Meet the Member: Colleen Carlotto, Manager of Global Brand Supply Chain, Estée Lauder

Member news | August 07, 2019

In our latest Meet the Member feature, we had the honor of speaking with Colleen Carlotto, Manager of Global Brand Supply Chain at Estée Lauder.

Estée Lauder is part of ‘The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.’, which is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company's products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under different brand names including: Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, DKNY, Estée Lauder, MAC, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Too Faced, Tory Burch and many more.

Keep reading to learn more about Colleen’s journey, her current position at Estée Lauder and her experience with the French American Chamber of Commerce.

FACC: You are currently a Manager of Global Brand Supply Chain at Estée Lauder, with previous experience at John Deere in roles ranging from design engineering to data analysis and business portfolio development. These are two very different worlds; how did your past role help inform the way you pilot operations at Estée Lauder?

CC: During my time at John Deere I held a customer-facing position that provided me with a customer centric focus I’ve carried with me to other roles, both technical and non-technical. I’ve found this mindset beneficial regardless of the industry I’m working in. With a customer focus and my passion for cosmetics, I have been better able to lead as a new product launch program manager.

FACC: In the world of global beauty brands, the competition between L’Oréal and Estée Lauder has been described as an “Arms Race” by Business of Fashion, both in terms of customer acquisition and the acquisition of a brand portfolio. From a supply chain perspective, how do you strive to contribute to the business strategy in a way that will help maintain a competitive advantage?

CC: I think Estée Lauder, under the executive leadership of Fabrizio Freda, has done an incredible job of clearly defining the company’s strategy, including brand recognition among consumers. This is also very apparent in the growth the company has seen in the Millennials and Gen Z consumer segments. While Estée Lauder is still recognized as a high-end, luxury beauty company, younger generations are seeing the products not only as desirable but attainable as well. Retaining these customers through great products and customer focus will be the key to maintaining a competitive advantage moving forward.

FACC: Can you elaborate upon the company structure? Do you work in coordination with brand-specific supply chain managers (decentralized) or are there strength in numbers and a common approach to tackling these business challenges?

CC: The Estée Lauder Companies own nearly 30 brands, and I am just one program manager at one brand – the Estee Lauder brand. While each brand functions independently, the brands do share best practices that are consistently driving us toward better quality, better efficacy and a better company portfolio.

FACC: Clean beauty, both in terms of the base ingredients, but also the packaging and the environmental footprint of the production and shipping, is definitely on the minds of modern and especially millennial consumers. Is this an area of focus for you in your role?

CC: It absolutely is. You may have seen that in March of this year Fabrizio announced the detailed plans Estee Lauder has for both sustainability and citizenship and how the company plans to meet those goals by 2025. In supply chain we have a huge opportunity to impact the product life cycle, reduce waste and make more sustainable choices. Opportunities to improve sustainability are considered at every point of the product development process.

FACC: How did you hear about the French-American Chamber of Commerce and what motivated you to be a part of the community?

CC: The French culture has always been a part of my life, especially growing up as a ballet dancer. I heard about FACC through a professor in my MBA program who recommended the chapter to get involved in a new city, make new connections and help brush up on some of my French language skills :).

FACC: You’ve attended 4 FACC events now. Was there anything you particularly appreciated about any of them? i.e. content, connections made, general ambiance etc.

CC: I have been extremely impressed by the FACC events I have attended, both by the caliber of the event as well as the caliber of the attendees. The FACC is a community of highly engaged and ambitious individuals who really want to make a difference. Being new to the city, the conversations I’ve had and the connections I’ve made during these events are what I have appreciated the most.

Interested in connecting with Colleen? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.