Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Field Trip To The Avon Plant

I would like to thank Ogilvy and Avon for giving me the awesome opportunity yesterday of touring the Avon plant yesterday. It was an awesome experience that I would like to share with everyone, well, at least in photos and over here. I remember the field trip I had to the Crayola and Monggol factory when I was still in grade school. I ended up being so giddy at seeing how the crayons were shaped, molded, and labelled. Well, this time, I visit a factory to make crayons for big girls.

Originally, I wasn't supposed to be in the tour as I had work scheduled on the original date. Due to the storm with no name, the tour was moved and I was available that day so yay! The shuttle service was in Starbucks 6750 and we then travelled to the Avon Products Manufacturing Inc. (APMI) plant in Calamba, Laguna to witness how the products we get from our Avon lady are made and manufactured.

We were personally welcomed by APMI General Manager and Manufacturing Director Collin Whittington.

We had lunch catered by Bizu as we talked and bonded with our fellow beauty bloggers and met new friends and even got in touch with members of the Avon team. After that, we were introduced to the history of Avon and how it grew to the company that it is now, then came the much awaited part of the trip -the Avon plant tour.

Before we even stepped a boot in the plant, we were reminded of safety precautions. Prior to the event, we were given guidelines on what to wear - shorts, sleeveless shirts/sandos and close-toed shoes were not allowed for safety reasons. We also had to remove our jewelry and keep them safe and locked and brought only our cameras (or cellphones doubling as cameras) to the production area.

Our uniform for the day: lab coats buttoned up, hair nets, and protective masks.  It's like chem lab all over again. But yes, this is for high quality control and also for our own safety.

Awww!!! Look at the sign! Thank you Avon!

We were shown the machines and ingredients used to make our favorite Avon products like lipsticks, lotions, perfumes, body gels, and up to their own packaging. I'll be posting a few photos as for security measures, there are areas that prohibit photography.

I love how organized they are! Each factory line is carefully planned to deliver quality products in constant measurements. They're very organized, cost, and energy efficient. I also noticed that the factory is spotless. The floors are super clean you can actually do eggrolls and cartwheels there without fear of turning gray.  They really are serious with QA here, doing periodic inspections and general cleaning. Raw materials are tested periodically with some reagents in the laboratory to ensure that each raw material (or ingredient) to be used is fresh so we get quality products each time we buy.

Seeing how our favorite Avon products are made was actually very enlightening. Oftentimes, we take things for granted, like a bottle of shower gel we receive in the mail or we think of a lipstick in our kikay kit as one of the hundreds that we have, not realizing that someone who holds more than a thousand lipsticks per day  actually earn a living to feed his or her family and send children to school doing so. Every product we see here is indeed a labor of love. Yeehhhsss!!!!

All them goodies are packed and ready to go. And yes, packing and sealing is very organized! An OC person would surely love it here.

As we put out lab coats back and head off back to Manila, we had a new appreciation for the bottles of Avon Skin So Soft products we have in our bags. More than being giddy about seeing the ultimate kikay girl's dream of seeing a big vat of mascara melt or a kettle full of lotion, we know better than to take our goodies for granted. I bet when I do visit again, it would be a whole new different experience, like a new machine added or a new system implemented. Thank you very much Avon! You definitely made my day. Till the next field trip.

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