In 1992, National Brands, an AVI subsidiary, purchased the Yardley business from the UK parent company and set about developing the business into a multi-million rand entity. In 2003, the result of this growth was the formation of a separate AVI subsidiary and the birth of Indigo Cosmetics.
This marketing driven company, which focuses on innovation and brand development, purchased the Yardley and Lenthéric trademarks, and also acquired licence and manufacturing agreements for world-renowned brands such as Coty, Adidas, Nailene, Monteil and Rimmel. Other brands in these licences include celebrity fragrances such as David Beckham, Antonio Banderas, Celine Dion, Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss.
It’s the innovation and development of these brands that gave rise to Indigo Cosmetics launching its annual Supplier of the Year Awards.
During her opening address at the awards dinner, Susan O’Keeffe, Indigo Cosmetics’ MD, maintained that this celebration was to show the company’s gratitude to its suppliers. ‘Our suppliers are committed to excellence and work hard to support our innovations, maintain quality standards and are willing to share their knowledge with us,’ she remarked enthusiastically.
Indigo Cosmetics does nothing by half measures and its standards for excellence, innovation and quality are tough. Suppliers are measured, on a monthly basis, on delivery conformance and quality. Nothing less than 100% is the target for quality, while delivery conformance is hot on its heels at 95%.
‘Delivery conformance is based on on-time delivery which is calculated as a negative if the supplier delivers more than five days early or late. On the other hand delivery quantity is considered negatively where the quantity delivered is less than 95% or more than 105% of the original order,’ explained Indigo Cosmetics’ inbound logistics manager, Carmen Marais.
According to Carmen, suppliers are also ranked in terms of their performance and are kept in the loop as to their status in this regard. ‘The delivery conformance scores are tallied to create one total conformance score. From this score we then identify our best supplier, as well as a runner up and second runner up for both raw material and components,’ Carmen explained.
Show your colours
Competition is fierce and, Carmen comments, suppliers take their conformance performance very seriously, continuously striving to be the best.
Upon arrival at this glitzy, glamorous masked dinner the anticipation of the awards was tangible as no less than 106 suppliers and guests gathered in the sumptuous setting of the One&Only Hotel to discover to whom Indigo Cosmetics would present these prestigious awards.
In the raw material category it was Givaudan that walked away with top honours as Supplier of the Year. The company scored the highest total conformance by notching up a rating of 99,1%.
Caption: Walking off with top honour in the Raw Materials category was Givaudan. Lydia van Eeden and Fracisca Rabie from Givaudan are congratulated by Indigo’s Susan O’Keeffe and Carmen Marais
According to Carmen, Givaudan distinguishes itself as a leading fragrance supplier that understands Indigo’s business strategy while assessing the South African fragrance market to keep abreast with international fragrance launches. ‘Givaudan has a remarkable ability to create fragrances that complement the consumer and form lasting loyalty to the fragrance and brand. We are proud to be associated with this innovative company,’ Carmen enthuses.
The prize for first runner up in the raw material category went, with much applause, to Arch Personal Care, achieving a total conformance score of 98,3%.
Caption: Shanie Vermeulen (centre), from Arch Personal Care, receives her award for first runner up in the Raw Materials category from Indigo Cosmetics’ Susan O’Keeffe and Carmen Marais.
‘This company’s strengths include creativity, specialisation and reliability in personal care,’ Carmen noted. ‘Arch Personal Care’s outstanding core competence is its comprehensive knowledge of the personal care market, as well as its ability to design and create raw materials as active ingredients specifically for skin and hair care requirements,’ she emphasised.
A further accolade for Arch Personal Care was receiving Nielsen’s Product of the Year Award in the Tissue Oil category for Yardley’s Skin Hydro Tissue Oil Spray recently launched by Indigo Cosmetics.
‘We’re extremely proud to work with Arch Personal Care and consider them an exceptional supplier,’ Carmen remarked.
Second runner up in the raw material category was Savannah with a solid 98,2% total conformance rating.
In Carmen’s view, Savannah differentiates itself by providing a completely diverse package. The company sources raw materials and offers technology in advanced raw materials, excellent technical service and fully supports the formulation of personal care and cosmetics products. ‘Savannah provides a wide range of top quality products with higher value-added product applications,’ she explained. ‘The company creates value for Indigo Cosmetics by being a one-stop raw material supplier, while their commitment and service is among the best in the industry,’ she insisted.
Caption: Second runner up in the Raw Materials category was Savannah. Pictured here are Susan O’Keeffe (Indigo Cosmetics), with Michelle Nielsen and Angé Baatjies (Savannah) and Carmen Marais (Indigo Cosmetics).
In the category of componentry, Printafoil walked off with top honours as Supplier of the Year. Printafoil supplies the cartons for the company’s fragrance lines. ‘Their quality is superb and is highly regarded by Indigo Cosmetics,’ Carmen comments, going on to explain that Printafoil has forged a strong relationship with Indigo and has taken the time to understand the business. ‘Printafoil’s technical ability, recommendations and support is always available to us and they’re able to turn around urgent requests in record time,’ she noted. Printafoil’s total conformance score was tallied at 96,5%.
Caption: Receiving Supplier of the Year Award in the Componentry category from Indigo Cosmetics’ Susan O’Keeffe and Carmen Marais (right), are Ron and Brent Sherman of Printafoil.
First runner up in the componentry category was Plastop (an Astrapak group company) for achieving a total conformance score of 92%. Plastop supplies the fragrance roll-on component, as well as the ‘new’ Adidas roll-on component and, in Carmen’s opinion, their commitment is admirable and technical and strategic input invaluable. ‘Plastop adds value to our business through honesty and transparency and is a great company to work with,’ she added.
Caption: First runner up in the Componentry category was Plastop (Astrapak). Seen here are Melissa Mulholland (Indigo Cosmetics), Raymond Moussa (Plastop), Susan O’Keeffe (Indigo Cosmetics), Brent Grant (Plastop) and Carmen Marais (Indigo Cosmetics).
Alucon was second runner up in the componentry category for achieving a total conformance score of 90%. Alucon, a Thai-based company, supplies Indigo with most of the aluminium cans used in aerosol production. Alucon provides invaluable technical advice, suggestions on improved efficiency through can design and material and, above all, reliability (even through a state of emergency that saw all the airports shut down in Thailand). ‘We’re most appreciative to Alucon for this excellent working relationship and recognise them as a key supplier that has enabled us to maintain a 97% service level on aerosols,’ Carmen commented.
Caption: Congratulating Songchai Limsombatan (centre) from Alucon as second runner up in the Componentry category are David Head (Coty Export) and Ian Reid (Indigo Cosmetics).
Others acknowledged for hard work and dedicated service included EvoTec Plastics and Mane South Africa in the Outstanding Innovation category. For Service Excellence, accolades went to Peck Pack, Dutton Plastics Engineering, Printafoil, Takasago and Coty, while Alucon and International Flavors & Fragrances (SA) walked away with awards for Maintaining Quality Standards. Printafoil was up on stage again, this time with Givaudan South Africa, to receive their awards for Outstanding Delivery Conformance.
Partnership awards were presented to ACS Promotions, Alucon, Illovo Sugar and Protea Speciality Chemicals, while awards for Exceptional Technical Input went to Croda and Tadbik Pack (SA).
Also rewarded, as key suppliers, for Product of the Year (Yardley’s Skin Hydro Tissue Oil Spray) were Alucon, Lindal Valve and Arch Personal Care.
There is no doubt that Indigo Cosmetics is a fast moving, dynamic and innovative company backed by an energetic and equally dynamic management team who are passionate about what they do.
According to Susan O’Keeffe, 2009 saw Indigo Cosmetics achieve a strong competitive position with accelerated growth in revenues. The result of this was an 18% growth in sales and 29% growth in operating profit. ‘It was well reported in the business press how well our company performed,’ she noted, ‘but here’s the thing . . . companies don’t perform, people do!’
‘We highly prize the partnerships we have with our suppliers and appreciate the role each of them has played in our success,’ Susan concluded.
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