When you see rows and rows of dietary supplements like herbs and vitamins in your local pharmacy, you’re looking at the direct result of dietary supplement order fulfillment.
Like any product that needs to be stored and shipped, it takes a highly choreographed dance to get supplements from the manufacturer to the customer, whether the customer is a retailer, wholesaler or end-user. That’s why so many supplement retailers use 3rd party logistics companies to help them maintain quality control and deliver their products on time, every time.
How Dietary Supplement Orders are Fulfilled
When boxes of supplements arrive at a distribution warehouse, they’re first sorted into individual bins so they can be located quickly by workers who will later collect them to fill orders. Depending on the size of the company needing the fulfillment services, these bins can be very large. Each bin is fitted with a scannable label that helps the fulfillment house with inventory tracking — no matter if containers are going in or out, someone has to scan that label and tell the computer to make an adjustment to the inventory.
Accuracy is vital where dietary supplements and nutraceutical fulfillment are concerned, so extra precautions are taken to ensure that each customer is getting exactly what they ordered. That can mean automating the picking process so that similarly sounding products aren’t confused or having a second set of eyes checking the labels before they get packed.
Pick, pack and shipping must be fast, as well as efficient, so certain supplements that are frequently ordered together may be pre-assembled into kits to speed the process along. If, for example, customers tend to order vitamin D along with a particular calcium supplement, these can be combined into a single box in a new bin to create a new item. When dietary supplement companies offer bundled items at a discount, they’re often kitted together, as well.
Don’t Forget The Inventory
Along with being fast and accurate, a dietary supplement fulfillment center has to carefully track inventory control. Not only does this prevent a fulfillment house from running out of products, it also helps maintain freshness of items that have a set expiration date. The goal of the 3PL is to reduce waste by always rotating the oldest stock to the front for picking before using the newest.
When you’ve got a fast, precise dietary supplement order fulfillment partner, you can reasonably expect products to be shipped within one or two business days and that they’ll reach your customers quickly. High levels of organization and careful inventory controls ensure your customers won’t have to deal with the frustration of back orders or expired stock, creating a positive experience for everyone involved.