News Briefs


Purple Innovation Taps Previous Skullcandy Exec, Jeff Hutchings, for First-Ever CIO Role

Jeff headshot

Purple Innovation, Inc has named Jeff Hutchings chief information officer, a newly created role that will support the mattress company’s growth plans and innovation acceleration. 

Previously the chief product officer at Skullcandy Inc., Hutchings will leverage his decades-long background in corporate tech, engineering management, product strategy and development starting May 1 at the company’s Lehi, Utah, headquarters. Hutchings will report directly to Rob DeMartini, who was appointed chief executive officer in March 2022. 

[Related: From Mattresses to Invoice Mastery: How Purple Automated Accounts Payable]

Prior to Skullcandy Inc., Hutchings held various roles at car technology company HARMAN International. He stated that joining Purple “presents a unique opportunity to create meaningful impact within the health and wellness industry, helping improve lives and reinventing comfort for consumers."

"I am thrilled to announce that Jeff Hutchings will be joining Purple as our chief innovation officer, bringing his deep experience in leading product strategy and development across different channels to spearhead Purple's innovation journey," said Rob DeMartini, Purple's chief executive officer. "I am confident that Jeff will strengthen our team at Purple and help lead us with innovative new products to help drive growth."


Global Beauty Company Shiseido To Bolster Manufacturing Efforts

manufacturing line

Beauty brand Shiseido Company, Limited, is implementing a “Win 2023 and Beyond” strategy with the goal of establishing more efficient production systems. In an effort to do so, the brand has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with a manufacturing operations management solutions provider.

Using the Dassault Systèmes Perfect Production system across major Shiseido production sites in Japan, Europe, the U.S., and other countries, the company will focus on improving factory productivity and reducing costs.

The single collaborative virtual environment allows Shiseido to focus on end-to-end planning and operations optimization to more accurately assign production resources, maintain product quality, and satisfy both global and local product demand.  

[Related: Beauty Industry Joins Forces on Sustainability Initiative, EcoBeautyScore]

Atsunori Takano, executive officer, CITO, Shiseido, stated that by 2030, the company hopes to be a global leader, and expects the new manufacturing solution to bolster its growth strategy.  

“The consumer shift toward wellness is accelerating globally, and leading beauty players will need to deliver innovative new products to market faster than ever before,” said Philippe Loeb, vice president, Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail Industry, Dassault Systèmes, adding that technology can deliver a more agile experience in existing factories and can help expand the brand’s portfolio of beauty and wellness products. 


Zebra Technologies Expands Portfolio with Automation Firm Acquisition

Company using robotics in the supply chain

Zebra Technologies is acquiring Matrox Imaging for $875 million, bringing into the fold automation and vision technology. Recent IT investments also include robotics and machine learning. 

[Related: Boosting Supply Chain Challenges Through Advanced Technologies: Up Close with Zebra Technologies' Guy Yehiav]

Matrox Imaging’s software development kits, smart cameras, 3D sensors, vision controllers, input/output cards, and frame grabbers are used to capture, inspect, assess, and record data from industrial vision systems in factory automation, electronics and pharmaceutical packaging, semiconductor inspection, and more. 

Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer of Zebra Technologies, said the acquisition will enable them to meet evolving consumer needs across the automation journey, including production and the movement of goods and materials. 

According to the company, the purchase will expand Zebra’s recently launched fixed industrial scanning and machine vision portfolio and grow its focus in software, machine learning, and deep learning.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval and is expected to close in 2022. 

This article first appeared on RIS News. 


Primo Water Taps New Forecasting and Planning Tool For Inventory Optimization Amid Evolving Market

Warehouse depicting cloud inventory benefits

Global managed services and automation firm enVista has launched an inventory forecasting and planning as a service solution. 

Primo Water Global is among the brands leveraging the new offering, which allows companies to create inventory models, complete a demand forecasting analysis, and monitor ongoing performance. 

enVista also analyzes SKU historical profiles to determine inventory needs to best meet financial objectives. 

[Related: enVista Expands Automation Capabilities with Acquisition]

According to the company, the subscription allows companies to scale enVista’s solutions to “adapt to evolving market changes, optimally position inventory across the network, optimize gross margin return on inventory investment, and ensure the right inventory is available in the right place and right time to improve customer service.”

The offering can be used alongside enVista’s cloud-native omnichannel order management system with enterprise inventory availability and AI-powered inventory allocation.

Primo Water Global CIO, Jamie Jamison, said that with the current state of the company’s supply chain and DTC model, inventory management has been crucial to their success.

“enVista’s inventory forecasting and planning as a service offering has ensured that we consistently have the right inventory levels in every echelon of our global supply chain to meet customer demand and protect our bottom line,” Jamison added.


Nestlé $675 Million High-Tech Investment Builds On Beverage Trend

nestle coffee mate

Nestlé USA is investing $675 million to build a high-tech beverage facility in Glendale, AZ, to produce creamers for its Coffee mate, Coffee mate natural bliss, and Starbucks brands.

The factory, which will create more than 350 jobs, is expected to open in 2024 and will be able to expand to additional beverages in the future.

“Beverages play an increasingly important role in the lives of consumers, a trend that’s been accelerated by the pandemic and is expected to continue to grow,” said Daniel Jhung, president of beverage, Nestlé USA. “This investment illustrates our continued commitment to leading and growing categories where we play, providing consumers with a variety of high-quality, innovative products to meet their needs.”

[See also: Nestlé Plans To Double Consumer Data Records]

Nestlé chose the location because of its proximity to customers and consumers in the western U.S., thereby reducing transport timelines and emissions, and it described the facility as its most technologically advanced factory and distribution center. In addition to housing a water recycling process to reduce water usage, the 630,000-square-foot facility will use recyclable product packaging made from food-safe recycled plastic.

It will also send zero waste to landfills and strive for 100% renewable energy by 2025. 

The No. 1 consumer goods company has invested nearly $3 billion in the United States to beef up its manufacturing footprint and in-house capabilities, and currently operates 14 food and beverage factories across the country.


Pernod Ricard’s Jameson Jumps Into RTD


Pernod Ricard’s Jameson Irish Whiskey brand is entering the burgeoning ready-to-drink market. The No. 60 consumer goods company is marking St. Patrick’s Day with Jameson Ginger & Lime, a carbonated cocktail in a can made with Irish whiskey.

Kate Pomeroy, head of innovation at Pernod Ricard North America, said the product was inspired by one of the company’s most popular recipes. The company also declared St. Patrick’s Day as a two-day holiday in honor of the product innovation.

The global RTD cocktails market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% from 2021 to 2028, to reach $1.78 billion, according to Grand View Research, up from $714.8 million in 2020.