“The greatest achievement and impact is the culture shift in both individual and team approaches to solving problems.” —Vince Serpico, Vice President of Corporate Operations N.A., L’Oréal USA
Shared information helps transform L’Oréal’s manufacturing culture
In 2007, with world markets for its beauty and health products under pressure, L’Oréal USA challenged its network of seven U.S. manufacturing plants to institute a continuous improvement program. The goal was to maximize existing investments, and to improve factory performance by initiating a shift in the culture of operations.
L’Oréal launched a multi-year initiative to improve the efficiency of its industrial facilities by consolidating various SAP components (ERP, APO) with Apriso’s manufacturing execution system to create a common IT backbone for the company worldwide.
In 2010, the company moved into the second wave of its renewal program. This now aims to leverage the new technology infrastructure with further value-added solutions for the company.
The Manufacturing Integration Information project, for example, is designed to create an advanced reporting tool and dashboard, summarizing all monthly data into one report for both executive management and front-line operations staff in each facility. The main objective is to improve control and efficiency by providing accurate operational information in a format that intuitively drills down into key trends and details. This empowers staff at all levels by giving them an accurate, deep, and wide view of overall performance, enabling them to make better decisions for the future.
Another project, called DEMATIS, is now removing vendor invoice processing from the plants so they can focus on their core production activity. The task has been centralized and automated, and administrative functions restructured. By reorganizing manufacturing accounting into a centralized group, L’Oréal aims to revitalize the way it collaborates with its vendors. The company also expects this approach to reduce internal head count and, more importantly, free up financial analytical time so it can be spent on value-added initiatives rather than basic data collection.
“The greatest achievement and impact is the culture shift in both individual and team approaches to solving problems,” adds Vince Serpico, L’Oréal vice president of corporate operations in North America. “Rather than being told or mandated to make certain changes or improvements, the teams have the power to effect change and strive for operations excellence, which they do with eagerness. Problems and improvements become opportunities to win, rather than roadblocks to success.”