The Body Shop invests in stronger foundations with suppliers as the brand expands
The cosmetic company, having experienced a global growth of 4.9 per cent in 2012, recently held the third edition of its suppliers and innovation day whereby it invited 55 suppliers who work with them on a collaborative or strategic basis from the EMEA, APAC and AME regions.
In an exclusive interview with Jerome Courtaigne, the director of international sourcing told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that the event was established to inspire and better integrate suppliers to the brand whilst also giving an update on strategy and performance and specifying goals for the year ahead.
“Our suppliers have a major role either in the re-launch of the brand, or the deployment of our new shop. They are integrated at the very early stage of these projects. Their contribution is tangible on every pillar of their performance,” he explains.
Awarding expertise and focus in innovation
According to Courtaigne, the event is just as imperative to The Body Shop as it may be to suppliers as the company is eager to know how it can perform better and what the next steps to take with the brand may be.
Two external speakers were recruited for the ‘suppliers day’ in the form of Gordon Crichton, director of the Institute of Purchasing Management and BEM Bordeaux Business School and Lego group purchasing director, Michael McNulty in an effort to challenge the brand as well as the suppliers to work more efficiently and think outside of the box.
Throughout the day suppliers received awards, were offered a question and answer session with The Body Shop and a opinion survey to assess the strategy alignment and operational activities but to identify strengths or improvement needed.
"The awards for the suppliers are to celebrate their tangible performance and to recognise their significant contribution to the business."
The following day was dedicated to ‘innovation’ which featured six selected suppliers who presented their latest innovations and creative products of the brand, as well their needs and capabilities.
Bringing the brand back to its heritage as it expands
As aforementioned, the brand was re-launched a year ago, to which Courtaigne explains was an effort to better demonstrate "who we are as a global brand, as we were previously seen as more UK based."
That re-launch featured new packaging across the range, new store designs worldwide and more advice and unique products for consumers.
The director of international sourcing also notes sustainability as being one of the brand’s five main values; "with us, being sustainable is not a corporate statement but is a brand goal and is built into everything in terms of our values from the ingredients we source to the packaging and by the way we eco-design our stores."
In this area, Courtaigne feels that the brand has an advantage on other companies as "it has always been a goal for us, we previously lacked the communication but we have worked on providing better explanations and storytelling on the matter."