Case study

Global beauty retailer accelerates regulatory compliance

As the final deadline for the EU REACH regulation registration approached, the retailer reached out to Supply Pilot to accelerate change within the supply base and ensure the products were compliant.

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At a glance

Supply Pilot worked closely with the retailer's team and a third-party REACh consultancy to communicate requirements to suppliers, collect data on progress towards compliance, and provide leadership with full visibility.


Health & Beauty

Materially important issue

Chemical regulatory change

Step of the process
Benchmark Activation
Platform elements used
Supplier Engagement Supply Chain Data Collection
Number of suppliers



9000 products and raw materials compliant



REACH came into force on the 1st June 2007, with a phased implementation over the following decade. June of 2018 saw the final deadline for REACH registration.

By this date, all chemicals manufactured or imported into the EU over 1 tonne had to be registered. 

The retailer reached out to Supply Pilot to communicate requirements to suppliers, collect product data, monitor progress, and provide leadership teams with full visibility of compliance.

The Six-Step Process

Supply Pilot developed the Six-Step Process after over a decade of succeeding despite the complexity and scale of retailers and brands collaborating with their suppliers.

Collecting data around the country of origin from hundreds of suppliers over a large product portfolio is a brilliant application of the framework. This is because it is able to break down such a huge and complex task into manageable chunks - the end result being a high supplier response rate and therefore more complete data. 



Applying the Six-Step Process to the EU REACH regulation 

Step one: Materially important issue

The deadline for REACH regulation was fast approaching which would restrict the use of certain hazardous substances in products made and sold in the EU. As a beauty product retailer operating globally, adherance to this regulation before the deadline became a materially important issue. This meant that the first step of the process had already been complete. Around half of our customers begin working with us at step two, having identified the important issues to their business and stakeholders internally.

Step two: Smart Goal

The primary goal of the project was to communicate REACH requirements to a vast amount of suppliers, collect data for thousands of products, and ensure all products were compliant with the regulation before the deadline. 

Step three: Benchmark

The purpose of establishing a benchmark was to understand how well the beauty retailer were currently performing against their SMART goal. Before the project could be properly underway, it was necessary to know how much detailed product data the retailer already had, and how many products already met the new REACH standards.  

Supply Pilot's Campaign Team ran a supplier contact accuracy campaign to ensures that, when suppliers were asked to provide detailed product data, it is sent to the right person within the their organisation. As part of this phase of the project, Supply Pilot also made sure that alongside communicating the regulatory requirements to suppliers, the purpose and importance of the project is also made clear. This helped suppliers understand the project’s significance and the steps that needed to be taken.

Typically retailer and brand supplier data is only 18% accurate. This low level of contact accuracy means that supply chain data collection exercises can be delayed by months whilst emails are sent to:

  • inactive inboxes
  • incorrect contacts
  • commercial contacts who don't have the appropriate level of knowledge or the right information to hand
Step four: Activation

Failing to adhere to the new REACH legislation before the deadline would have had drastic consequences for the global beauty retailer and would affect its ability to sell certain products in the EU. Therefore, all suppliers had to be effectively engaged and activated in this project in a short space of time. 

This required a highly collaborative approach with suppliers, the retailer’s team, and their chosen third-party REACH partner. During this stage of the process, suppliers were asked to provide substance-level data for products to assess compliance. To reduce the burden on suppliers of inputting duplicate information across multiple forms, the Supply Pilot Platform automatically pre-populated known data for suppliers which further ensured the efficiency and speed of the project. 

To help suppliers understand what was required of them, they were directed to the platform’s self-help function which delivered knowledge and resources specific to REACH legislation which helped them to make compliance progress with more autonomy. 

Step five: Data-driven KPI

The Supply Pilot Platform provided supplier dashboards that showed what substance level product information had been provided by suppliers. This enabled a more structured approach to supplier chasing by email and phone; Supply Pilot’s Campaign Team were able to target specific suppliers and tailor the support given based on their progress. The live supplier dashboards on the Supply Pilot Platform also meant that the retailer’s leadership team had full transparency on how much work each supplier had left to do before the deadline. 

Step six: Commercialisation

Understanding the retailer’s position on their product compliance for REACH was a large and complex piece of work. Over 9,000 products and raw materials were individually reviewed, and the retailer now holds more detailed data for its product portfolio than ever before. 

The solutions implemented by Supply Pilot enabled suppliers to achieve full REACH compliance successfully and the retailer could eliminate all non-compliant products and substances from their portfolio. This, in turn, ensured they remained a competitive retailer in the EU market.

The success of this campaign highlighted where the risks were within the supply base and product portfolio, and enable contingencies to be put in place to maintain business continuity. All suppliers continue to input information into the Supply Pilot Platform to ensure a comprehensive and easy to access source of information going forward. This amount of up-to-date data - not to mention the subsequently strengthened supplier relationships - also lends itself well to any product compliance or sustainability projects in the future. 

How the Supply Pilot Platform was used

Supplier Engagement

Targeted email communications were sent to suppliers based on how far they had progressed towards being REACH compliant. This meant that all stakeholders had complete transparency over how the project was progressing. Supply Pilot's Campaign Team could also easily monitor progress and identify which suppliers needed additional support. 

Supplier questions and feedback were centralised into a single inbox. Suppliers received a consistently high level of personal support from a team that was empowered to manage supplier queries in the most efficient way possible.

Supply Chain Data Collection

With the help of the retailer's third-party REACH partner, specific question requirements were integrated into the Supply Pilot Platform as a dedicated form. The flexibility of the Platform meant that the retailer was not constrained to a standard questionnaire and had the freedom to expand the questions that were most relevant to the new legislation as well as to their global beauty business.

Online dashboards provided near real-time transparency of responses as they came in. Like the forms themselves, the dashboards and complementary data extracts enabled the retailer to visualise the results in the most valuable way to the project team and their internal stakeholders.


The solutions implemented by Supply Pilot enabled the suppliers of the global beauty retailer to achieve full REACH compliance successfully.

500+ suppliers

were engaged, activated, and supported to help them to become REACH compliant before the deadline

9000+ products

were reviewed to ensure they met the new regulation requirements

30,000 substances' data

was entered into the Supply Pilot Platform

Regulatory compliance achieved

within 4 months from the start of the project

Adhere to emerging legislation

Keeping up to date with new legislation which relates to vast amounts of data can feel like a confusing and impossible task. Our approach solves this problem by facing it head-on.