After a disruptive past year for the beauty industry’s supply chain, a new industry alliance is pooling resources for manufacturing, packaging and retail entry.
RPG, the retail design firm, has joined forces with prestige beauty manufacturer Mana Products and packaging firm Meiyume. Together they are forming the Vertical Beauty Alliance, a partnership that will provide end-to-end solutions for beauty brands. “The lines between competition and collaboration are really very thin and if one chooses collaboration, everyone benefits, in particular, our clients,” said Mortimer Singer, managing partner at Traub Capital, which acquired Mana Products last year for an undisclosed sum.
Although the alliance is new, the companies have a long history of working together. Formalizing their working together made the most sense, said Bruce E. Teitelbaum, chief executive officer of RPG. “It’s just a fluid process that allows our clients to develop brands and bring them to market with speed in a robust fashion, without jumping around to multiple disciplines with many different companies, which becomes very complicated,” he said.
One of the alliance’s advantages is geographic. “In terms of global dexterity and being able to provide our customers with that dexterity, it’s something that I find so important,” Singer said. RPG and Mana Products are based in the U.S. while Meiyume is based in Hong Kong.
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In the same vein, the coronavirus pandemic highlighted concerns around supply chain distribution, underscoring the need to streamline, said Robert Jaegly, CEO of Mana Products. “If you want to work on a global scale, we saw with the pandemic that different regions have been affected at different times. So Italy was an example of being early into the disruption, and China bounced back faster,” he said. “If you have the leverage to shift globally, you can shift per that demand.”
The combined resources of the three companies include six manufacturing plants spread across three continents, nine research and development labs and 10,000 formulas at the alliance’s disposal.
Teitelbaum, who helped conceptualize the partnership, said the rapid evolution of the market also contributed to their decision. “We’re seeing a tremendous amount of innovation come into the marketplace. Especially through the pandemic, people have ideas for new products and brands, and there’s going to be a lot launching in the next 12 months,” he said. “We’ve created this global supply chain in order to visualize, manufacture, package and distribute [those].”
The other executives were in agreement. “Just as much as social media evolves, an economy evolves. If we leverage our collective strengths, the faster we can bring a concept to market,” said Gerard Raymond, president of Meiyume.
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