10 of 16Back to themes
The field of chemistry was constantly evolving, and formulations were becoming ever more complex, leading to breakthroughs in pharmacy and cosmetics. This meant that efficacy and results were increasingly dependent on following systematic production processes. As a result, Gattefossé developed an “applied galenic formulation” process to help and guide its clients.
While the Suppocire® were generally successful, clients sometimes complained of minor problems: Products sticking to molds, pills breaking up when released from molds, difficulties incorporating powders and aqueous phases. The business was very aware of these issues, and also aware of the minimum “technical knowledge” that clients required for optimum value creation in the manufacture of products. So, the company set up an onsite suppository manufacturing facility and furnished it with a melting device, refrigerated cabinets and metal molds. The aim was to reproduce the aforementioned anomalies on a smaller scale to understand why these irregularities were occurring and how to deal with them. To support Gattefossé’s work and help test its theories, the company asked manufacturers of casting chains, coolers and suppository molds for assistance. The SIO was also asked to collaborate.
A technical sales announcement from that time was evidence of Gattefossé’s “client-focused” strategic approach. The notice was simply titled “What is your problem?” and listed a set of subject-related questions: “Is it pharmaceutical? Is it technical? Is it analytical? Is it physiological? Is it administrative? Is it psychological?”. Contact details were provided for the company’s “Technical Assistance” service (as it was defined by “Sales Management”) along with a reference to “Studies: demi-grand laboratory”.
“Quel est votre problème ? ” (“What is your problem?”)
Gattefossé’s close relationship with its client-base led to the creation of new products, customizable to a degree, tailored around the needs and problems of each individual client.
This approach may have slowed down the manufacturing process, but it also created a very productive breeding ground for oleochemical innovation. Progress was also made thanks to the creativity of laboratory chemist, Lucien Waginaire, who was instrumental in many of Gattefossé’s research achievements.
In 2011, Gattefossé opened a new applications laboratory for cosmetic and pharmaceutical activities on the Saint-Priest site. Six million Euros were invested in the pioneering Blanche Gattefossé Technology Center, clearly showing how Gattefossé saw client support as central to its economic model and the company’s overall strategic approach.
In 2015, Gattefossé reaffirmed its strategic position by transforming its Indian applications laboratory into a Center for Technical Excellence. The 325m2 center comprised a cosmetic science laboratory and pharmaceutical applications laboratory that was certified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The new facilities made formulation work easier and improved the level of local assistance that could be offered to clients. The project was successful, so in 2016, Gattefossé repeated the process in China.
In 2017, Gattefossé made further progress when it opened yet another Center for Technical Excellence at its site in Paramus, New Jersey. And that meant the American subsidiary was also equipped with the main tools required onsite to help manufacturers through dedicated formulation testing.
Today, Gattefossé can provide clients with all types of technical and regulatory assistance across its four applications laboratories over three different continents. And the company customizes its advice as far as possible, providing precise answers to every question and adapting each response to the individual client.