Q & A with William Rusch
On innovation, collaboration and sustainability.
William B. Rusch, co-owner and senior advisor of Anomatic Corporation, oversees the company’s efforts to develop sustainable systems and processes for all four of Anomatic’s manufacturing locations. With 40 years of experience in the personal care and beauty industry, he shares his perspective on the company’s decision to locate a new facility in the New Albany Personal Care and Beauty Innovation Campus, how the campus will spur innovation and the company’s resource conservation and sustainability initiatives.
Why did Anomatic decide to join the New Albany Personal Care and Beauty Innovation Campus?
The Campus is a totally new concept based upon the idea of creating an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation between and among companies in the park and clients such as Limited Brands. This park will allow manufacturers’ production output to match consumer demand and will create an atmosphere of innovation and new product testing that can be done very quickly. These initiatives are a natural fit with our core strategy of working closely with our customers to create new packaging concepts.
What impact do you think the Innovation Campus will have on new product development and packaging?
New product launches take a very long time. The Personal Care and Beauty Innovation Campus concept is revolutionary in that it encourages suppliers to become engaged in new products and packages from the very beginning. Together, we can create samples, show them to the marketers and get quick resolution on concepts as we go from plant to plant in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. New products reach the market quickly, allowing the brands to react instantly as consumer preferences change.
What role does lean manufacturing and environmental stewardship play at Anomatic?
We recognize that resources on this planet are going to be limited in the future. Whether its water, energy or raw materials, these items have to be carefully considered when you are in a business using finite resources. We look at every aspect of how we make our products – the oil we use in the stamping process, the chemicals that we use in the anodizing process and the energy it takes to make all the components and ask ourselves “What can we minimize? What can we reuse?” Environmental stewardship plays a huge role in the overall cost of manufacturing a product. Source reduction and recycling reduce cost and conserve raw materials.
In what other way is innovation leading the beauty category overall?
There is no doubt that the beauty and personal care industries are fashion businesses. Consumers demand new innovations constantly as tastes change. Companies must constantly create new concepts to match consumer preference. Innovation can take many forms. It can be applied to the cosmetic or product itself, the delivery system or the packaging. The end result has to have great quality, good value and also attractive packaging.
What’s the next big trend in consumer packaging?
My personal view is that the next big mega-trend in consumer packaging in the United States will be in specifying processes, packaging and products that emphasize sustainability. Resource conservation will soon be a huge decision point for American consumers, and beauty and personal care companies must match their products accordingly. Our idea is to get the brands to embrace the concept of creating something that the consumer will feel good about reusing. Anomatic has already developed ways to do this. We can separate components and recycle the base materials to save money, conserve natural resources and make the consumer feel good about their purchase along the way.
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