Avon Products Inc. (NYSE:AVP) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

May 03, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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Avon Products Inc. (NYSE:AVP) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

(Operator Instructions) Lauren Lieberman.

Analyst
Lauren Lieberman

It's Barclays. Jan, it was great to hear a lot of -- sort of your fresh-eyed perspective on things and ideas about modernizing the Avon business model, but one of my biggest questions is really around the impediments to making that happen, I think things like technology, legacy infrastructure has made it at least it's been explained or articulated externally has made it really difficult to move in that direction, probably for 10 years. So if you could just offer a perspective on how you think we -- if possible to get around those things. Is there more disruption before things can improve because of the challenges, again, some of that legacy infrastructure that we've sort of been educated to believe has been part of the problem?

Executive
Jan Zijderveld

Thanks, Lauren for the question. That's a good point. There are number of things that we need to get right and I would summarize them in three areas. It's really first and foremost getting the focus back on the representative and getting the service right and getting the mindset that the representative is the famous word you know, the customer is king and we are now calling the representative the boss, to get the mindset on the boss and the service right and I think that sets the fundamentals. Then it comes to your question is what tools do we give her to make sure that her life becomes easier and she becomes a more effective sales person.

We are on the road. In fact, there are many things going on in the company already, but it's fair to say we are behind and we need to do work both on the front end and the back end. On the front end, is sort of modern tools, interfaces, elements that can help her drive the business and we are now really accelerating and unleashing that. That to be honest, is out there and can be gained and sourced from the marketplace and we're really seeing how we can accelerate that and the right level of investment do that. You're also right that internally in-house, we have legacy systems that need to be modernized and we will now attack that also with a new rigor and vigor, but I do not think that that will necessarily hold back modernizing the front end. So I think there's two jobs to be done, modernizing the internal infrastructure which will take time and money, but also unleashing the front end the interfaces with the reps and the consumer in a more decentralized and modern way.

And then the third element as I said was the brand and I think if we think about these three things and working on these three things, we will in the right prioritization and sequencing get the business back into some level of momentum, but it's fair to say, yes, the task ahead is big, but I do think step by step, getting the basics right, then starting to