Taking a Stand: The Logistics Industry Supports Weaves

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September 27, 2013

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When I was a young boy my dad told me hairs are part of beauty, he told me that’s why you see them for sale in a shop and people buy them.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, with the hair care industry in Kenya recently estimated to be worth KES. 20 billion, lines were drawn in the sand based on the same study, with proponents of natural African locks on one side and fans of hair extensions known as “weaves” on the other.

We in the logistics industry, fell in the latter. In fact, we wholeheartedly support all efforts made by women in the pursuit of beauty; so much so, that we make the boom in the cosmetics industry possible.

Majority of the beauty products favored by women in Kenya and Africa at large are not manufactured locally; rather they have their start in far off factories across the world.

Cosmetic aids such as skin lotions and oils, hair products and the electronics required to maintain said enhancements are mostly imported in pursuit of higher quality than what local manufacturers have to offer.

This is not to say that none are produced in our very own country. On the contrary, a number of leading brands trace their roots to a well recognized factory in the Kasarani area, under the Haco Tiger umbrella.

The process of getting the final manufactured products to your local hairstylist, however, relies entirely on us.

Whether in-house supply chain departments or contracted external agencies, careful logistical planning, correction and execution is required toCosmetics ensure that the beauty products in question achieve maximum market penetration to meet demand.

The onus is therefore upon us to organize shipping across the country in a timely fashion that also ensures cargo is not damaged or contaminated in any way upon delivery.

Where consumer taste does not favor local creations, the logistics industry presents a wide variety of options available worldwide at just the click of a button, through online shopping.

In our effort to make the beautification process as seamless as possible, top tier firms will work to ensure the utmost convenience.

Key strategies in this endeavor would be equipping shoppers with the option of tracking the progress of their package’s journey online, user friendly websites, tireless online and on phone customer service and allowing the recipient to schedule the day and time of delivery.

Once orders are made, it is up to logistics firms to ensure that the products arrive at their intended location in optimum condition.

For beauty products, this includes seeing to it that they are shipped in cool, dry conditions as most such products are sensitive to heat damage.

Also necessary is to ensure the products are packaged in leak proof systems that would prevent cross-contamination in the event that some of the products should spill.

In freighting electronics used in beauty processes such as various hairstyling irons and dryers, key priorities should be to keep them safe from humidity and excessive jostling, which may damage their components and hinder functionality.

Once goods reach our local ports, it is the duty of the logistics firm handling them to secure customs clearance and inspections to confirm that they meet local product standards.

At the port of Mombasa, this means goods must pass through the desks of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Kenya Ports Authority and of course, the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Clearance at this particular port has often proved to be a hassle, with a complaint filed by the Shippers Council for East Africa in August this year laying the blame on the disjointed approach that the three bodies take when processing cargo docked at the port.

While we hope the situation improves, we do understand that the value all three checkpoints cannot be underestimated.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards specifically works to ensure that goods brought in are up to the set national standard, guaranteeing that Kenyan citizens are protected from defective or counterfeit products.

With side effects from unlicensed products ranging from disfigurement to liver failure due to toxic chemicals or even fatal cancers, a gamble with sub-par products on our skin and hair is not one we can afford to take.

Imports cleared at the port are again taken up by logistics firms and delivered to consumers either directly, or through the one stylist that knows how to cut that hair just right.

With supply chain management at the core of the hair and beauty industry, we stand with our sisters in the long, lustrous, recently imported Brazilian weaves and welcome you to do the same.





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