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How to Choose the Right Packaging and Fulfillment Partner for Your Business

Third-party shipping fulfillment services have changed the face of retail and exploded in popularity. Choosing the right logistics and order fulfillment partner for your needs makes it easy to deliver your products in a timely manner, without damage to packaging or contents. That’s critical to making your brand memorable and earning your customers’ trust.

It’s also a great way to reduce overhead and scale operations. By partnering with a packaging and fulfillment company, you’ll have more time to devote to growing your business.

Here, we’ll look at what you need to know when choosing an order fulfillment company.

Shipping Speeds

Today’s customers have high expectations for short delivery times. But on-time delivery is actually the end result of a cumulative process starting long before a package arrives in a customer’s mailbox or on their porch. Critical components of a timely delivery process include:

  • Automated communication with your e-commerce platform for new orders
  • Excellent physical organization and order picking procedures
  • Software tools for tracking inventory and logistics
  • Multiple warehouses located for efficient shipping to your sales range
  • A sufficient distribution network to accommodate your growth

Look for a partner who can provide comprehensive services for order picking, packaging, and shipping – unifying all of these services under a single third-party vendor is the key to streamlined and reliable order fulfillment.

Transparency and Visibility

Customers value transparency and visibility into the details of their orders. Fulfillment companies help you provide these with options like easy, real-time tracking for shipments, quick email or text updates about delays or backorders, and reliable communication systems for order support. All of these help you gain buyers’ trust and turn them into loyal repeat customers.

Transparency is also vital for building trust and a solid working relationship with your fulfillment partner. You should receive regular data reports so you have end-to-end visibility into the fulfillment process and can make data-driven decisions.

This is another advantage to keeping all of your fulfillment operations under a single provider. All the data is consistent and at hand from a single source. This makes it easy to ensure quality assurance procedures are followed and to address issues at their root.

Technology

Technology has been transforming the retail world for decades, from cash registers to call centers and beyond. In today’s e-commerce landscape, customers’ interactions with your brand may be fully online. That means you need a seamless and reliable computerized system for order management and fulfillment.

Look for a vendor whose order management tools tie in with your e-commerce platform. This allows them to receive order data directly so your time is not spent shepherding each new order.

Your order fulfillment company should also offer a robust suite of tools for visibility into inventory, order management, and logistics. Look for these features:

  • Traceability through automated pick lists, lot control, stock rotation, and parcel scanning
  • Automated customer updates and support regarding order and delivery status
  • Compliance protocols that meet industry regulations, when applicable
  • Dedicated technology for custom packaging and promotional materials
  • Strategic redundancies in fulfillment software systems for cross-checking data

Packaging and Fulfillment Experts

Daily 3PL is your one-stop source for integrated packaging and fulfillment needs. With expertise in supply chain and inventory management, logistics, and product forecasting, we can support large and small e-commerce ventures.

Contact us to learn more about our services, fulfillment processes, and pricing.

Fulfillment and Packaging for the Skincare & Beauty Industry

The skincare, cosmetics, and beauty market is a fast-growing industry. Unlike many other sectors, the skincare and beauty industry was not heavily impacted by the pandemic. Companies took advantage of e-commerce opportunities, resulting in growth from $483 billion in 2020 to $511 billion in 2021. The average monthly spend on online beauty products in the U.S. is $50, with a quarter of households spending over $101 per month. Predictions suggest the industry will maintain this upward trend, exceeding $784.6 billion by 2027.

The explosion in industry growth and the convenience of online sales provide smaller companies with an opportunity to compete alongside major brands. Yet, to avoid unexpected challenges related to fulfillment and packaging, it’s essential to partner with a reliable fulfillment provider like Daily 3PL, which specializes in cosmetics and beauty fulfillment and packaging.

Challenges of Fulfillment and Packaging in the Beauty Industry

While online sales are an attractive option for both customers and retailers in the beauty industry, navigating the demands of fulfillment and packaging can be tricky. Beauty and cosmetics retailers should be aware of these industry-specific shipping challenges:

  • Expiration Date: Since many cosmetics contain perishable ingredients, it’s essential to ensure fulfillment occurs well before the best-by date. First-in-first-out (FIFO) is a common inventory method in which the first products purchased are the first ones sold and sent out to customers. With this practice, customers get fresh products at the most accurate prices. 
  • Organic Certificate: As the demand for natural and sustainable ingredients in beauty products increases, so do challenges related to the storage, packaging, and shipping of organic products. Organic products must be handled by certified producers, suppliers, and warehouse providers. 
  • Temperature Control: The optimal storage temperature for cosmetic, beauty, and hygiene products is 15-20 °C.
  • Environmentally-Friendly Shipping: Along with the demand for organic beauty products comes the desire for environmentally friendly packaging and shipping processes. 
  • Secured Packaging: Materials used for packaging are expected to be aesthetically pleasing and secure to avoid damage to fragile products.
  • Frequent Changes in Demand: Since the beauty sector is trend-driven, inventory planning and marketing can be difficult, making flexible supplier contracts essential. 
  • Customer Expectations for Fast Delivery: Since products are frequently impulse purchases or for a specific event, customers expect delivery to be as fast as possible.

What to Consider When Picking a Cosmetic Fulfillment Provider

When choosing a cosmetic fulfillment company, it’s crucial to partner with an experienced logistics provider prepared to address industry challenges. Here are some of the effective solutions that work within this industry. 

Tech Assisted Inventory Planning

Accurate data is essential for effective inventory planning. Tech-assisted solutions that provide real-time overviews of inventory and current and historical sales can help you maintain a competitive edge.

Lot Tracking

Using identification labels, lot tracking helps users track specific batches of products from the supplier all the way to the consumer. Lot tracking enhances traceability so you can react quickly to unexpected circumstances, such as product recalls.

Strategic Locations for Fulfillment Centers

Logistics warehouses located close to your customers make sustainable, affordable, and fast shipping possible. Consider how many locations your provider has in their fulfillment network.

FIFO Shipping

The first-in-first-out (FIFO) shipping strategy works exactly as it sounds. Products stocked first are also packed and shipped first to minimize the risk of products exceeding their expiration date. 

Compliance Requirements

Since cosmetics are not FDA-approved but FDA-regulated, products must fall under the definition laid out by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Beauty and skincare products also must follow Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) requirements, which state that all product labels must identify the contents, net quantity, and name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or packer.

These additional shipping requirements are required for compliance:

  • Material Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Tamper-resistant seals
  • Sample products are packed and labeled separately
  • Protective packaging (such as bubble wrap) must be used as necessary

How Daily 3PL Can Help With Fulfillment for Cosmetics and Beauty Products

While there are many challenges in shipping and fulfillment in the beauty industry, working with an experienced logistics partner will help you navigate the complexities. Daily 3PL is your trusted logistics partner, providing fast, reliable, and affordable fulfillment services with data-enabled logistics and a 70,000-square-foot warehousing hub in Southern California. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you meet the demands of shipping and fulfillment in the cosmetics industry.

Calculating DIM Weight

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Having an accurate dimensional weight can make a substantial difference in the cost of commercially shipping products for distribution and sale. E-commerce businesses, retailers, and manufacturers benefit from working with a fulfillment or logistics services provider that can stay on top of accurate dimensional weight calculations. Learn more about what dimensional weight is, how and why it’s calculated, and how it can impact your business.

What Is Dimensional Weight?

Dimensional (DIM) weight is a factor that influences the overall cost to ship a package. Commercial freight transportation services need consistent techniques for calculating the load—and resulting price—of a shipment. Most shipping providers use both weight and DIM weight in their pricing process. Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the load’s width, length, and height, then dividing it by the carrier’s DIM divisor. For example, a package shipped with FedEx (which has a DIM divisor of 139) that is four feet wide, five feet long, and three feet high would have a DIM weight of about 0.4317 pounds.

Freight companies, including both couriers and postal companies, use dimensional weight to account for the space the cargo will take up in a truck or cargo container. Measuring by weight alone doesn’t account for how a large but light shipment will take up much of the available space. Likewise, calculating only weight for heavy but compact cargo will lead to unused space. Instead, companies calculate dimensional weight and determine the density of the load to provide pricing and accurately judge transportation requirements. As a manufacturer or distributor, you also benefit from knowing your cargo’s DIM weight through independent assessment.

Why Is Dimensional Weight Important?

Logistics companies and freight service providers can more efficiently provide services and assign costs when they know more about the cargo they’re shipping. DIM weight is important because it provides three key advantages:

  • For customers: If a shipping company uses DIM weight to calculate shipping costs, you can save money by more efficiently packing your shipment. Efficient packaging reduces the dimensions of each unit, allowing you to fit more within a standard space.
  • For shipping providers: Both true weight and DIM weight are necessary to calculate shipping costs, but the greater value is used in the actual billable amount. DIM weight pricing allows organizations to standardize pricing costs and operate more efficiently. This ensures greater customer satisfaction because it establishes consistent, competitive pricing and simplifies logistics management for large shipping organizations.
  • For the environment: Calculating pricing according to DIM weight incentivizes efficient packaging, reducing overpacking and waste from excess foam, plastic, and cardboard materials. Shipping organizations can also use transport vehicles as efficiently as possible, reducing fuel consumption and lowering overall fuel emissions.

Because of its environmental and efficiency benefits, dimensional weight will continue to be an important factor to calculate shipping costs for all stakeholders involved.

How Is Dimensional Weight Calculated?

There are three key numbers involved in any company’s pricing assessment: true weight, dimensional weight, and billable rate. Here’s the simple process for determining each one:

  1. Actual (or true) weight: Use a standard scale to weigh the cargo.
  2. Dimensional weight: Measure the length, width, and height of the cargo, and then multiply them together. You can measure in either pounds or kilograms.
    1. Pounds: Measure the dimensions in inches, and then divide the final product by 139. Round up.
    2. Kilograms: Measure the dimensions in centimeters, and then divide the final product by 5,000. Round up.
  3. Billable weight: Identify the higher number out of the actual weight and the dimensional weight. Shipping companies will use this number to calculate the shipping cost.

Partner With Daily 3PL for Consistent Shipping and Logistics Support

With this insight into how shipping companies determine your bill, you can better strategize your packaging and shipping efforts to minimize costs and material waste. At Daily 3PL, we’re here to help organizations seamlessly navigate complex shipping and logistics processes, including dim weight calculation. Contact us today for more helpful insights or to learn more about our capabilities.

Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What’s the Difference?

In the world of retail and e-commerce, these terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two distinct inventory situations. Backorders occur when a customer places an order for a product that is currently out of stock but that has a determined restocking date, while an out-of-stock item simply means that a product is not currently available for purchase and does not have a resupply date. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the definitions of these terms, the differences between them, the benefits of accepting backorders, and the causes behind these inventory management problems.

Back Order vs. Out of Stock

While both terms mean that a product is currently unavailable, the differentiating factor between out-of-stock products and products on backorder is that back-ordered products are only temporarily unavailable

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What Does it Mean When an Item is on Backorder?

A back-ordered product refers to an item that is temporarily out of stock but will be returning to inventory shortly. Typically, a manufacturer has not yet produced the product but intends to deliver the item as soon as it becomes available again.

Consumers who purchase an item on backorder from an eCommerce site will receive the product as soon as it returns to stock. If a SKU is on backorder, the consumer is essentially pre-ordering a temporarily unavailable item.

When an item is on backorder, it guarantees the product will be available on a predetermined date. While shipping will take longer than normal, it will still be delivered once the item comes back in stock.

Out of Stock

If an item is out of stock, a consumer cannot place an order for that particular item. There is no current inventory, and a projected date for future availability does not exist. There is no guarantee the product will ever be resupplied.

The time limit for an out-of-stock item is indefinite and can fluctuate without notice. Since consumers cannot place an order for out-of-stock items, it generates a loss of revenue, which can be significant in some cases.

Causes of Backorders

Even though backorders are not ideal, they are sometimes inevitable. There can be supply chain shortages, weather disruptions that can stall transportation, and an unusual increase in demand for the product.

Other common causes of an item going into backorder status can include the following situations:

  • Low safety stock
  • Manufacturer or supplier problem
  • Human error
  • Inventory and warehouse management discrepancies
  • Long lead times

Benefits of Accepting Backorders

Retailers have the option of marking a product out of stock or accepting backorders, which can provide the following benefits:

  • Product demand
  • Improved customer relationships
  • Less inventory storage cost
  • Improved cash flow

Contact Daily to Learn More About 3PL Fulfillment

If you are frequently dealing with out-of-stock or backorder inventory issues, we can help. Daily 3PL helps clients connect with buyers as a third-party logistics partner. We offer quick, affordable, reliable fulfillment services with data-enabled logistics from our warehouse in Southern California.

We save you money through pre-negotiated discount rates with preferred carriers and show you how to increase the average order value by removing operational friction and reducing canceled orders.

Contact us today to learn more about the fulfillment services we offer.