by Silvano Joly, Country Sales Manager at Centric Software
Every year, the cosmetics market continues to defy gravity as it goes from strength to strength. With intense competition for market share, getting new products to market as fast as possible is critical for cosmetics brands to grow and thrive.
How can Centric Software’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions empower cosmetics companies to drive innovation, speed time to market and lower costs?
Streamline communication to eliminate errors and wasted time
Trying to communicate details and changes to products between design, merchandising, planning, product development, product testers, sourcing, procurement, production and retail teams can take a lot of time and mistakes are often impossible to avoid. Bringing suppliers and factories into the mix can cause even more chaos.
How can cosmetic brands improve innovation, quality control, design, packaging and compliance throughout the entire supply chain when product data is scattered across documents, spreadsheets and emails?
Centric PLM’s out-of-the-box, cloud-based PLM solution links everything related to product development on an actionable ‘single source of the truth’ platform. PLM eliminates rework, errors and lost time by improving team collaboration and streamlining communication with external suppliers and across internal departments. All information is updated in real-time and accessible to all, so no more second guessing if someone has the most accurate information.
Introduce new products quickly by shortening R&D and production cycles
To facilitate new product introductions that hit the market quickly, brands need to focus on shortening R&D and production cycles. The cosmetics market is a fertile ground for entirely new niche products and innovations that capture the imagination of consumers, but slow decision-making processes and delays in planning, testing and product iteration can result in innovations reaching the market too late, or not at all.
Alberto Codrino, General Director at PLM Systems, adds to this point when he says, “Just like fashion brands have to manage short timelines to market, more products and seasons and supply chain management, so does the cosmetics sector.”
Having a PLM solution in place makes it possible to plan ahead more effectively and manage challenges early in the process. Creating calendars and workflows keeps teams on track. Centric PLM-connected mobile apps and Centric’s Visual Innovation Platform, which includes a family of digital touch-screen boards, transform the product ideation, planning and launch process with instant, visual decision-making in meetings and on the move.
Heike Linneman, Brand General Manager at Italy’s leading cosmetics brand KIKO, comments on how Centric PLM helps their business launch new products, “What I like about PLM is that it gives us the opportunity to have clear milestone management where everything comes together. We can make sure that all of the pieces that come together from a commercial and a technical side are ready on time, so that we can launch flawlessly.”
Package it right to reduce waste and save costs
How cosmetic products are packaged is also a major component to consider as part of the final end product for cosmetics brands. With growing pressure to reduce packaging, particularly plastics, cosmetic brands need to be savvy and that’s where Centric PLM can help.
Centric PLM can take control of packaging as part of the product lifecycle. This includes managing design and development details, storing data on the sustainable credentials of materials, comparing sourcing details and quotes, and optimizing the use of packaging materials to minimize waste. Controlling materials efficiently can mean saving millions when the cost of a few grams of extra packaging is scaled up across your entire product output.
Gianluca Lupi, KIKO Purchasing Manager, explains how Centric PLM helps KIKO to optimize product development costs along the entire process, “Centric PLM allows us to manage all the costs related to the product we are developing in a central place and the information is available to all those involved in the process.” Gianluca continues, “By collecting quotations from suppliers, we can make several simulations and select the best combination to optimise our margin.”
Stay compliant without adding headcount
Cosmetics brands need to meet a plethora of different regulations to avoid government fines and product recalls that hit bottom lines and can seriously damage a brand’s reputation. Every year, more regulations are added, and when brands expand into different regions, they have to deal with a whole new layer of regulations regarding labeling, pricing, packaging and sustainability.
To tackle his, cosmetics brands can either hire more people to keep track of regulations, tests, quality and supplier certifications, or invest in technology that makes this process easier. Centric PLM holds real-time, up-to-date information on the status of tests, factory audits and compliance documentation in one central location. Field testing, quality control and factory auditing are transformed by groundbreaking mobile apps that enable instant feedback to PLM during tests and audits, eliminating the delays and errors associated with paper-based systems.
Cosmetics brands that are expanding into new markets will benefit from Centric’s localization features, designed to help you develop globally and sell locally without having to reinvent the wheel each time.
Face the future
As the cosmetics industry grows in complexity and market pressures increase, there’s no doubt that more brands will investigate the potential of PLM to transform communication, drive innovation and increase speed to market to get ahead of the competition.