Sultry eyes and dazzling smiles? Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. (SSDOY
) knows all about them. But the company often misjudged demand for its mascara and lipsticks, leaving warehouses full of unsold or returned products. So Shiseido execs assembled a $55 million network linking factories and some 16,000 sales outlets. At department-store counters, Shiseido beauty consultants stay in touch by downloading sales information and uploading data on hot-selling products via their cell phones.
Now Shiseido can keep closer track on what's hot and what's not. The results: Inventory was cut 30% in 2002 and is expected to drop 10% more this year. That's putting a better face on things. By Irene M. Kunii