Industrial relocation: under the pressure of “Time to Market”!

This will be one of the hot issues to be debated next September 19th from 3:30 pm to 5 pm in the Conference Room of the next MakeUp in NewYork event. Because couldn’t industrial relocation be an answer to the pressure of “Time to Market”? It is therefore no coincidence if foreign companies have started investing heavily in North America in recent months. Fresh examples abound. Some of these company managers have agreed to take part to the debates. Questions are: Who benefits from this evolution? What are the issues and challenges? An enriching opportunity to exchange and confront ideas and, after MakeUp in NewYork closes its doors, a debate that is bound to continue…. in Los Angeles.

For the last two decades at least the US cosmetic industry has more and more relied upon overseas sourcing, notably from Asia. The local industry has symmetrically shrunk, as many packaging and formula suppliers invested in operations in low cost countries rather than in the USA, or even exited the industry. An opposite trend is strongly developing nowadays. Economic and social development in once developing economies has eroded the cost benefit to source overseas and skyrocket local demand has claimed its share of the available capacity. Conversely, the USA are witnessing a strong will for re-localizing jobs and supply, which is likely to affect all industries. And there is another major reason… Go faster ! Always faster!


It is a well known fact! The cosmetics sphere is a fast-paced universe. Like in the fashion world, to which cosmetics is closely linked, trends appear, develop and then fade away, replaced by the next wave, the whole of it at an ever accelerating pace.
But it takes a lot of work to put a billion lipsticks and mascaras in the hands of fashionistas in Paris, New York, Shanghai, Seoul and Sao Paulo. And behind the elaborately worked and shiny storefront of perfumeries and polished ads in the media, – whether traditional or digital – there is actually a real and physical industry at work consisting of developers, ingredients suppliers, formulators, packaging manufacturers, converters, logisticians… supported by R&D and Innovation teams and spurred on by brand marketers, always under pressure. Because the risk is real that the genial and innovative concept devised at time t becomes outdone by others at time t + d (d for development) of the marketing of the product, and many still have the bitter taste of it.

The dream of marketers!

Hence the ultimate wish of marketers: “I want my product on store shelves the day after decision has been made”. Indeed it is still a crazy dream, but we are getting closer and closer each day, and this theme has become central to the strategies and tactics developed across the industry’s entire value chain. Yet, all the elements which could be optimized have already been optimized: manufacturing times were cut down by automating factory lines, logistic flows were also reduced by relying on short circuits, and the traditional optimization approach of Value Stream Mapping has reached its asymptote.
In parallel, the emergence of dozens of new brands has put the logic of the supply chain upside down, shifting from a push approach principle to that of a pull approach: instead of starting from a blank sheet and going through all the steps, from R & D to development, including industrialization and so on (push approach) new brand owners will start by doing their market on the well furbished shelves of full-service specialists, who already did all the work upstream (because it still as to be done by someone, and It is still impossible today to bypass compatibility and safety tests, for example, who by definition, take a lot of time); in the end the only thing they have to do is put their logo on the packs and work on their communication! This is the logic of the pull approach. Thus, the time between the decision making and the placing on the market can be very short, and can be measured in weeks instead of months / years.
One therefore understands that the value chain that Indie Brands rely on is not at all the same as the one used by Legacy Brands. Other players in the supply chain have now understood this, with more or less anticipation, and are getting organized to reposition themselves and embrace the industry’s new dynamics…

The debate on 19 September (3.30 pm to 5:00 pm)

“Products Made in the USA – How American suppliers are shinning and innovating to be at the forefront of international competitiveness”

Business overview by Gerald Martines, In. Signs

Part 1: Round table moderated by Gerald Martines with packaging manufacturers based (also) in the United States:
– Arnaud Brilland, Vice President of Sales North America at Geka GmbH
– Vincent Groccia, VP Americas of Texen

Part 2: Gerald Martines with Formulators / Full Service Providers based (also) in the United States:
– Judy Zegarelli, fondatrice et directrice créative, Cosmetic Group USA, Inc.
– David C. Chung, fondateur et CEO, Englewood Lab
– Holli Montgomery, DG Schwan Cosmetics US
– Vittoria Cicchetti, CEO of Regi

Part 3: Conclusion – Moderated by Gerald Martines and Charles-Emmanuel Gounod with the support of “neutral” key executives from the US Beauty industry, including:
– Bill Kunz, President Kunz Consulting Services
– Laurent Frayssinet, independant international expert in global sourcing