The vitamin and supplement industry is one of the US’s fastest-growing verticals.
More than 80% of adult Americans take at least one vitamin or supplement daily. According to Statista, the supplement industry is expected to reach $133 billion dollars in 2025!
With such predicted growth, what are the best supplement fulfillment options for brands?
Vitamins and supplements are either produced from natural products or created in a laboratory. The resulting product may have unique requirements when it comes to storage, such as temperature control, light control, or climate control.
Because of their sensitive nature, vitamin and supplement order fulfillment have many requirements from unique storage requirements to FDA requirements.
As the vitamin and supplement industry is experiencing exponential growth, manufacturers and brands are often left with questions regarding the order fulfillment process.
Relying on third-party fulfillment providers specializing in omnichannel vitamin and supplement fulfillment to retailers, consumers, and wholesalers, brands leverage the 3PL’s expertise. A good 3PL will help you navigate any FDA or DEA storage and shipping requirements, as well as help with any FEFO and Lot Tracking / Expiry Tracking requirements.
With over 20 years of experience in supplement order fulfillment, AMS knows exactly what is needed for fast, accurate fulfillment. Whether your vitamins need FDA certification or temperature control, AMS has the resources you need to fulfill orders, so your customers are happy.
Most supplements do not require FDA Certifications, but it is probably a safe bet to partner with a supplement order fulfillment company that is FDA Certified. AMS facilities are FDA Certified, making us ideal for vitamin and supplement order fulfillment.
FDA Certification involves the facility being inspected by the FDA every three years. This Certification allows the supplement warehouse to store supplements, beverages, food, and other FDA-regulated products. The facility must meet strict requirements such as being clean, dry, and pest-free – which should be important to any supplement company!
In addition to FDA-certified facilities, supplement manufacturers should look for a fulfillment partner that has the industry expertise to manage and execute the delivery of supplement products.
Lot tracking is a technology that is implemented to trace ingredients and products back to a manufacturer. It’s a vital component of vitamin and supplement manufacturing, especially if there is a need to remove expired ingredients or in the case of a product recall.
Fulfillment partners need to have sophisticated lot control to properly manage the supplement lifecycle. This is often part of the 3PL’s warehouse management system (WMS).
FEFO (First Expired First Out) and Expiry tacking are a type of order fulfillment that is utilized for products that have expiration dates, such as vitamins and supplements. The order fulfillment partner will use the oldest product first, ensuring that vitamins are fulfilled prior to expiration dates.
AMS Fulfillment uses sophisticated lot control and expiration tracking, ensuring the vitamin and supplement lifecycle is properly managed. AMS’s warehouse management system, WAMS, helps brands manage their inventory by sending automated alerts about upcoming stock expiration dates.
Combining our technology with a highly-trained warehouse staff enables AMS to accurately fulfill your vitamin and supplement orders, starting with our inbound receiving to pick, pack, and shipping.
Some vitamins and supplements need a temperature-controlled facility. Temperature-controlled warehouses have a range of 59°F to 86°F. Partnering with a 3PL with temperature-controlled facilities like AMS Fulfillment will help your vitamins and supplements sustain their medicinal properties and shelf life.
Vitamins and supplements may need special packaging. Many vitamins and supplements are packaged in glass bottles, which may require additional or specialized packaging for shipping. Using custom molded packaging goes a long way in the supplement order fulfillment process but may require upfront warehouse employee training.
If you opt for plastic bottle packaging, they are usually lighter and make for cheaper shipping. In addition, they may not require additional or custom packaging.
Choosing a vitamin fulfillment service that specializes in lightweight shipments can have a huge impact on same-day order processing and reduce shipping costs. AMS Fulfillment specializes in the supplements and vitamins industry. With over 20 years of experience, AMS ensures that packages are not mishandled or damaged, thereby minimizing returns.
Working with your order fulfillment partner to ensure that your packaging requirements are stocked, and warehouse employees are trained on their use will ensure your products arrive in good condition and increase customer satisfaction.
Returns are inevitable. Many vitamin and supplement companies provide a 30-day return/exchange policy. You need a specialized supplement 3PL that can process your returns and exchanges quickly and efficiently.
According to the FDA, supplements can be returned and “salvaged” under a few conditions. When supplements are returned, you “may salvage returned dietary supplements only if quality control personnel conduct a material review and make a disposition decision to allow the salvage.”
Your 3PL needs to have a robust returns department staffed with highly trained individuals. These Quality Control employees are trained in conducting material reviews of the returns, otherwise, you run the risk of destroying products that could be sent back to inventory and sold. AMS has a dedicated Returns Processing department in each facility that is trained specifically on client return policies. This ensures that your supplement returns are processed quickly and either sent back to inventory or destroyed.
When your supplement fulfillment partner inspects returns and determines the need for the return to be destroyed, it should provide a certificate of destruction for the product. Documentation is important for your records.
Warehouse technology and automation could have a profound effect on your fulfillment.
Warehouse management systems (WMS) are systems that allow brands and manufacturers to have control over their vitamin and supplement business. A robust system like AMS’s WAMS, provides insight into inventory levels, order fulfillment, a consumers’ geographical location, as well as daily orders and statistics. The fundamentals you need to run your business.
Warehouses are becoming technology hubs. The warehouse of yesteryear has been replaced with automation including handheld employee scanners and put walls – all of which decrease pick, pack, and ship times as well as increase order accuracy.
As orders are received, the WMS will produce a pick “wave”, essentially a plan for the warehouse workers to pick orders. Behind the scenes, AMS’s WAMS calculates the shortest most direct path for warehouse workers to pick supplement orders. This reduces worker fatigue and improves order accuracy.
When you partner with AMS Fulfillment, you get cutting-edge technology and automation!
You have spent years building your brand and testing your products. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your business.
You started your Influencer Marketing this year and by chance, you sent your vitamins to Shawn Booth, one of Instagram’s top influencers with over 697k followers. Shawn loved your vitamins and dietary supplements and has incorporated them into his healthy lifestyle. His followers want your products!
You have the supplement inventory on hand. You have a shopping cart capable of handling hundreds of thousands of orders. Do you have an order fulfillment partner that can scale?
If you are partnered with an established, experienced vitamin and supplement 3PL like AMS, you will see what scale looks like in action. Your order fulfillment 3PL should be able to scale to your needs, whether your business expands rapidly, experiences seasonal spikes, or needs to contract temporarily. It is vital to your success for your 3PL partner to accommodate and adapt to your business need
When you join AMS Fulfillment, you get an omnichannel fulfillment partner that has the experience, knowledge, and technology in place that can fulfill the unique demands of B2B fulfillment as well as B2C and mobile commerce.
With the huge growth expected in this industry, brands and manufacturers must do extensive due diligence when selecting the right 3PL fulfillment partner for your business today and tomorrow.