As the demand for health and wellness products increases, ensuring efficient consumer health fulfillment poses a unique challenge—ensuring that fragile products reach customers quickly and accurately without damage.
Products like vitamins, supplements, and baby care require special care during fulfillment, as they are sensitive to temperature, humidity, and storage conditions. On top of that, customers expect timely delivery of their orders.
To address these challenges, using the latest technological innovations to streamline consumer health fulfillment and boost customer satisfaction is crucial.
This blog post will explore how OPLOG uses technology to address three key aspects of consumer health fulfillment:
- Inventory management and quality control,
- Delivery speed and accuracy
- Integration and visibility.
Inventory Management and Quality Control
One of the most critical aspects of consumer health fulfillment is ensuring that every product is stored and shipped while maintaining its highest quality.
You need to track each product's lot numbers and expiry dates, as they are essential for product safety and regulatory compliance.
You can manage and control the quality of consumer health products in the following ways:
LOT and Expiry Date Tracking
Advanced Warehouse Management Systems are equipped with features that enable tracking lot numbers and expiration dates of all stored products. This ensures that all products are stored and shipped in their optimal condition.
Additionally, these systems allow you to set up alerts that notify you whenever older batches are nearing their expiry date or require priority fulfillment.
Lot numbers provide information about items and can also identify products requiring special storage conditions.
Various products require proper storage to maintain their quality. For instance, probiotics need a cool and dry environment, and you should keep baby care items like formula, diapers, and wipes in a clean and hygienic area.
Working with a fulfillment partner that employs technological innovation ensures that every product is stored in optimal conditions for its category and quality.
Technology plays a crucial role in employing the FIFO (First-in-First-Out) method in consumer health fulfillment, improving accuracy, efficiency, and compliance.
With real-time tracking of products and expiry dates using RFID tags, Warehouse Management Software provides a clear picture of stock levels and identifies older products for priority fulfillment.
An advanced FIFO (first in, first out) picking algorithm is used to direct warehouse personnel or robots to retrieve and ship older products first based on pre-defined algorithms. This eliminates manual sorting and significantly reduces the risk of picking errors. The warehouse management system (WMS) can optimize the layout by suggesting designated storage areas for FIFO products, thus ensuring efficient movement and retrieval.
For temperature-sensitive health products, FIFO becomes even more critical. Smart sensors and real-time temperature monitoring systems track and maintain optimal storage conditions, ensuring product quality at all times.
Custom Packaging & Information Slip Addition
Custom packaging plays a crucial role in the consumer health products industry, extending beyond its function as a mere presentation tool to ensure product safety and provide essential information to consumers. It serves as a silent guardian, ensuring quality, clarity, and trust between brands and consumers.
Technology plays a significant role in creating personalized, accurate, and interactive packaging solutions that cater to consumers' unique and dynamic needs. For example, innovative technologies like variable data printing can customize the instructions and dosage reminders on the packaging according to an individual consumer's profile and prescription, adding a personal touch and fostering deeper engagement.
Moreover, by integrating with information databases, packaging production can ensure that each product comes with an accurate and up-to-date information slip that provides essential details about the product, such as its benefits, features, usage, warnings, and expiry date. This minimizes the risk of misinformation and promotes consumer safety and trust.
Augmented reality (AR) can also be utilized in packaging, offering interactive features that enhance consumer understanding and decision-making. For instance, consumers can scan the packaging with their smartphones and access 3D demonstrations of how to use the product or visualize how it works with other medications. This empowers consumers to make informed choices and optimize their health outcomes.
Delivery Speed and Accuracy
Another critical aspect of consumer health fulfillment is delivering the products to the customers quickly and accurately. Customers expect their orders to arrive quickly, safely, and correctly, as they rely on these products for their health and well-being.
Optimizing the delivery processes, such as picking, packing, and shipping, to meet customer expectations and reduce operational costs is crucial.
OPLOG leverages its technology and global fulfillment network to reach customers worldwide and reduce shipping costs and time. With warehouses in strategic locations across Europe and North America, orders are shipped from the nearest warehouse to the customer’s destination.
Here’s how technology can help in improving the delivery speed and accuracy of consumer health products:
Fulfillment operations can use the process of batch picking to increase the efficiency and accuracy of order fulfillment.
Batch involves picking multiple orders at once rather than one order at a time. This reduces the travel time and distance of the warehouse workers, as they can pick up numerous items from the same location. It also reduces the errors and confusion that may arise from picking similar items for different orders.
You can streamline the batch-picking process by using software that groups the orders by product type, location, and priority, providing workers with the optimal picking route and sequence.
Wall-to-wall counting conducts a physical count of every item in the warehouse, usually once or twice a year. This helps verify the inventory records' accuracy, identify any discrepancies, and adjust the inventory levels accordingly. Wall-to-wall counting also helps prevent stock-outs, overstocking, and misplacement of products.
Technology makes wall-to-wall counting efficient by using various devices, such as RFID tags, scanners, and drones, that collect and transmit inventory data with ease and precision.
These devices can scan entire warehouses in minutes and identify and count even the most complex products with advanced vision technology. They can also access hard-to-reach areas, such as high shelves or narrow aisles, and reduce human errors and labor costs.
Moreover, robots and drones can perform the counting process autonomously by moving or flying around the warehouse or the plant and reporting the results.
However, the counting process is only the beginning. The data collected by these devices is integrated into smart Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) that monitor and control the inventory levels, movements, and locations within the warehouse or the plant.
These systems also generate reports and alerts to ensure compliance with the quality and safety standards and optimize inventory replenishment and allocation. Inventory discrepancies can be detected and prevented before they become a problem.
Integration and Visibility
The third key aspect of consumer health fulfillment is integrating with various sales channels and providing complete visibility of the fulfillment process.
Customers today shop for consumer health products from various platforms, such as online marketplaces, e-commerce websites, social media, and mobile apps.
Fulfillment processes need to integrate with these platforms to receive, process, and update the orders in real-time. Customers and retailers also need complete visibility of the fulfillment process to enhance transparency, accountability, and effective communication.
Seamless integration with various sales channels, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc., enables receiving orders from the different sales channels, processing them in the fulfillment system, updating the order status, and tracking information back to the sales channels.
This synchronizes the inventory levels, preventing overselling or underselling of the products, providing real-time updates and notifications on the order status, delivery time, and tracking information, as well as interactive communication and feedback channels, such as chatbots, email, and phone.
OPLOG uses the OPLOG-ONE platform to seamlessly integrate with various e-commerce platforms, enabling inventory, orders, shipments and returns management from a single dashboard. OPLOG-ONE also provides real-time data and analytics on fulfillment performance, such as order volume, delivery time, order accuracy, customer feedback, etc.
As highlighted, leveraging technology can help streamline consumer health fulfillment and improve customer satisfaction.
OPLOG provides tech-enabled fulfillment solutions for consumer health products, addressing critical aspects of consumer health fulfillment: inventory management and quality control, delivery speed and accuracy, and integration and visibility.
With advanced tracking systems, a global fulfillment network, and OPLOG-ONE, brands get a comprehensive and reliable fulfillment service for consumer health products.