Boosting agility with digital technologies

L’Oréal’s edge in digital technologies proved to be a major asset, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.
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The digital turn taken by the Group several years ago laid the groundwork for a dual acceleration at L’Oréal Operations this year: this included the roll-out of efficient solutions enabling new ways to work remotely and increased agility at plants and in the supply chain to meet the boom in e-commerce demand.

New tech solutions for remote working

The determination of teams to adapt incredibly quickly to this new context and accelerate technological transformations was just as crucial as the new technologies themselves, which are constantly enriching Operations professions. The development of remote technology solutions such as Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allowed employees to install industrial equipment, conduct maintenance on production lines and perform quality audits remotely. Video communication and precise, instantaneous retransmission of images via augmented reality glasses made it easier for employees and partners to deal with technical issues without having to visit sites. This swift, seamless information sharing has helped industry know-how evolve. It became particularly useful in the context of the public health crisis and the resulting limitations on travel for business.

Dynamics 365 Remote Assist equipped with HoloLens 2 shows how new technologies served our teams. 

The global collaborative tool Microsoft Teams was rolled out across the entire Group in 2019. This greatly improved communication between teams to ensure ongoing progress on projects. Dedicated groups on WhatsApp, WeChat and Teams also helped employees strengthen ties with suppliers, monitor their situation, and share the Group’s secure database in real time. All these factors played a crucial role in the Group’s ability to continue to produce, innovate and successfully launch products as scheduled during lockdown.

Thinking outside the box to keep pace with the e-commerce boom

L’Oréal very quickly invested in new technologies, allowing the Group to keep pace with consumers’ rapidly changing expectations and behaviours, such as the steady increase in e-commerce. Already on the rise for the past several years, e-commerce (26.6% of consolidated sales in 2020 ) exploded when many points of sale closed worldwide during the first lockdown. The fragmented orders and deliveries were a real challenge, to which the Operations teams rose quickly with help from the Group’s IT department. To support this transformation, L’Oréal invested in its distribution centres across the globe to improve order preparation, stock management and the workplace environment for employees. Mobile shelving, automation of box collection and a centralised automatic conveyor shuttle brought L’Oréal into the era of the augmented supply chain.

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