In the cosmetics industry, the ever-present drive to innovate is accelerating. Propelled by new and intensifying market forces, cosmetics makers must bring new products to market faster, while simultaneously creating new efficiencies in their product lifecycles and assuring premium product quality. To successfully compete under such conditions, cosmetics manufacturers are relying on innovation in their enabling systems – manufacturing operations management (MOM) solutions that result in a digital transformation from product conception and design all the way through production, launch and distribution.
Cosmetics manufacturers need digital solutions to formulate products in a flexible, efficient and comprehensive way – which is precisely the value that formulated product design (FPD) software brings. Part of a comprehensive MOM portfolio, an FPD solution is a scalable and flexible formulated product data management solution that optimizes and streamlines all R&D-related processes and aligns them with manufacturing.
In the face of quickly emerging market trends, an FPD software solution creates opportunities for cosmetics companies to successfully meet new consumer demands. Let’s look more closely at these trends and the FPD capabilities that address them.
1. Changing consumer demands
Cosmetics companies must continue to address growing consumer awareness of health and environmental issues associated with their products – and they must now do so in the face of new market instabilities. Created by the rising influence of social media on cosmetics buying decisions, combined with growing customer demand for complete transparency on cosmetics ingredients, these instabilities are making brand loyalty a thing of the past. In fact, 94% of consumers regularly look for alternatives, and 73% express a willingness to pay more for truly transparent brands. Meantime, a bad review from a social media influencer has been known to devastate sales of a cosmetic product.
To continue the drive toward safer and more eco-responsible products, cosmetics manufactures must pursue unrelenting innovation in cosmetics formulations and rapid introduction of new products – backed by accurate, accessible product information for customers.
2. Stronger local and global regulations
In 2018, 121 cosmetic products were withdrawn from the market because they did not comply with EU cosmetic regulations. In the two years since, regulations and regulatory bodies have multiplied, making compliance management increasingly critical and complex.
Industry watchers believe that the regulatory environment in which cosmetics manufacturers operate is moving steadily closer to the stringency experienced by the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
How can manufacturers create efficiencies with the compliance and traceability demanded by regulatory bodies? By leveraging the “integrated digital thread.” A formulated product design (FPD) solution supports all key aspects of formulated product data management like formula and recipe development, trial and experiment management, and product quality assurance. As it leverages available information in the integrated solution, the FPD also enables simulation, so that the formulator can find the right formulation to meet consumer requests while complying with regulations. The FPD solution then assures in real time the correct labeling of all required component declarations.
3. Personalization and customization
Today, 40% of millennials want to influence and co-create products with brand owners. As products become more customized, the way the product is designed and how that product is manufactured also changes. What used to be manufacturing for scale – for millions or billions of units – is transitioning to manufacturing for small batches – even a single unit.
Mass customization demands unprecedented time to market for a nearly exponential increase in new product introductions (NPIs). With each NPI, changing even one parameter from a previous formulation can have a cascade effect on many other facets of the production chain: raw material availability, quality specifications, production resources, regulatory compliance requirements, specific manufacturing recipes for each production line, and more.
To meet this demand, it is essential to have the consistent, accessible formulation and product data that a formulated product design (FPD) system provides. FPD software supports a structured, efficient formulated product development cycle. It allows formulators to start from previous projects, benefiting from historical results. The FPD guarantees data consistency by managing all formulated product-related specifications centrally in a flexible, structured, secure and configurable way. An effective FPD also keeps all formulated product designs and processes – across a mass customized set of products – well in line with quality and regulatory requirements.
4. Rising quality demands
While the success of rapid NPIs is highly dependent on data availability and consistency, once production begins the watchword for cosmetics manufacturers is product consistency. Quality events and escapes are damaging in terms of both the cost of corrective measures and the impact on brand reputation. During Q1 2019 alone, 28 cosmetics products were recalled in the EU and 15 in the US. A company’s customer base may be irreversibly diminished by even a single product recall.
As they assure consistently high quality, manufacturers must also manage the effects of common production variables like raw material makeup (especially natural materials) or seasonal changes in ambient conditions (e.g. humidity). Large multi-national cosmetics companies face additional variability when manufacturing is distributed over different sites around the world. Even if each individual product formula is relatively simple, the level of complexity quickly grows when one considers the multiple recipes each formula may require to account for different raw material profiles, equipment operational profiles, and climate conditions at varying plant locations.
To meet these demands, product quality data needs to be correct, secure and available at any time – to both the R&D lab and the quality control (QC) lab responsible for overall product conformity and quality. The laboratory information management system (LIMS) component of FPD allows manufacturers to close the quality loop from inbound to outbound. By closing the quality loop in this way, a company can be sure about the quality set in the market and assure customers about the value the product is bringing.
5. Cost pressures
A recent study reports that 74% of consumers have become more price sensitive. While manufacturing resources such as materials, people, equipment and facilities are increasingly costly, cosmetics consumers do not expect prices to be increasing. This means that manufacturers must control and reduce their innovation costs. The flexible and integrated product development process afforded by an FPD solution helps meet this need.
With a formulated product design solution, R&D departments can operate in a structured and efficient way as they move from idea to product. They can also avoid multiple expensive production trials through a digital twin simulation of new product developments first. Simulation capabilities now available in FPD solutions can anticipate problems before making operational decisions. Running various scenarios in the digital realm, using a digital twin, is vastly less expensive than weighing options in actual production.
Siemens Formulated Product Design (FPD)
FPD platform provides a structured solution to formula and recipe development as well as trial and experiment management. With its integrated platform, FPD allows for fast-paced value-added innovation by creating a digital thread from idea generation to startup and production. Formulated product design software allows companies in the cosmetics industry to capitalize on their R&D potential, develop new products more efficiently and bring these products to market faster.
The formulated product design (FPD) solution from Siemens Digital Industries Software is helping cosmetics manufacturers respond effectively to emerging market trends and maintain a competitive edge through flexible, efficient and comprehensive formulated product data management. This FPD platform has proven effective both in mid-size and in large multinational companies, meeting customer requirements and expectations. Part of the Opcenter portfolio, the FPD solution provides an integrated set of functional modules ranging from electronic notebook to laboratory management over formula development and specification management. These capabilities weave into the digital thread from idea to shelf, speeding up the customer-focused innovation cycle and assuring product quality. Find out more