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My job is to glue together the fancy front end that our members see, with the reality of deliveries, warehouses, picking, packing, importing, customs clearance and inventory behind-the-scenes; while simultaneously getting the PIEFAM their deluxe sulphate-free shampoos, Korean precision eye pencils and Italian luxury body scrubs seamlessly.
Luisa is my Supply Chain Assistant and I thank the universe for her every day. Together, we support our wider Ops group - NPD, Sourcing, Packaging, Demand Planning and Finance - and keep everybody at PIE HQ updated when we have changes, delays, AWOL moisturizer jars and hijacked Superstrobing Drops delivery trucks.
The day to day is like air traffic control, but I love the pace and the challenge of being international (we source from the top third-party labs in the UK, US, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Germany and France), so I need a platinum membership to Duolingo. I have to ensure that the packaging we spec gets to the labs on time for filling, then I negotiate shipping – always keeping our carbon footprint in mind – which can involve trucks, ships and airplanes. We have over 200 new products this year alone, so I’ll leave it to your imagination to empathise and guess what it’s like!
Communication is everything, especially with so many moving parts. Think of a bottle of our SUPERDROPS High Intensity Hydration: the ingredients may come from 10 different suppliers, the bottle from one, the dropper, wiper, carton and carton liner all from others. Ingredients sometimes have unforeseen global shortages - causing delays and products to be out of stock. Last year, the European heatwave meant that our Luxe Shine FUTURELIPSTICKS suddenly required refrigerated trucks for delivery. Of course, as transport is part of the members’ price you pay, we’re always trying to balance on-time delivery with any associated upcharges. After all, we’re a buyers’ club, with a goal to always deliver deluxe beauty at an amazing bargain!
New products can be 18 months - 2 years in development (start to finish), average reorders take about 6 months, and delivery to both warehouses can be 7 weeks (from Japan or Korea to the USA is a long time on the water). It’s not like you can snap your fingers and just get 10,000 glass jars created, silkscreened and delivered on a sterile palette to a lab in another country. So when something suddenly starts selling like hotcakes, all your forecasts/future sourcing plans can go out the window.
BEAUTY PIE is the first ever beauty brand to be totally transparent about pricing, and the first to show people how much luxury beauty products actually cost to manufacture (about 1/10th of the eventual retail price, which shocks a lot of people). Invoices from our suppliers are input directly into our systems, so that when we get a better price, our members get a better price, whether that’s on a finished product, shipping, or eventual warehouse-to-member delivery. It’s why everybody benefits when we get bigger!
The people I work with - all of whom are on an absolute MISSION to give our customers what they deserve, which is a BIGGER PIECE OF THE BEAUTY PIE. We’re so grateful every day to be able to inspire people to demand more out of life, starting with something as simple as a great face cream!
SUPER HEALTHY SKIN Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream. Easy – it does what it says on the jar. Incredible results and a one-stop skincare shop for us time-starved types.