You may not have given much thought to it but have you ever wondered how the fixtures and graphics that hold our favorite shades of eye shadow, blush and more get to the thousands of retailers from Maine to California?
This is a question that faces all cosmetic brands. Twice annually cosmetic brands roll out new colors and products and typically reconfigure the cosmetic display walls you see at major retailers like Wal-Mart and CVS. This triggers a need for new fixture and new graphics to ship in to thousands of individual stores. Just to keep things interesting, there can be numerous configurations of each brand's cosmetic wall at a given retail chain. And, to add another touch of complexity, the fixtures and graphics must arrive "just in time" for the work to be done in the store to reconfigure the cosmetic wall - in other words, not too early and definitely not late...or the team that is to reset the cosmetic wall will not be able to complete the work. And, (and this is the most important part) if the fixtures don't get on the wall product will not sell through.
So, how does Physicians Formula, a leading cosmetic brand known for its department store quality products at less than department store prices, tackle its fixture/graphics distribution needs? "We selected Warwick Fulfillment Solutions to assist us. Warwick's team has experience with timely direct to retail distributions. Warwick's systems give us routine system-driven reporting on our inventory and shipment including tracking information and amortization reports, "stated Jonathan Rhyan, Associate Director of Retail Marketing.
In addition to getting the fixtures to the stores, there is a need to provide installation information and assistance to retail and 3rd party personnel assigned to install the fixtures. Again, Physicians selected Warwick Fulfillment to provide on-going call center service. While the need to provide installation support is of importance at the time of the 2 major resets a year, it is an on-going factor as stores find the need to request replacement parts throughout the year. "The key is to make sure you are ordering parts that work with the type of wall and wall size each individual retail chain and each individual store within the chain has and that you are only ordering what is needed - no more and no less... this is where experienced customer service representatives make a difference," said Jonathan Rhyan of Physicians.
"Our information technology systems allow us to support Physicians needs in a data-driven manner and our direct to retailer expertise keeps us focused on real-world solutions that insure our clients products not only get where they need to go but get there on-time. We understand to need for shipments to be well identifiable in retailer's backroom so that the work that must be done can get done and sales continue on," stated Carol Pollard, Director of Operations at Warwick Fulfillment Solutions.