Creating Supply Chain Excellence

The Tompkins International Blog

Cosmetics: The Glamour of Great Supply Chain & Logistics Strategy

March 13, 2014

6800270382_8ce32f0004_n[1]There’s some real beauty in an optimized supply chain. In a recent Inbound Logistics article, Justine Brown gets it right on the importance of effective supply chain and logistics management for cosmetic companies.

But what makes a supply chain for cosmetics different from any other industry? Most cosmetic products need specialized storage amenities such as temperature controlled environments, and even in some cases, experienced professionals with specific expertise in storing and distributing particular items. Cosmetic products are also sold in a variety of retail streams, which affects packaging for promotions and medical purposes.

Not to mention that consumers want the most popular products right away – and a smooth logistics operation is the key to achieving customer satisfaction in industries such as cosmetics.

Valerie Bonebrake, SVP here at Tompkins International, says it’s essential to know what happens to products when they leave the distribution center. “Cosmetics companies have to understand the process before they can improve it or reduce costs, and that comes down to good information management,” she notes.

I encourage you to read Brown’s column for a full explanation of how cosmetics and related companies need efficient supply chain strategy and logistics in order to get their products to market.

More Resources

3PL Consortium: Benchmarking for Profitable Growth

Video: Fulfillment Centers and E-commerce

5 Steps to Establish Outsourcing Targets


Photo Credit: Tasselflower


  1. Perishable items like food and flowers also have very interesting supply chains. Timing is of the essence and any little hangup can ruin an entire stock. With makeup, demand can change so suddenly in one store, but not in another, so how can you control supply?

    1. Jim Tompkins says:

      Really good question. Leading companies are taking control of supply by being Demand Driven, and CPFR is no longer sufficient. Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is growing in adoption along with new SaaS applications to capture and share information (e.g. inventory visibility) near real time. And on the product side, value stream mapping to identify opportunities to reduce lead time, migration towards late stage (in market) configuration are some of the strategies being used to maintain inventory agility and respond to changing demand signals.

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