Key Milestones for Avon in Transformation of Supply Chain

Rob Lowndes

London-based Avon Products, Inc. recently announced key milestones in the transformation of its supply chain, fueling greater flexibility and connectivity throughout its supply chain and delivering marked improvement in service quality as well as satisfaction and retention levels for Avon Representatives.

Transformation efforts thus far have included leadership appointments, digital applications and operational changes. 

Leadership Appointment

Avon announced the appointment of Rob Lowndes to the newly created Sales and Operations Planning role. Lowndes, currently vice president of Global Fashion and Home, will assume the role of vice president of Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP). The role will leverage his expertise in commercial operations to drive critical improvements. He will also be responsible for matching objectives to new technologies, adopting an integrated value chain perspective in order to manage sales and more effectively order planning to improve product availability and service levels across Avon’s global markets. He will report to Avon Global President Miguel Fernandez. 

Software Utilization

Avon also announced utilization of exclusive software to provide real-time sales planning visibility for Representatives, enhancing their execution and delivery abilities:

  • Avon’s next generation technologies allow for increased adaptability to demand volatility, a dramatic reduction in delays to service delivery, greater inventory and process efficiency, strategic resource allocation and end-to-end Representative engagement.
  • Avon’s exclusive demand planning software accurately forecasts Representative and customer demand and synchronizes Avon’s ability to meet these demands by right-sizing inventory requirements across its supply chain.
  • The unique new Machine Learning Model has gone live in all three of Avon’s top 10 markets, after successful pilots in the UK, Russia and Mexico.
  • Plans are in place for further rollout to Avon’s top 15 markets by early 2019, beginning with Brazil in November, with a longer term goal of using this advanced technology to achieve a fully automated campaign planning process. 

Operational Changes

The company also noted more consistent and in-depth tracking of growing Representative satisfaction through regular pulse surveys:

  • In early April, Avon committed to speaking to up to 100 Representatives in each of its top 14 markets each day, measuring satisfaction scores across 10 fundamental service KPIs and applying the data to immediate preventative and corrective actions.
  • In just 11 weeks, Avon made 25,000 calls to its Representatives and achieved:
    • 30% reduction in damaged boxes
    • Successful launch of reinforced and compartmentalized boxes in five countries
    • Average representative satisfaction scores up by as much as 30% in some markets.

“We are making significant progress to our service supply chain, and these efforts are beginning to show results across the organization, particularly with regard to Representative satisfaction and overall operational improvements,” said Avon CEO Jan Zijderveld. “Through the application of targeted demand planning software, we are building a smarter supply chain that better understands the immediate needs of our Representatives and responds and reacts to them with greater efficiency and effectiveness. We look forward to benefitting from Rob’s leadership as he advances our positive momentum in this crucial area. We are extremely focused on finding new and better ways for Avon to deliver the level of quality and service our Representatives deserve.”