Time is certainly of the essence for shipping organic beauty products quickly to customers waiting on a needed item. While the rush is on to get these products out to fulfill orders, there is a larger reason factoring into the equation.
The components of organic beauty products often have a specified shelf life before it expires making the item ineffective. While some organic ingredients have about six months of freshness, others remain effective for a year or two. So it is critical that product orders being processed in the warehouse for fulfillment are then shipped quickly to the customer. A prompt order fulfillment means the customer receives the best benefit from the organic beauty product of their choice.
Keeping up with all the ingredients and the timelines of expiration dates is a delicate balance. The logistics of when shipments of products arrive at the fulfillment warehouse to when they are packaged for a specific customer may be a matter of hours or a few days depending on the item and order. So let’s take a closer look at what is involved in shipping organic beauty products quickly.
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By definition, organic beauty products are those void of chemicals, but include natural ingredients, grown by sustainable methods. Some may refer to these skin care products as green beauty. It means each item in the product was farmed without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. These naturally derived components result in organic beauty products being free of parabens, additives such as synthetic dyes or preservatives.
In some cases, the question comes up; what is the difference between an organic product or one considered natural. Often the two terms are used interchangeably although this can be a bit confusing. While organic beauty products contain naturally sourced ingredients; natural products have a similar makeup but do not have to adhere to stringent guidelines for the label.
The effort to distinguish organic beauty products along with those considered natural may also include others labeled cruelty free or vegan. The latter categories are niche sector products that mean something different from the larger category of organic.
Here is a breakdown of each category:
And while organic beauty products contain a list of natural ingredients, there is more involved with the distinction to earn a coveted seal. We will discuss later what is required to be deemed an organic beauty product.
The sensitive nature of organic beauty products requires close attention to the storage environment to maintain freshness and effectiveness. If the interior climate of the fulfillment warehouse is either too cold or too warm, it could jeopardize the composition of the product causing it to expire early and not meet effectiveness standards. In other words, it means lost revenue for the company and the customer is left without a product. In addition, someone with a sensitive skin type may rely on products that are 100% pure with ingredients like aloe vera need them to ship quickly for use.
Fulfillment and distribution centers looking to attract organic product manufacturers to the facility must pay close attention to climate in the warehouse. Climate plays a role in the shelf life of cosmetics and beauty products from face cream, body lotion or sunscreen to name a few.
Each shipment, based on product type and ingredients must be transported, stored, and shipped to the customer under strict climate guidelines. Manufactures using the fulfilment option should be prepared to provide this information to keep everything safe.
Organic products are usually free of parabens and other chemical preservatives. Most use natural or organic preservatives to keep the product fresh. The use of the beauty item may also determine the shelf life. On average, products using organic ingredients can expire within a few months or last up to a year.
However, the goal for manufacturers of organic beauty products is to quickly ship to customers to maximize the effectiveness of the natural ingredients.
Here’s a rundown of shelf life of some of the popular organic skincare products:
Of special note is sunscreen, which must have an actual expiration date stamped on the packaging. So the sooner the expiration date from arrival in the warehouse, the quicker the turnaround timeline needs to be to the customer.
A fulfillment warehouse with the capacity to handle the special needs of organic beauty products will be an asset to manufacturers who depend on this attention to detail.
One company may create an entire line of organic beauty products while another makes only one item for distribution. Regardless of the output, it all comes down to fulfillment of orders as they are processed.
Manufacturers may offer special pricing on items reaching an expiration window so the fulfillment center will need to be ready to handle a spike in orders. In addition, seasonal buying habits can trigger an uptick in orders as well.
A variety of situations can impact warehouse inventory and the overall mission of shipping organic beauty products quickly. Some of the organic products may make a quick stop in the warehouse long enough for transloading or cross docking.
The latest technology in warehouse management systems makes it possible for manufacturers to connect their tracking systems and keep tabs on everything. Our warehouse partners are able to check their inventory levels to determine what needs to be replenished for order fulfillment. Again, another measure of efficiency to quickly ship organic beauty products to customers.
Warehouse protocol for shipping, especially of products containing organic ingredients, often calls for either First in, First Out or First Expired, First Out. In short, it means the inventory which arrives first at the warehouse will be shipped out first based on order volume.
The network of fulfillment and distribution warehouses around the country make it possible for makers of organic beauty products to ship quickly to customers. A manufacturer may have a large base of customers within a certain area and will send a larger quantity of goods to the warehouse to fulfill orders in that region. Whereas, a secondary location may be used to ship goods to customers elsewhere.
Manufacturers of organic beauty products looking to outsource warehousing may opt to have all orders fulfilled via one location or divide it between several sites.
A few helpful questions about services may include:
The answers to these questions will play a large role in whether a fulfillment warehouse is a good match to meet the needs of manufacturers working to get organic products out the door. If organic beauty products are left sitting on the shelf in the warehouse, there is a risk of losing the effectiveness of the natural ingredients. The shorter the trip from the warehouse to the customer the more time is available to maximize the benefit of the product.
Although organic beauty products may include a variety of ingredients that are naturally derived, additional regulations may dictate storage and shipment. The warehouse also must meet certain standards for handling products with expiration or effective dates like guidelines for organic or natural ingredients.
Manufacturers should check with the FDA to determine what is required for organic products such as organic skincare, true botanicals, essential oil, and to prevent dry skin to name a few. For example, unless a cosmetic item includes a color additive ingredient, it does not need FDA approval. However, other items like organic supplements may need a green light from the FDA.
In addition, some may want to take the necessary steps to obtain organic certification through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program. To obtain an Organic Seal from the USDA, the list of organic ingredients must make up at least 95 percent of the overall product. However, products made using 70 percent organic ingredients can carry a “Made with Organic Ingredients” seal.
A few benefits of organic designations include:
There are also a number of steps involved in handling organic beauty products from care in the warehouse to making sure all applicable regulations are met.
The terms First In - First Out along with First Expiring - First Out applies to inventory that needs to be used first to fulfill orders. So as merchandise arrives at the warehouse, it will be important to have accurate tracking capability to make sure stock pulled to fulfill orders will not expire soon once reaching the customer.
In the warehouse environment although both categories may seem similar in nature, they have a little different function.
A lot number or serial number may be attached to inventory of high value in the warehouse. It may be a bottle of rare blend of essential oil or a container of true botanicals. The customer may require the warehouse track those numbers.
Each item is assigned a lot number or serial number based on the product. The warehouse customer will need to know from time to time how much of a certain lot number is in stock, especially if an expiration date is approaching.
While some items may ship out on a regular basis, there may be certain inventory that does not receive an order for fulfillment as often. It is important for warehouse staff to keep these lot numbers separate so reporting is accurate and products are not mixed together.
As another example sunscreen is required by the FDA to have an expiration date printed on the packaging. Therefore, the product cannot be sold after that date. It is inventory such as this that businesses will want to keep a close eye on in the warehouse.
The warehouse protocol of First In First Out will definitely come into play here to ensure remaining product of certain lot numbers are pulled if the expiration date has elapsed. It gives the warehouse staff and manufacturer an idea what is left and what needs to be restocked.
The mission of warehouse fulfillment is to take the load off manufactures trying to keep up with orders and other facets of running business. So whether it’s one item fulfilling orders or a subscription product fulfillment the warehouse is where it all comes together.
The chosen warehouse must be able to process orders for fulfillment within a prompt timeline. This is critical when it comes to handling organic beauty products that have a shelf life ranging from a few months up to 24 months.
So what are the differences in warehouse services provided?
Depending on which service is needed, the warehouse can work to accommodate the volume based on orders from customers. The process is a cycle that takes planning by the business and good communication with the warehouse to keep everything moving smoothly.
It’s always exciting to receive a shipment of a needed organic beauty product or the anticipation of trying something new. After organic products arrive from the warehouse it’s time to put them to use to gain the effective benefits.
A few tips at home include:
Following these tips at home will have maximize the effective date and shelf life of each product. It’s why the warehouse works hard to fulfill orders quickly to reach the end use customer.
R+L Global Logistics offers warehousing service solutions for a variety of fulfillment needs. Each link in the supply chain is covered through the many other services we provide.
Warehouse services through R+L Global include:
R+L Global provides a one stop source for warehousing services as a logistics company and is fully equipped to handle the load of order fulfillment.
Utilizing a network of secure sites around the country, R+L Global Logistics is able to assist customers quickly ship time sensitive freight like organic beauty products to customers.
A few benefits of our fulfillment warehouse service includes:
Regardless of the level of warehouse services needed, we have a solution to fit the job. We take our role seriously in helping our customers maintain high efficiency in warehousing.
Our professional team at R+L Global Logistics is ready to assist in finding the right warehouse fulfillment service to get your organic beauty products out the door long before they expire. As your customers count on you to deliver, you can rely on us to make it happen.
Creating organic beauty products is your business, and warehousing fulfillment and logistics is ours. Give us a call at 866-989-3082 to talk to an agent on the R+L Global Logistics team about warehouse fulfillment options to suit your needs.