When technology defines new ways of working

Enabling the majority of employees to work from home simultaneously, ensuring business continuity, meeting the challenge of the acceleration in e-commerce… L’Oréal Technology teams accomplished a major feat in the unprecedented context of the Covid-19 crisis.
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A year of challenges… 

L’Oréal Technology teams successfully coped with an unprecedented acceleration in the face of the crisis caused by the pandemic. As the majority of countries where the Group is present introduced lockdown measures, teams rose to the dual challenge of widespread remote working and the need to ensure business continuity.

The large-scale mobilisation to increase infrastructures and network capacity and transform systems enabled more than 55,000 employees to work from home, with peaks of up to 36,000 online at the same time. Our production facilities, laboratories, finance operations and many other departments were able to continue working in optimised conditions thanks to the reinforcement and adaptability of the systems used to support remote working, which were set up in record time. The number of virtual meetings held increased by more than 350% during the first half of April, for example.

Stéphane Charbonnier, Chief Human Resources Officer, L’Oréal USA, and Nikki Duvall, Manager, IT Employee Experience, Americas Zone, L'Oréal, share insights into the collaboration between the Human Relations and Technology teams that allowed the acceleration in new ways of working.

With business travel suspended, the Group’s digital lead sparked an acceleration in new ways of working. Meetings in the field have continued, thanks to the introduction of new virtual formats allowing factory and warehouse visits and inaugurations to go ahead, and even production facilities to be operated remotely, ensuring business continuity. These measures have been backed by specific support for employees, with an increase in online training, communications focused on collaboration tools and teleworking, as well as IT support tailored to new working conditions. The Group’s infrastructure and platforms have also enabled us to collaborate in real time with suppliers worldwide.

…and opportunities

Technologies have been a cornerstone of the solutions developed to better meet individual needs, particularly those of consumers during the period when the majority of stores were closed. E-commerce support was strengthened to cope with the unprecedented acceleration of this channel. With the sudden increase in the number of transactions, L’Oréal’s tech support amply proved its capacity to handle an exceptional volume of business. This capacity extended to the new services also developed in the context of the pandemic, including mobile apps offering teleconsultations with a beauty consultant and virtual makeup or hair colour try-on tools.

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