How Johnson & Johnson overhauled its baby care supply chain

Our take: Ensuring consistent formulations, fewer ingredients and fewer suppliers part of efficiency efforts... | ---------------

Johnson & Johnson's grip on the baby care product market began 124 years ago, when it introduced its baby powder line.

Since then, they continued adding products, lining the shelves with a multitude of pastel-hued bottles with colorful contents.

Over time, they would make bottles and formulations slightly differently in each region. A process, which, sources say, make it less efficient to procure the right ingredients at the best prices, and to introduce new products or promotions.

The brand would continue to succeed for decades. In 1953, J&J popularized "no more tears" as a motto for its new shampoo, lexicon which would last through at least 2014.

But five years ago, something changed. "No more tears" may have been a catchy phrase, but it started ringing less true when reports surfaced that certain ingredients — dyes, sulfates, parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives — were potentially harmful.

The company began to walk a tightrope: insisting the formula was safe, but removing controversial ingredients nonetheless. To remove some of them, however, the company had to overhaul its formulations — a process that would take years.

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