A $7.95 bottle of Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap used to take three months to put together. The pieces had to travel more than 13,000 miles from China, Canada and Virginia to the company’s Ohio distribution center.
Bath & Body Works decided it needed to get new products to market more quickly. The result was a production initiative with little parallel in corporate America.
Now every step of production occurs at plants just feet from each other on the company’s dedicated “beauty park” on the outskirts of Columbus. One factory makes the foaming pump and mechanism. Another makes the bottle itself, a third makes the label, a fourth makes the soap, fills the bottle, attaches the label and screws on the top. A fifth packages it. Getting a bottle to distribution is down to 21 days and a few miles. A majority of Bath & Body Works products, which are sold in its own stores, are made on site.WSJ