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The Formulator/Supplier Relationship
The Formulator's Perspective
The cosmetic formulator's goal is to develop high quality, cost effective, safe products that will appeal to consumers and be profitable in the marketplace. As formulators are dependent upon suppliers for new raw materials and extensive technical support, the way they interact with suppliers is crucial to their success.
In the past, much time and energy were focused on reducing delivery times, often creating adversarial relationships between customers and suppliers. The adversarial approach emphasized short term results rather than long term success, and competitiveness instead of a cooperative quest for excellence.
Trends in the Business Environment
In recent years, there have been gradual changes in customer-supplier relationships within the cosmetic industry that have affected formulators. These changes are also occurring in many other industries, and may be related to trends in the global business environment.
One major trend is the growing interest in Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM involves all departments within a company and its suppliers in the quality effort. Consequently, the supplier's quality control becomes an integral part of the customer's quality effort. Much cooperation is therefore required between the customer and supplier organizations.