LimeLife is a joint owned brand. L’Occitane is invested in both the US business and the brand’s international business, which for now centers in Europe. But there are plans for expansion into Asia.
As the brand’s sales territory and revenue has grown, so too has LimeLife’s manufacturing grown in volume and complexity. “At that point we were dealing with 10 to 12 manufacturing facilities that we outsource to. It was a real mess,” Bob Bastedo, executive director of procurement and purchasing at LimeLife by Alcone, says in a case study that the company’s new tech provider, MRPeasy, shared with Cosmetics Design.
To better access, manage, and share the data from LimeLife’s manufacturers, Bastedo wanted to find a tech solution that could also be implemented fairly quickly and allow for cloud-based data storage (which should facilitate real-time access to data from various continents—an important advantage as the company will likely add production and warehousing in Europe and South America in the months and years ahead).
“MRPeasy has taken a lot of the pressure off of fast tracking,” Bastedo says in the case study. “I believe our supply chain has seen a significant improvement….[and] I feel more confident about being able to manage that next big [sales] spike.”
Explaining his decision to work with MRPeasy rather than another enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing resource planning (MRP) system, Bastedo says, “it’s the only MRP with the functionality that we need that is also cloud-based. We have introduced LimeLife in France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, and are going to be selling in Japan soon as well. If and when we start to manufacture locally in those markets, MRPeasy is a proven tool that can support that.”
Bastedo acknowledges that the LimeLife team did shop around: “When we took this on, management was evaluating other ERP solutions as well. Instead, the MRPeasy system really works for us. With its inexpensive licensing model, MRPeasy is a no-brainer for us. While it may be difficult to measure the exact ROI…MRPeasy has led to a significant cost savings and created the means to meet exponential growing demand.”
While Alcone and L’Occitane have taken the LimeLife business international, it’s still a comparably small business next to major multinational beauty makers. And this is just the sort of business that MRPeasy is positioned to partner with. The computer software company got its start in 2014 and works with small manufacturers (generally with 200 employee or fewer) in a wide array of industries, including automotive, biotechnology, food and agribusiness, packaging, textiles, retail, and of course health and beauty.
And according to the case study of the LimeLife by Alcone brand MRPeasy describes their solution as, “a simple, yet powerful, self-service manufacturing resource planning system, allowing for seamless management of production, stock, customers, purchases, finances and workflow. The software ensures seamless communication between sales, production, warehouse, procurement, administration and finance, including integration with online accounting systems.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.