Bottle Options and Supply Chain Management
I have been meticulous in making sure our products are exactly what I was looking for - based on market need and client feedback. I have reformulated three times in the past two years - and each time my cosmetic chemist has been great about 'fixing it'. But until this week I could not get beyond the bottles. They looked like everyone else's, were so average, and I hated them. It was my dirty little secret that I was afraid to tell anyone. They were ok ... but who wants ok - shouldn't we have something great?
Read more: An Inside Look at Manufacturing
The Original Bottle
I kept telling myself it's what's on the inside that counts. And I need to launch the product, get more feedback, and then in the next production cycle I would change the bottles. Well, the truth? I was terrified of further complicating the business cycle by adding yet another spoke in the wheel of supply chain management.
Like many, the first time I was introduced to this concept was as a derivation of Porter's 5 forces. Michael Porter's greatest strength is his ability to put economics in plain english - and I have never forgotten it. With every input to the supply chain you add further business risk and I just didn't want to do this by outsourcing bottles. It was better to stick to a turnkey production process...or was it.
Read more: How a Formula becomes a Product
Last week we attended the HBA Beauty Expo - the biggest beauty event of the year. I went with the intention of just looking. But that's like going to a Choo Sample Sale and think you're just going to look... but go with me on this - that's what I told myself. It was an education process (read crash course) in bottle composition that was invaluable. There I learned it isn't just about how the bottles looked but their structure.
1) Airless vs. Dip Tube: Airless means no more losing 20% at the bottom of the bottle and scraping the sides (I hate that). Airless creates a vaccum and you get 95%+ of the product. We will have airless.
2) Metal vs. Metalized: Metalized is the result when metal is processed on top of plastic - (think of it as painting metal particles on the cap and heating it) the problem is it could flake off. We will not metalize but rather have metal sleeves on our actuators and pump bodies.
3) Hot Stamping vs. Silkscreen - hot stamping creates an impression via a customized plate that is heated and at high temperatures ink is passed between the plate and the object. Silkscreening is the process where ink is forced through a screen (think of a stencil) which results in a raised look. We will use a combination of both hot stamping and silkscreen.
The New Bottle
4) Dual Structure: literally a bottle within a bottle which looks beautiful and feels more substantive. Our inner bottle will be periwinkle with the outer being clear.
We will be able to differentiate even further as there is almost no other skincare line which uses periwinkle as it's brand color. And think how well this has worked for the "Pink and Green Mascara" ....google those exact words and you will find Maybelline Great Lash.
Here is a picture of the component only without the logo etc:
You can't even compare this to our original bottle. We hope that it will outshine our competitors not only in looks but in how it is engineered and luxurious feel.
Read more: It isn’t Easy Being Green. Or, is it?
It was absolutely necessary that we add another step in the manufacturing process. And to our amazement, we are not only getting a higher quality bottle but we are also reducing our production time from 8-10 weeks to 4 weeks. A win win all around.
Next step is a compatibility study which will take 4 weeks and will test to make sure there is no chemical reaction between the product and the component.