and cosmetics; you are not going to smooth out the wrinkles in your supply chain if you do not understand the intricacies of supply chain management. Quite simply, if you are serious about optimizing this all-important element of your business model, you must become well versed in supply chain procurement, transportation, logistics, inventory, production, packaging, and distribution.
Do not worry, enhancing your supply chain management expertise need not be a long or arduous endeavor. There are plenty of resources to be found online that detail the many nuances of the supply chain, Kettering Online’s ‘Supply Chain Managers Meet Customer Relationship Management’ being of the most insightful. If you want to read this article, be sure to click here.
Allocate your products strategically
If you want to reach the right audiences at the right times, you need to be a lot more strategic when it comes to how you allocate your products. You cannot afford to waste any time, effort, resources, or money when it comes to your supply chain, which is why you must actively attempt to optimize your allocation process.
When you attempt to strategize a more profitable product allocation solution, you must take both customer demand and market segmentation into account. This is crucial, as it will facilitate more coherent retail collaboration between your beauty business and its target audience.
In the beauty industry, predictability is never a bad thing. Cosmetic consumers generally do not veer too far off the beaten track once they find products that they like, which is why you should not be too hasty concerning tweaking your business model. If you have a tried and tested product line that has enjoyed a vast amount of success over a sustained period, it would be safe for you to assume that there will always be an audience out there for it.
The act of remaining predictable should extend itself to your supply chain. If you want both your contractors and your client base to trust you, you must showcase a high level of both consistency and stability year in, year out. An effective way to achieve this crucial feat is to make use of replenishment models that are embedded deeply within your core business workflow. This will help you to remain on top of what comes in and goes out of your cosmetic warehouse/storage space, which in turn will grant you more control over both the quality and number of products that you sell.
Reduce lead times
Consumers do not like to be kept waiting, that always has been and always will be the case. If angering and, in turn, pushing away your target audience is the last thing that you want to do, you need to speed up your supply chain process by actively reducing your lead times. You can achieve this by:
1. Making both your current and future supply specifications visible for all to see
2. Sharing key metrics with important members of your supply chain
3. Managing your consumer expectations in a realistic and collaborative fashion
Be scrupulous when it comes to your spending
You are never going to consolidate the profit that you work so hard to turn over if you consistently pay over the odds to keep your cosmetic supply chain up and running. Quite simply, if you want your chain to aid you in your bid to make money actively, you need to be scrupulous when it comes to your spending.
If you want to reduce your supply chain costs, you must:
1. Define your pricing structures based on your varying levels of service
2. Monitor you spend against your annual budgets
3. Track the amount of money that you spend on service provider commitments (transportation costs, contractor agreements, supply demands, etc.)
4. Optimize the storage space that is made available to you across the length and breadth of your supply chain
5. Invest in cutting-edge automation technology (the cloud, for example) that is capable of streamlining your ordering, production, and distribution processes to remove the capacity for human error
6. Be sensible concerning client demand patterns — as tempting as it may be to buy in bulk when demand for a certain product line surges, you should err on the side of caution just in case it turns out to be a passing trend that provides no long-term financial gain
7. Make sure that you invest in quality packaging well to ensure that your products do not become damaged during the transportation process
8. Consider all of the links that comprise your cosmetic supply line — can any of them be improved or even eliminated?
9. Measure the performance of your outsourcing partners (but do not forget to keep your own house in order at the same time!)
10. Have a contingency plan in place when it comes to delivering straight to your consumer’s homes — if they are not at home or contactable during the allotted delivery period, how are you going to avoid re-dispatching costs?
If someone or something interferes with your supply process, you need to hold them/it liable for the disruption. As previously touched upon, you cannot afford to waste any time, effort, resources, or money when it comes to how you produce and distribute your goods, which is why you must never be afraid introduce accountability into your cosmetic supply chain, by setting out information in clear contracts.
When you are forced to hold an external force accountable for their actions, be sure to put the following advice into practice:
1. Gather all relevant, appropriate, and genuine data
2. Be clear when detailing misdemeanors and their subsequent consequences
3. Set clear expectations regarding future goals
4. Monitor ongoing performance and provide necessary feedback
Become socially responsible
A growing number of consumers, especially those that belong to ‘Generation Z,’ will now only do business with socially responsible beauty companies. If you want to appeal to this burgeoning audience and draw their custom for years to come, you must go above and beyond to protect planet earth.
Procuring cruelty-free cosmetic items is not the only crucial task that you face in this instance. If you truly want to showcase the fact that your beauty business is socially responsible, you must make sure that your entire supply chain meets eco-friendly specifications. To ensure that this is the case, you are going to need to align yourself with many vendors that share your desire to be green.
Invest in modern technology
Do you want your beauty business to retain its competitive edge for years to come? If so, you cannot afford to waste any time when it comes to embracing technology. Your supply chain is not going to meet today’s standards or specifications if it is not powered by the right tools, which is why you must invest in modern technological solutions.
Every link in your supply chain should, in some form or another, be enhanced by the modern cutting-edge technology that you have at your disposal. You should use data-monitoring tech to ensure that you keep on top of your stock levels, you should harness the power of a real-time messaging solution to make sure that you are updated during the transportation process, and you should attempt to optimize the purchasing experience for your consumers by making ‘try before you buy’ technology available to them. Once you embrace these tech solutions, everything about your supply chain will no doubt run a lot smoother. In turn, this will allow you to devote more time and effort to other crucial areas of your business.
If you want your beauty business the scale the lofty heights of its niche industry, you must make an effort to optimize your cosmetic supply chain. When you decide to take on this crucial challenge, be sure to remember all of the advice that you have come across above.