As many cosmetics companies have learned the hard way, consistently producing a high-quality product is no easy feat. Not to mention all of the activities involved in ensuring each product is compliant with various levels of regulations before entering each unique market. Combine that with the fact that almost every day there are new regulations being introduced and old ones are being modified.
Case in point: China.
The Second Biggest Global Market Tightens Up Regulations
Just this year, China announced the establishment of the State Administration for Market Regulatory (SAMR), which covers, food, drugs and – you guessed it - cosmetics.As the world’s second largest cosmetics market, the impact of tighter safety monitoring and new cosmetics classifications is still rippling through companies currently in or trying to get into the Chinese market.
And remember, that is just one regulation in one country to understand and comply with. Most global cosmetics companies also adhere to the 2013 EU Cosmetic Directive and its strict cosmetovigilance requirements, as well as FDA regulations, other unique country and local level directives, chemical substance registration requirements, and more.
“Compliance is challenging at all stages, from the development stage to being in-market,” Claire Bing, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Tarte Cosmetics told Cosmetics Compliance in 2017. “It’s part of the DNA of this industry. You can’t have a product on-market without many stages of compliance.”
Ensuring regulatory compliance is a required, time-consuming step in the product journey and for global brands, different regulatory requirements usually mean dozens of product, packaging, and claim variations.
These can be challenging to keep organized, especially when pressured to quickly launch a product in multiple markets. As Bing reflected, “There’s no true global harmonization. You’ll never have that one box.”
All these regulatory complexities end up hindering the various teams across the company as they attempt to develop and release more products faster and more efficiently.
Cosmetics Companies Desperate for More Agility
Global cosmetics brands are feeling the pressure to accelerate time to market. With product development and launch processes often taking anywhere from eighteen months to three years, established global brands are constantly playing catch-up. And because the cosmetics industry is built on trends, playing catch-up really isn’t an option… once a new product finally does get through all the regulatory obstacles, it’s hard to even call it ‘new’.
Accelerating time to marketing is impossible when hampered by slow and labored product journeys. Across the organization it can take hundreds of processes, interactions, and pieces of content to get just one new product onto the shelf.
All major milestones in the product journey, from development to testing to sourcing to packaging and more, involve collaboration between many parties across the major functional areas of regulatory, quality and marketing. Looking at the product journey from just one perspective, marketing for example, and the impediments to agility are clearly rampant.
Marketing often works with an outside agency to develop a suite of product assets including packaging and label design, advertisements, and rich media. They also must work with their colleagues in R&D, regulatory affairs, legal, and manufacturing on packaging requirements and claims. Only then is marketing ready to distribute the assets to regional teams for local adaptation and use.
Product Journeys in Cosmetics Companies are Too Slow – But There is a Solution
The product journey is complex even with the best tools, but most cosmetics companies compound this complexity even more, by continuing to manage these processes and content on paper or through emails, spreadsheets, and shared drives.
This results in wasted time and resources from version control issues and missed opportunities for content use (and reuse), as well as increased compliance risks. Add in the high margin for error, and the morale-lowering nature of tiring, burdensome, complex administrative work, endless ‘checks and balances’, and worrisome lack of confidence that everything was done properly all the way through.
It all adds up to a demoralizing lack of agility.
So what’s the solution? How can cosmetics companies mired in old processes, limited technologies and slow-moving product journeys possibly hope to accelerate time to market while also remaining compliant with ever changing regulations?
That’s what our upcoming webinar is all about. Your Compliance Strategy is Overdue for a Makeover will show you how streamlining and automating compliance not only protects your brand, but injects desperately-needed agility throughout the product journey for today’s cosmetics manufacturers.
As part of the webinar, you’ll see examples of the unified cloud-based software technology that makes this all possible – eliminating the need for emails, spreadsheets, siloed data and providing a single unified view of every step of the product journey from regulatory to quality to marketing.
Don’t miss it! Register for Your Compliance Strategy is Overdue for a Makeover now.
Happi “China’s Simplified Approach To Cosmetic Regulations” August 2018