Health and Wellbeing has never enjoyed such popularity and, with the peak always happening in the new year, when people vow to take better care of themselves, having a plan to cope with demand and product distribution is vital to capitalize on the business opportunities available.
As 3PL partner to businesses within this sector, the team at Carlton Forest 3PL understands the nature of this market sector and the seasonal spikes associated with it. Perhaps the greatest time for demand is early in the new year when high volume, lower value products that are consumed on an ongoing basis by the consumer are in high demand as health eating and wellbeing routines are reinvigorated.
It's these types of products – vitamins and supplements, protein powders, health drinks, as well as those one-off purchase products that consumers are also happy to invest in, that requires a supply chain that is agile and responsive to ensure demand is met.
Whether it’s vitamins and supplements, organic food and drink, equipment to support at home wellness routines, non-surgical cosmetic treatments, or subscription-based beauty boxes, it’s a multi-faceted industry but one that has a common theme – consumer demand is high and instantaneous.
So how can 3PL providers support this growing sector – one that saw British consumers typically spend £487 per head annually on wellness.
Anticipate the next trend
Successfully supply chain operations can be two-fold – knowing what your customers will buy when, but also anticipating the next trend. If you’re a supplier of products that fall in to that second category it’s about industry awareness, market research and consumer buying history.
The trend in the new year is always a surge in people investing in their health, whether its vitamin supplements, yoga mats or protein powders to support strict training regimes. But what of those trends drive by the media or influencers – or indeed the marketing teams working hard to raise brand awareness and in turn increase sales. It’s these people that often shape the next trends so its important to work cohesively.
Appreciate the seasonality of demand
January is peak time for the health and wellbeing industry. Over 12% of all new gym memberships take place in January so it’s not surprising that everything associated with getting fit and healthy also enjoys a spike in sales.
It’s also important to understand other seasonal demands and how they shift over time. Whilst people do holiday all year round, there is still the inevitable build up to the summer holiday season which sees people drive demand sky high for health, wellness and diet related products.
Understanding how these types of things affect demand is also key to managing supply chains effectively.
Give the consumer what they want
Closely intertwined with your marketing departments campaigns, adverts, and social media presence, the teams that facilitate the supply chain functionality of the business need to ensure they are closely aligned and integrated with this type of activity.
If, the creative team perhaps has an influencer campaign scheduled that’s going to deliver a call to action to followers to buy this product and also gives engaging reasons as to why, the supply chain, warehousing and logistics element of the business has to have plans in place to be able to cope with and support this to ensure the brand reputation is upheld and consumers remain engaged with the brand.
Why independent 3PL providers work for the health and wellbeing sector
This is where independent 3PL providers really earn their keep in the health and wellbeing sector.
As we’ve established the fluidity of the industry is quite unusual – driven by seasonal trends that can be predicted, but also driven by marketing trends that are less uniform although often predictable.
Having a reliable 3PL partner means that the supply challenges brought about by this type of scenario become easily navigable and executed with timely professionalism.
Calling on a 3PL provider to offer tailored, agile solutions at peak times offers customers:
*The ability to add onto their existing supply chains without the need for additional premises, vehicles, or team members
*A team of 3PL professionals that are adept at developing and delivering solutions to keep supply chains moving, shelves stocked, and consumers happy
*The option to upscale as required if market demand outperforms expectations
It’s this flexibility and capability that drives success but how do you determine who can deliver just what you need?
How to choose the right 3PL partner
There are three key elements to choosing the right 3PL partner to facilitate your business needs:
*Do they have the experience in dealing with your requirements? It’s not about having sector experience, it’s about having experience in dealing with the services you require such as pick and pack, ecommerce fulfilment, delivering into distribution centres etc?
*Do they have a Warehouse Management System that gives stock report and data to help with stock management, stock controls and inventories?
*Are they a personable and capable team that you can see will work hard to support you?
Whilst we recognise that there are other factors to take into consideration, we believe that these are the key building blocks to enable businesses to reap the benefits of choosing a 3PL provider as either a sole supplier of warehouse and logistics services, or as a partner that helps businesses navigate peaks in demand.
We know that we have the skills and capabilities to be able to support businesses with a wide variety of 3PL services. After all, we’ve proved this for the last twenty years.
But, as the health and wellbeing industry continues to grow and prosper, perhaps its time to partner with a 3PL provider that offers modern, agile, and flexible solutions.
If you’d like to chat to us about how we could work together please get in touch with our Business Development Director, Stephen Ashby – Stephen.email@example.com