At the factory and headquarters of Bechhofen, an hour from Nuremberg (Germany), Geka’s teams are in full swing. In two months to the day, the new unit dedicated to full service will be about to start in a brand new building of 650 sqm. An operation achieved in the context of a strong progression of sales, which totalled more than 100 million euros in 2010, compared to 93 millions in 2009.
The euphoria seems to be the same across the Atlantic in Elgin where, only two years after the putting into service of the group’s U.S. plant, the production exceeded 70 million units last year, entirely dedicated to the local American market.
Integrate lacquering and metallization activities
As a result, managers are still picking up the pace and have just decided on a 10 million euros investment plan for the twelve months to come. Main objective, increase the production capacity in mascaras in both Germany and the United States, but also reinforce the company’s choice of full service integration and also extend, next year, the company’s activities in lacquering and metallization, first in Germany and then in the United States.
“On top of that, we intend at the same time, to put more efforts into consultancy services. Our aim is to deliver a value-adding service to our customers by offering them all tests (application, stability, compatibility, etc.), and the documentation and evaluations needed during the development process of a product. On the other hand Geka has a profound experience when it comes to the delivery system and applicator of a product. The important step is to bring everything together: packaging + applicator + formulation. This will enable us to provide perfectly matched products that fulfill our customers’ request,” explains Franco Luca, Geka’s CEO.
Mastering the patent portfolio
The service approach is also high on the R&D department of the German firm who recovered at the same time the mascara patents from the Beiersdorf group upon an agreement that was reached in just a few weeks. "It’s obviously very important," points out Franco Luca, “because as a matter of fact, we are currently the company that owns the most patents in the world in the field of mascara manufacturing technologies. However, in addition to specific developments, we are also in the process of re-launching Geka’s range of standard products with the objective that it quickly accounts for a good third of our offer."
Demand for customised standards is there! The creation of the limited edition by the designer Harald Glööckler, which includes lip gloss, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and even a nail polish, is a proof of this. “The fully finished collection was extremely well received on the market and shortly after launching sold out. Our capabilities in terms of decoration enable us of course to give free rein to our imagination."
As for the traditional fibre-made brush segment... "Expect a few surprises in the coming months with the introduction of a new generation of brushes thanks to a new technology," Franco Luca revealed, "because, again, we haven’t had our final say, especially since this market will eventually account for at least 40% of our business."
Finally, the satisfaction is also high for the full service diversification operated by the company. "Our customers are responding very positively. And even before installing the necessary equipment, we have already started the filling operations for our first customer.”