Cost of the investment, over USD 25 million. A decision that will enable this company founded only ten years ago to dramatically step up its production capacity at once. "Quite clearly with this new infrastructure," explains Philippe Cohen, the owner of the company, "and given the number of new machines dedicated to production, filling and packaging, that we will be installing, our goal is at least to quadruple our capacity over the next coming years."
Main reason for the exponential progression of Oxygen in ten years? "It’s quite logical," Philippe Cohen emphasises, "we proved that we were able to supply the biggest U.S. cosmetics brands not only in due time but also in terms of quality products. And even though we decided two years ago, to build a production unit in the Dominican Republic, we continued to invest in the US territory which was experiencing a depletion of its production tool. Everyone knows that nature hates emptiness. We were there to fill-in the gaps."
By visiting the two current production centres whose areas put together do not exceed 10,000 sqm, one’s opinion is quickly made. The current premises are obviously not large enough to host some 400 people that operate machines for the production of bulk and the ones for the manufacturing of powders, lipsticks and lipglosses. And the new 21,000 sqm plant that will see the moving-in, at the start of the Christmas holidays, of both, the whole current production tool and the administrative offices, will be a real breath of fresh air...for Oxygen.
Make-up, the main part of the activity
"Make-up still accounts for more than 80% of our business," points out Cohen, "but skin care and hair care activities are also on the rise."
Oxygen’s main asset is its research and creation potential combined with a true will for excellence. "We are very much attached to this," we were told at the headquarters. "This is clearly what makes the difference compared to some of our colleagues who only have a filling activity... So much so that sometimes we refuse a order if we don’t feel we control the whole subject or if we have the feeling it was insufficiently studied."
Second asset of the company, its production potential and its wide scope of technical expertise. In the course of the last two years, investments in production equipment have never stopped at Deerfield Beach. Latest to date, the commissioning of two automatic production machines for lipsticks on silicone moulds. As for the R&D laboratory, it comprises more than 28 persons. "There aren’t that many companies around that are capable of providing such levels of traceability and of microbiology tests," insists Cohen. "Our plants are also approved by major U.S. and European companies."
The management explains that "the main asset lies in the fact that we are able to produce, thanks to the flexibility of our production tool, bulk ranging from quantities of 5 kilos to 500 kilos. The decision taken to produce in the Dominican Republic was a form of response to Asian competitors. We were maybe a bit more expensive but the cost difference is decreasing every month!"
A strong base in America for...
Approximately one third of Oxyen’s production is currently exported. "Indirect export but also direct export," we were told at Pompano Beach. And this is probably only the beginning of it... Because the production capacity of the new plant can only but offer the management new challenges and new horizons. To be continued...