Chief Digital, Data & Technology Officer, Belcorp
Belcorp is a company with over 50 years of experience in the world of beauty, guided by the purpose of promoting beauty for personal fulfillment. It includes brands ésika, L´BEL and Cyzone, that reach millions of consumers with makeup products, fragrances, facial treatments, body treatments, personal care products, fashion, and accessories. In recent years, Belcorp has been developing digital solutions to transform Direct to consumer and provide personalized experiences across all its channels.
The journey of last 3 years has been very challenging due several external factors (pandemic, consumer behavior changes, supply chain disruption, Ukraine war, Inflation) creating uncertainty across entire business value chain. It has become critical for us to be more agile/flexible in the development of new product launches while ensuring higher levels of efficiency, safety, and quality of our products.
The three main objectives of this initiative are: (i) improve our product development time-to-market by 20%, (ii) increase productivity of our laboratory areas by 60%, (iii) reduce consumer risk assessment timelines by 80% while ensuring the safety of our products.
To improve faster time-to-market and increased productivity in our product development process, we optimized the duration of the experiments and tests in our R&D laboratories, as they had a significant impact in the iteration process of designing and launching a new product.
The “AI Innovation Labs” had two main phases. first phase we laid the foundations of creating the data architecture which allowed us to manage the data in a much more structured and streamlined way. The second phase consisted of building algorithms and models capable of predicting and simulating complex biological conditions, accelerating discoveries, reducing risks, and optimizing the cost / benefit ratio of technological developments using AI solutions with the support of expert data and bio scientists. These algorithms were built on top of an advanced analytics self-service platform, which helped us to make more agile our data modeling, training, and predictive processes.
We accomplished the three main objectives of the project as outlined in the executive summary. Along with that, we were able to generate a savings close to US$500k in 2022, with a ROI of 432% and a payback period of 7 months.
Some of the detailed business benefits are:
- Digital Labs - SFP Simulator: 40% reduction in the number of formulas for design iterations, leading to a 75% reduction in the cost of tests, and increased efficiency of the evaluator team by 30%
- Digital Labs - External Portal: Reduction in 128 extra hours/months of loading results in Belcorp´s database.
- Safety & Toxicology - Preservative efficacy prediction: 66% reduction in the number of formulas for the design iterations, and 54% reduction in time to obtain results for the design stag
- OMICS Science - Transcriptomic Prediction: 60% reduction of transcriptomics test cost, and 80% increase of researcher efficiency
- Digital Color Labs - Simulator for manufacturing lipsticks and Pigments: Increased efficiency of the evaluator color team by 400% in the design process, 40% in decrease in the times of the quality consultations to chemical ID due to batches of lipsticks out of specification by color
- APP + Machine Fragrance Refill: Fragrance refill internal pilot shows a potential uplift of sales average ticket by 20%.
- Transversal impact on the reduction of duration of all formula design projects between 30% to 40%
The Key metrics improvements we have seen from quantitative perspectives are as follows:
- 30% reduction in Laboratory tests
- 60% reduction in Pilot Formulations
- 20% increase in Laboratory Teams efficiency
- 30% increase in Formulation efficiencies
Belcorp’s “AI Innovation Labs” is a platform developed in-house which uses state-of-the-art platform and use cases are based on cutting-edge technologies such as neural networks, computer vision, NLP, fuzzy logic, which enable the prediction and simulation of our product development tests, the modelling of the interaction of products ingredients with the skin of the body and face, and the prediction of potential safety issues in our products.
- Leverages large amount of unstructured data from R&D department processes such as laboratory tests, product formulas and ingredients, and images coming from skin and scalp properties diagnostics etc.
- Uses AI algorithms to predict results from laboratory tests to reduce time and costs of their processes and enable new capabilities with image recognition.
- Leverages world-class self-service advanced analytics platform and custom webapps to help these solutions for R&D professionals in a business-friendly manner.
- Enables R&D laboratory analysts with new low-code data and AI capabilities to take better and faster decisions during product innovation processes.
state of the art technologies can be harnessed to generate a transformation while accomplishing business priorities under complex external scenarios. This transformation goes beyond improving the time-to-market of product launches and processes in creating a cultural change where we were able to democratize AI across the R&D department. This has created a virtuous cycle where other departments are inspired and are on the journey of leveraging AI for growth and productivity.
Belcorp is a company with over 50 years of experience in the world of beauty, guided by the purpose of promoting beauty for personal fulfillment. It includes brands ésika, L´BEL and Cyzone, that reach millions of consumers with makeup products, fragrances, facial treatments, body treatments, personal care products, fashion, and accessories.