Finding a good cosmetic actives supplier can be difficult, especially in light of the recent pandemic that has left multiple countries under total lockdown. The situation is even direr due to the fact that the outbreak originated in Asia.
As you may know, Asia is one of the largest sources of cosmetic supplies so you can imagine how disruptive it was when their factories had to shut down due to the virus. This article is going to dig deeper into the status quo and look at the path forward.
One of the hardest things to swallow about the current situation is the sheer irony of the scenario. We can’t forget that it’s not just cosmetics that have been disrupted by the interruption of the supply chain but also other critical products that are needed during times like these.
Soap is a great example since it’s essentially the pinnacle of hygiene. The WHO recommends frequent handwashing in an effort to slow down the transmission of the virus and flatten the curve. However, it has been running in short supply due to the pandemic.
There are countless employees who have been calling in sick — whether due to contracting the virus or the fear of being exposed while going to work. This has left suppliers and factories alike severely understaffed.
Essentially, we need these products to stop the virus but the pandemic itself is making it harder to produce them. As some countries enter remission, one can hope that their factories reopen and put an end to the supply shortage that we’re currently faced with.
Signs of Hope
While the pandemic has severely crippled the cosmetic industry along with many other sectors of business, there are still moments that show us humanity’s unmatched nature to collaborate when it matters most.
One such example is a Romanian company that donated 1.7 tonnes of soap to a quarantine centre to protect health workers who have been serving on the frontline. Additionally, analysts were also pleasantly surprised to see the high level of compliance from large cities.
The majority of citizens have been cooperating with the social distancing guidelines set by the World Health Organization as well as local governments. This has been instrumental in flattening the curve.
Beyond the more obvious supply chain issues that the pandemic has brought, there are other obstacles that the cosmetics industry has to face due to the virus. For one, the FDA has been more stringent than usual when screening products.
This is a result of the fact that some companies have attempted to market their products under false pretences. This attempt to capitalise on fear by making false claims that their cosmetics can prevent or even treat those affected by the virus was quickly countered by the FDA.
The FDA has already sent letters to seven different companies that made such claims about their products and there’s talk of the FTC getting involved in the fight against misinformation. Even compliant companies have gotten caught in the crossfire of stricter regulations.
Trade Shows No More!
Another way that the pandemic has challenged the cosmetics industry and its respective suppliers is through the cancellation of trade shows. This has a major impact since trade shows and other related events are key moments for both suppliers and distributors.
Without trade shows, it’s difficult for businesses to find companies capable of sourcing the ingredients they need. It also makes it far more challenging to release new products since consumers won’t have any means of attending the launch.
Even countries who are allowing their citizens to return to work and school are yet to permit the resumption of large gatherings due to fears of uncontrollable spread. Until a vaccine is created, this obstacle could linger for a year or more.
As if cosmetic suppliers weren’t under enough pressure with the skeletal workforce, FDA crackdown, and social distancing protocols, they also have to deal with shipping issues. There are many additional challenges to delivering products globally due to the pandemic.
For instance, there are new restrictions on the quantities that you can ship per item. These are likely a measure to conserve shipping bandwidth so that essential supplies such as masks and gloves can get to the hospitals that need them.
While the regulation is well-intentioned and likely necessary, it can severely slow down the speed at which cosmetic suppliers are able to acquire the ingredients that they need. Even UPS and FedEx who used to be known for their reliability have dropped their timeline guarantees.
These shipping delays will bog down the manufacturing process for many companies in the cosmetic industry which can lead to shortages on countless items. Lastly, the shortage also drives up the total cost for suppliers and distributors — cutting deep into profit margins.
What is Ceechem Doing Amidst a Crisis?
As one of Australia’s premier suppliers of cosmetic ingredients, Ceechem has faced its fair share of challenges as a result of this pandemic. That being said, we’ve still been able to deliver on the promises that we made to our clients.
The main thing that made it possible to maintain service despite the current obstacles is our global supply network. When ingredients can no longer be sourced from one country, we can switch to another region that we have contacts in.
We’ve also been taking proactive measures to ensure that those on our team don’t get sick. Our employees have been working from home, provided that it’s feasible based on their role in the company.
Despite the social and physical distancing, we still collaborate closely and coordinate our efforts through the use of online communication software. These company support groups have made it possible for us to maintain operations amidst the crisis.
Be sure to reach out if you need help overcoming the disruptive nature of this pandemic and sourcing ingredients for your cosmetics. We’ll continue to serve our clients no matter how difficult the situation becomes.