As a single unit, the Operations Division steers worldwide production and product distribution. Packaging manages product conception from the early marketing idea, through the supply chain to the end of its life cycle. We are engaged at all levels of the organization to drive our technical solutions with the highest level of quality on time and at the right cost.
To become more responsive and adapt to the specifics of local markets, the industrial function is spread out over five major geographical zones. This proximity reduces the distance that separates consumers from the factories and ensures them access to products at the best possible price.
This strategic transition came with amazing opportunities, one of them being the ability to function as one group and align our packaging goals and objectives towards one vision.
L’Oréal’s recent launch initiative named after Jason Wu is an exclusive collection, which is the result of the partnership between the famous designer and the Lancôme brand. The technical challenge was to visually achieve consistent aesthetics due to the various substrates on which these various color designs were applied (ABS/SAN, paper board, etc.). The success behind this harmony of colors across the packages was achieved through a close partnership with our suppliers along with proper decoration process choices.
This organizational change allows a clear alignment of the technical commodities where a product can be developed more consistently with a higher level of attention on—what we refer to as—the motor of conception. It also represents a change in mindset, where packaging offers opportunities to think more globally, to design-to-cost modular conceptions for the zone that can be adapted to the local markets and to support our sustainability goals by reducing our transportable waste.
With the new Americas scope, individuals in packaging are also being challenged to evolve and innovate. We started to look in the mirror and reflect on our behaviors, adapt to other cultures and ways of working, use new communication tools to share technical ideas, leverage the global knowledge and experience with other countries, and cross-fertilize our best practices into common processes.
Through acquisitions, globalization of L’Oréal’s brands and alignment of its packaging function within the Americas Zone, it becomes apparent that packaging at the company is no longer a “back office” type function that simply issues technical specifications. The new organization allows all layers of packaging to strengthen their technical skills while perfecting an engineering mentality with strong business acumen.
This harmony between expertise and customer service attitude will allow Packaging at L’Oréal to become a key strategic business partner and further contribute to building a solid foundation to continually support our group’s strategy.
Ludovic LeCaro is L’Oréal’s packaging head of cosmetics.