L'Oreal on importance of sustainability and better data management

L'Oreal on importance of sustainability and better data management

Global cosmetics leader L’Oréal selected Siemens’ Teamcenter product lifecycle management (PLM) software as its corporate product data management system in February. With the solution, the company expects to reduce Time-to-Market and enhance package quality and accuracy.

Karen McCandless speaks to Philippe Thuvien, L’Oréal’s packaging and development director, to find out more about this implementation, as well as industry challenges the company faces.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing at the moment in the industry? What global trends have affected L’Oréal?

L’Oréal wants to bring beauty to all people. Therefore our biggest challenge is the growth of emerging markets, which requires:

  • New factories
  • Finding new places where we can source materials
  • Innovating, producing, living and developing sustainably
  • Sharing our success and our growth with the communities around us.

What needs do cosmetics companies have that are different from other product manufacturers?

The cosmetics industry is beauty driven (new trends, colours etc) and, as a result, we change 20% to 30% of our portfolio each year. We also have a huge catalogue of SKUs – more than 50,000 in total.

What issues was L’Oreal facing that prompted the company to look for a PLM solution?

Our data was spread across multiple database and locations, which generated a lot of data duplication and made data harmonisation very difficult. The packaging and development departments (about 500 people) could not access the data in real time or access it wherever they are in the world.

What will you be using Teamcenter for and what kind of technology did you use to manage these processes before the implementation?

We currently use tailor-made or Excel-based software. With Teamcenter, we decided to focus on components and finished goods management (drawing, technical characteristics and inspection plans) in order to have a global design vision, with integration of referential (material commercial reference, approvals and quality).

What Teamcenter features made you decide to implement the solution?

Teamcenter, as with every PLM system, is object oriented, which allows us to quickly reuse our designs. We can also integrate Teamcenter with other systems in the Group, such as enterprise resource planning and product information management, and use it to review and harmonise some of our processes, such as bill of materials management.

When did you/will you start implementation and how long has it/do you expect it to take?

We have already implemented the solution in our Professional Products and Active Cosmetics divisions in Europe. It will be effective in the coming months in the whole of America, the end of the year for our Consumer Products and Luxury divisions in Europe, and next year for the rest of our organisation.

What benefits will you gain/have you already gained?

We have already gained a number of benefits, such as the harmonisation of stock components data, such as plastic tubes or packaging materials references. as a consequence cleaning of our current referential. The benefits we expect to gain are time to market, accuracy of supply chain and environmental data.

 What trends do you think will be driving the industry over the next couple of years?

According to The Regeneration Consumer Study released in 2012 (co-sponsored by L’Oréal), 65% of our consumers feel that they have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society. The cosmetics industry will also have to commit to being more sustainable, like L’Oréal did it with its Sharing beauty with all campaign.

Philippe Thuvien is packaging and development director at L’Oréal

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