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The “Core Four” Software Solutions: The Future of Cosmetics Manufacturing Operations


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The “Core Four” Software Solutions: The Future of Cosmetics Manufacturing Operations

25 Oct 2023

Aptean Staff Writer
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The global cosmetics market is predicted to reach $463.5 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% from 2021 to 2027. As the cosmetics industry heads toward this promising future, many manufacturers are looking now for ways to improve their operations to capitalize on these opportunities—from streamlining new product development (NPD) processes to proactively optimizing asset performance and increasing production efficiency.

This growth is attracting many new players with innovative products and software solutions to the cosmetics market—and to remain competitive, you must adapt to the fresh standards being set in manufacturing.

That’s where digital transformation comes in. To capture the growing new demographics that demand organic and cruelty-free products, diverse color palettes and sustainable manufacturing trends, while also efficiently managing operational costs, you’ll need the right digital tools in your corner.

In this blog, we describe the concept of the "core four” software solutions for cosmetics manufacturing. These are the industry-specific, digital software platforms that are imperative for modern process manufacturing operations: enterprise resource planning (ERP), product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise asset management (EAM) and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Let's delve into how these four solutions complement each other to create a seamless manufacturing and production ecosystem—helping you drive profitability in the new cosmetics landscape.

Streamline Manufacturing Operations With Cosmetics ERP

Cosmetics ERP software helps companies automate and manage business processes for optimal performance. Your cosmetics manufacturing business has unique complexities, and an industry-specific ERP solution will have features tailored to your needs—standardizing and streamlining all the aforementioned business-related processes, including finance, quality, procurement, manufacturing, inventory and sales. The platform will also provide real-time data visibility and serve as a “single source of truth” for your operational performance.

Let’s look at some notable benefits of deploying an ERP for cosmetics to your operations.

Protect Your Brand Image With Enhanced Quality Control

A single quality issue can spread like wildfire and damage your credibility. Worse, it can drive away new, potential and even your most loyal customers. How can you best avoid this nightmare scenario? By implementing an ERP solution that optimizes your quality assurance processes. ERP software can alert your workforce when quality is compromised during production and help them take corrective actions. Plus, you can also manage the quality of your raw materials, especially if they are organic and have a limited shelf life, and a digital safety data sheet (SDS) aligns your materials with compliance and safety procedures.

Moreover, purpose-built cosmetics ERP solutions can track your materials and finished goods throughout your supply chain with bidirectional traceability. This way, you can quickly identify and isolate any contaminated products before they reach your customers—ensuring your product quality meets the highest standards and your brand image remains intact.

Balance Supply and Demand With Forecasting and Production Planning Tools

You can source, utilize and manage your supply chain and inventory to ensure proper handling and storage protocol with inbuilt inventory management capabilities. ERP software can help you create data-driven decisions while improving your response time to consumer demands and even anticipate increases in order volume during seasonal spikes.

Keep agile with production monitoring that reports status and unforeseen disruption while providing historical sales data and recurring trends to report reliable projections without the risk of overstocking.

Create Seamless Order Processing and Fulfillment Operations With Shop Floor Logistics Features

In the cosmetic industry, customers expect products that suit their unique needs and preferences. That’s why a generic solution won’t cut it in this competitive market—you need specialized ERP software that can handle the complexity and diversity of your production processes. With shop floor logistics features, you can manage your operations across multiple locations and optimize order fulfillment. You can also set up custom alerts and notifications to keep track of your business performance and customer satisfaction.

Accelerate Time-to-Market and Product Innovation With PLM Software

PLM software for cosmetics manufacturers manages all the information and processes at every step of a product's lifecycle. Innovation will keep you in the game for a very long time as every business has to further innovate and improve its products while creating new variants to satisfy the ever-changing consumer needs and demands. This novel approach is not only for startups or new enterprises.

With a PLM system you can manage related data and processes throughout the stages of your new cosmetic product development initiatives and unify all your NPD processes from conceptualization, design and time to market plans.

Here is just a taste of the benefits you can leverage upon implementing a PLM.

Collaborative Management of Product Formulations and Prototypes

PLM enables effective and efficient team collaboration among product developers, engineers, designers and other stakeholders by providing a centralized and consistent repository of product data and information throughout the NPD process to fuel innovation and streamline development. When using PLM software, teams can access, share, and update product formulations and prototypes in real time, ensuring that everyone is working on the same version of the product.

Faster Time-To-Market for New Products Through Efficient Processes

PLM software can help speed up your time-to-market schedules with features such as ingredient database, formulation templates, allergen screening (for proper disclosures), costing module, version control (for tracking major iterations during the NPD process) as well as integration and scalability to other business systems.

Dynamic Product Data Integrity and Traceability

Data governance ensures integrity and traceability throughout your NPD process. PLM software provides reliable and secure data management capabilities for encryption, backup, recovery, authentication, authorization, audits and integration. The platform allows you to evaluate the vendor's reputation, support and compliance with industry standards and best practices.

Adherent to the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA)

In 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA), bringing significant updates to cosmetics regulation. Think of it as a makeover for the rules that govern cosmetics in the market. The new requirements focus on product safety and accountability, including mandatory reporting of adverse events within 15 days for incidents resulting in death, infection, disfigurement or severe health effects. Adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) is mandatory and cosmetics facilities and products must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with facility renewal every two years.

  • By December 29, 2023, all relevant businesses must register their facilities and submit product listings.

  • By December 29, 2024, they must disclose known allergens in their products and provide contact information.

  • Finally, by December 29, 2025, all applicable businesses must demonstrate adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

PLM ensures effective change control and workflow management by providing a centralized platform for product-related data, automating approval processes and enforcing procedural steps. The system keeps track of different versions to ensure the accuracy of product designs and documents, which is important for meeting MoCRA standards.


The global cosmetics market is predicted to reach $463.5 billion by 2027.

Optimized Equipment Efficiency With EAM Software

A solid preventative maintenance strategy for your capital assets will set you up for successful production runs. Enter EAM. This system aims to improve asset performance and expand equipment lifespan by streamlining maintenance processes.

Keeping your equipment in top condition with the help EAM software can increase operational efficiency, product quality consistency, consumer product safety and cost savings on maintenance repairs. Plus, you can eliminate unplanned downtime and adhere to regulatory compliance.

Here are some advantages and capabilities of EAM software solutions.

Automated Maintenance Scheduling and Asset Tracking

EAM provides versatility to enhance your maintenance processes where you can leverage accurate data analysis and reporting for total visibility of operational execution. With that, you can track employee and contractor data to give the correct task to your staff, reducing the aforementioned unplanned downtime thereby increasing productivity.

EAM software keeps things moving by automatically sending email reminders when the review or approval of a manager or supervisor is required. In addition, real-time maintenance work requests can be transmitted via mobile devices—ensuring smooth operations, no matter the location of your workforce.

Proactive and Strategic Preventive Maintenance to Minimize Downtime

Effective asset management requires preventive maintenance (PM) plans. A strategic PM is your first defense against unexpected performance interruptions and equipment failures, coming from inspection duties identifying approaching failures and worn component replacements.

Improved Compliance With Equipment Safety and Regulatory Maintenance

With the right EAM software, you can integrate process safety into maintenance duties and link them to standardized practices, analyses, inspections and other records for easy data access. The platform can manage safety-related tasks, hazardous material management, resource readiness and incident monitoring with documentation—generating accurate reports of each equipment assessment for auditors and technicians.

Maximize Asset Performance With OEE

Cosmetics manufacturers use OEE software to recalibrate their production methods and promote continuous improvement in their operations. OEE solutions also provide a clear path to maximize your capital equipment performance.

Let’s dive into to just some of the noteworthy benefits you can unlock with an OEE solution.

Smart Real-Time Monitoring of Equipment Performance

Shop floor managers and technicians oversee your manufacturing operations and examine, detect and fix any flaws daily. OEE software enables them to monitor your capital assets in real-time and delivers accurate performance reports on production processes and product quality.

Systematic Identification and Resolution for Production Bottlenecks and Inefficiencies

Production downtime and equipment problems are inevitable in any manufacturing operation—even the best-in-class facilities experience uncontrollable setbacks. An OEE system lets you have full visibility of your production lines during run times. Machine operators and plant managers can quickly identify issues in overall operation, quality control and resource allocation for continuous improvements.

Increased Overall Productivity with Data-Driven Insights

OEE software can strategically minimize the significant asset-based losses in cosmetics manufacturing: planned stops, production defects, startup wastage and unplanned repairs. Moreover, the software gives accurate data on whether your product quality meets regulatory and consumer standards, allowing you to make data-driven corrective adjustments to improve your manufacturing operations. Calculating and then tracking your OEE score can enhance your overall productivity, optimize your plan attainment and promote high profitability to your entire operations.

The Future of Cosmetics Manufacturing: Industry-Specific Software Solutions

The future of cosmetics manufacturing integrates the latest technologies at every stage of production, with each manufacturing challenge met with an ideal solution. Deploying the “core four” manufacturing software solutions—ERP, EAM, OEE and PLM—can future-proof your operations and create a holistic perspective of your data within an integrated software ecosystem.

Indeed, this full suite of industry-specific software solutions can help cosmetics manufacturers like you maximize your potential—ultimately optimizing processes while reducing maintenance costs, improving production quality control, promoting product innovation and increasing profitability.

Discover more about our cosmetics manufacturing solutions or contact us today to get started on your digital transformation journey.

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