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Cosmetic Software for New Product Development


New product development can cause major headaches for cosmetics and personal care retailers, brands and manufacturers, from sourcing delays to unforeseen ingredient compliance issues that send product teams back to the drawing board.  

Roadblocks usually occur because of a lack of visibility and transparency between internal teams and external suppliers or subcontractors. Products need to align with brand marketing, hit trends before they die out, be fully compliant across all selling regions and be appropriately priced to ensure a healthy product margin at a consumer-friendly price point. With many teams working on the same product, all with different goals in mind, no wonder it can be difficult to make it all come together in time!  

Many cosmetics and personal care companies are turning to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions to connect multiple teams with a real-time ‘single source of truth’ for product and go-to-market-related data.  

How to Reduce Cosmetic New Product Development Timelines and New Product Introduction with PLM Software

The cosmetics and personal care industry has shifted radically over the past few years. Same or next-day delivery of online purchases is the ‘new normal’, trends change in the blink of an eye and market forces are impacted by social media influencers. What’s more, with an ever-increasing wealth of industry-disrupting, online, direct-to-consumer brands, cosmetics and personal care consumers have the power to bypass companies who aren’t keeping pace and shop internationally with those who are offering the latest and greatest trend at the touch of a button. 

How can PLM help to overcome hold-ups in new product development and new product introduction?

When teams work in silos, product development suffers. For instance, if marketing and ideation teams come up with an original product concept, but don’t realize that a core ingredient is blacklisted in the target market until they send a brief to the formulation team, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and resources. As soon as the formulation team comes back with a query, the process has to start again.  

Because PLM solutions connect all teams in one digital location to work and share information together, this kind of mistake gets picked up instantly. Formulation teams can see product ideation happening in real time, and vice versa. Users can flag potential issues and work together collaboratively to solve problems and make decisions. Giving subcontractors access to live PLM data simplifies and streamlines the distribution of product and packaging specifications and makes it easier to track the progress of products in development, improving control and transparency to minimize delays and errors.  

Managing product formulas, compliance and portfolios in spreadsheets and disconnected enterprise systems is a recipe for confusion. Formulation management is particularly prone to version control errors, with formulas multiplying and ‘branching out’ into many versions for different regions and target consumer demographics. Makeup is a typical example, with multiple color palettes for regional markets.  

PLM makes it possible to store, track and update all of this complex product-related information in a format that is accessible, visual, up-to-date and immediately actionable. ‘Open platform’ cosmetics PLM solutions pull in data from other connected enterprise systems to build up a complete picture of products in development. PLM sets up a transparent flow of data between marketing, R&D, packaging development, regulatory affairs and quality departments to optimize products for specific target markets.  

Companies are having to consistently speed their new cosmetic product development and time to market in order to keep up with the industry influencing fast fashion race. Not only this, but with the emergence and prominence of e-commerce and social media expanding the accessibility of cosmetics and personal care products to a global scale, consumer preferences and expectations are changing too across the cosmetics and personal care space. 

Like all consumer goods industries, cosmetics and personal care is being hit by supply chain disruptions. When getting to market before the competition is just as important as developing the right product to begin with, bottlenecks can mean the difference between a successful product launch and a flop.  

PLM streamlines collaboration, empowering teams to develop a compliant product formula that fits the creative brief and get it into development as fast as possible. Building product development plans that are informed by real-time input from multiple teams with visibility throughout the value chain makes it easier to see potential challenges down the line, make proactive decisions and adjust schedules to get products to market on time.  

PLM can transform the process of new product development for cosmetics and personal care brands, retailers and manufacturers. From coming up with exciting product concepts to developing multiple compliant regional formulas to coordinating omnichannel distribution, PLM gets teams on one page to make sure that you develop the best product for each market and get it into the hands of your target consumers on time. 

How is New Cosmetic Product Development Impacted by the New Culture of “Fast Beauty” and Industry Globalization?

Cosmetics and personal care companies who want to future-proof their business have their work cut out for them. They need to quickly innovate new, consumer-driven products that are high-quality and compliant, manage complex product portfolios, improve margins, manage formulations, collaborate with suppliers and ensure flawless packaging and labeling.

Fast, quality, cost-effective and on-trend are challenging goals without the right digital tools and workflow efficiency. This is why digital transformation is the key to success for cosmetic product development. Cosmetic product development software, like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), is a must in the new cosmetic product development toolkit.

PLM is a powerful solution for companies that face design and manufacturing complexity, globalization and the need to develop and move goods fast! Centric PLM™ is built to handle the rapid innovation and launch of formulated and non-formulated products at the same time. It’s ‘single source of truth’ approach drives innovation, collaboration, collapses timelines and gets companies closer to consumers. Centric PLM connects product and R&D teams on a single platform from anywhere and enables teams to work in real-time. This means fast creative ideation, decision-making, collaboration and innovative new product development helping you create trend-setting products, quickly that meet expectations for safety, quality, compliance and sustainability.

Let’s dive into the key stages of new product development and discover how PLM is the foundational software for each part of the process.

Formula Development

Centric PLM empowers product developers to manage the creation of product briefs, formulation and risk assessment and provide detailed specifications for suppliers, speeding the entire process. Forbidden ingredients and raw material origins are accounted for in Centric PLM to ensure you meet regional requirements.

For example, if you’ve got intel from your marketing team on an emerging trend that you want to move on, PLM can speed that process. Centric PLM’s open Application Programming Interface (API) integration with external product formulation software for raw materials and labeling cosmetics gives you access to ingredient features such as INCI Name, CAS number, chemical name, functions and restrictions for accuracy and compliance. Product briefs can be immediately updated to include label claims for validation by legal and quality control teams.

Centric PLM’s libraries, templates and integration with external databases save enormous amounts of time when developing product briefs. Every moment saved in the formula development step of new product development drives efficiency, cost-savings and speeds time to market.

Packaging Labeling and Artwork Management

Packaging labeling and artwork management is a complicated process, involves multiple stakeholders, and if not flawlessly executed, can slow down the new product development process. Packaging and artwork management is fully integrated in Centric PLM. Workflow capabilities, libraries and visible approval processes ensure speed to market during this critical stage of the product development lifecycle.

PLM provides templates that are automatically populated with up-to-date product information, enabling users to instantaneously generate briefs for external agencies. Centric PLM’s supplier portal increases efficiency when developing new products, empowering suppliers to manage multiple customer product and packaging briefs.

Centric PLM’s library hosts artwork templates with placeholders for specifications such as ingredients, weight, manufacturing information, images and country of origin that are automatically produced. Region-specific formats are generated for labels in Centric PLM and packaging designers and engineers can easily tap into the PLM libraries while working in their native Adobe Illustrator environment with Centric Adobe® Connect or 3D PLM connectors and seamlessly push artwork back into PLM.

Real-time data and workflow capabilities ensure regulatory compliance as marketing, labeling, quality and legal teams collaborate seamlessly in Centric PLM to produce copy, artwork and labels and give final approval.

Sourcing and Suppliers

Finding the right ingredients and supplier partners for new cosmetic products can be time-consuming and cumbersome without a digital solution. Price, quality, and availability all come into play and Centric PLM streamlines sourcing requests and supplier collaboration, collapsing product development timelines. It provides a configurable, collaborative platform for technical data and enhanced co-development processes with retailers, raw material suppliers, laboratories, agencies and internal and external users.

In Centric PLM, product briefs are easily created with templates and contain a detailed product specification and requests for information from suppliers such as buying price, minimum order quantities and lead time. With a click of a button requests are sent to all suitable suppliers, along with specifics for critical documentation including compliance certifications and audits.

Centric PLM cross-references supplier responses to requirements. Once suppliers have been selected, Centric PLM’s workflow guides suppliers, buyers and quality managers through the next stages of prototyping, quality control, revisions and product finalization. Centric PLM houses documentation and communication related to each product from multiple customers, ensuring on time delivery.

Compliance, Visibility and Risk

Valuable time and money are lost if new cosmetics and personal care products fail to meet quality and regulatory requirements. Centric PLM eliminates the risk of human error by involving laboratories in the workflow to perform mandatory applicable tests, all prompted by the system.

In this ecosystem, quality managers and laboratories work seamlessly through notifications, requests, updates and region-specific labeling. This is all generated through Centric PLM, ensuring no step in the process is missed.

Quality managers can quickly make decisions on product approvals through Centric PLM with critical information including analysis from the laboratory, ingredient lists from suppliers and test reports. The quality control process is streamlined in PLM, collapsing product development timelines and mitigating the risk of expensive quality issues once a new product hits the shelves.

Product Portfolio Management

Product portfolio management is a dynamic, complex, data-driven process that Centric PLM simplifies and streamlines. Important questions around optimal price, product adaptation and location can be easily answered through the solution.  Product teams are armed with critical business information that clarifies if a product should be optimized though an update, modified or discontinued. 

This powerful product portfolio management tool enables cosmetics and personal care brands to quickly make proactive decisions for optimal SKU development and maximum product margins.


Cosmetic and personal care companies face enormous market pressure to deliver bestselling, on-trend products that are in touch with consumer desires. And, they need to manage the complex stages in the product lifecycle in a way that makes sense for the business bottom line. 

Centric PLM is built to optimize new product development, at every stage in the process. Optimizing product development means accelerated time to market, maximized portfolios, a lower cost of goods sold and being armed with the information needed to make sound, strategic business decisions that will drive revenue and growth.