Valentine's Day and the Supply Chain
- Published: 14 Feb 2017
It’s Valentine’s Day. You’ve finished buying gifts and are about to prepare dinner. As you start to preheat the oven, you hear a car pull into your driveway. Its engine turns off, and the car door opens. You scurry to the front room’s window, pull the curtain back an eyeball’s width, and what you see confirms your suspicions: your significant other is home early. You decide you want to be the first thing they see, so you stand a metre back from the front door. As you wait, you look down at the gifts you bought: flowers and some cosmetics. It’s at this point, as you work in the supply chain, that you start to think about the logistics of getting these gifts in your hands.
Like most beautiful things, a lot of care is taken to ensure beauty. Flowers are no different – especially flowers intended for Valentine’s Day. More flowers are sold on Valentine’s Day than any other day in the year, and the vast majority of these flowers ship from Latin America. That is a long way to go, and a long way to ensure that the flowers are kept in the optimal environment so that they don’t bloom or fade before your Valentine sees them.
It's difficult to time when to ship out flowers to arrive in time for Valentine’s Day. If you ship too early, you risk the flowers blooming ahead of time. If you ship too late, your flowers arrive a few days before Valentine’s Day, or worse: after Valentine’s Day.
The beauty industry is driven by trends, and therefore requires a logistics partner that can provide quick turnaround. Whenever a trend hits, products need to be on the shelves before the next trend emerges (or is marketed). A fine balance needs to be struck of enough product on the shelves, but not so much that the products outlast the trend. A solid supply chain is required to meet these high requirements.
Storing cosmetics requires special care and certain licences. Cosmetics tend to be perishable and thus must be kept in a specific environment to prevent any degradation of the product’s quality. Not only this, but the cosmetics industry is heavily regulated and requires 3PLs to hold certain licences to handle the products.
As you hear the keys enter the lock, you snap out of your trance. Well, that was weird. You should probably stop thinking about work for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy your Valentine’s Day.