Premium Beauty News - Moving into your new premises in Saint-Ouen in March 2011, was surely an important moment in the life of the group?
Philippe Thuvien - Yes, is was indeed an important moment for our community. Whereas before the Corporate and Operational Packaging services were scattered over several sites, all the Packaging teams for Europe, with the exception of Compatibility and Expertise Laboratories, i.e., 160 people, are gathered together on a single platform fostering at the same time collaborative work.
Premium Beauty News - How is the Packaging and Development organized at L’Oréal?
Philippe Thuvien - The “Packaging & Development Community” is divided into three clusters with a “Corporate Packaging & Development” Department, a “Product Development” and “Operational Packaging.”
But do bear in mind that it is a global organization, which means it’s also the same operational structure in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
Premium Beauty News - What are the main missions of this “Corporate Packaging & Development” department?
Philippe Thuvien - Our main tasks are to define the group’s packaging policy, to coordinate and manage operational teams, define processes and tools as well as performance management. Not forgetting, of course, internal and external research and development of innovative packagings, technical packaging expertise to support operational teams, the compatibility between the packaging and its formula, and finally the creation of new designs with the help of the Areca Agency.
Premium Beauty News - What about the two core activities “Product Development” and “Operational Packaging”?
Philippe Thuvien - In direct contact with Marketing, the “Product Development” teams serve as an interface between the Business, Operational and R & I. teams. In a prospective and definition phase, they participate with the Marketing teams to the setting up of launch plans. They help marketing teams with the product definition. They study the technical and economic feasibility and propose innovative and environmentally friendly solutions. During the industrialization phase, they develop and monitor the follow-up of schedules and the coordination of all the actors involved in the launch, they elaborate and control the estimated production costs and ensure the development and approval of designs. Finally, they monitor and coordinate the value analysis.
As for the “Operational Packaging” teams, they are in charge of ensuring the technical design of packaging items, of developing technical plans and pre required specifications for the supplier consultations, of insuring the certification of packagings and finished products and, finally, of elaborating and validating the AC/PF specifications.
Premium Beauty News - You insist a lot on the concepts of sharing, of cooperation, and finally of trust that must be established internally and, above all, vis-à-vis your external stakeholders?
Philippe Thuvien - Collaborative intelligence is fundamental. It starts with the coordination and management of operational teams and by promoting the sharing of experiences and best practices through the organisation of committees, theme days and “Trades” seminars, or even with community sites. This also involves what we call “the animation of the design quality system.” As for our suppliers, we have developed collaborative innovation, shared conceptions and the delegations of certification. A new approach with one of the highlights being, November next, the organization in collaboration with the Purchasing department, for the second year in a row of the Cherrypack operation, during which selected suppliers will have the opportunity to present their innovations to the Group.
Premium Beauty News - Innovation is obviously at the heart of this dynamics!
Philippe Thuvien - Our role is to be both a source of proposals for brands but also to be attentive to their needs. The enhancement of product performance, convenience of use and sensoriality are fundamental driving forces on which we base our innovation strategies while anticipating consumer expectations, regulatory requirements and integrating ambitious eco-design objectives, without forgetting the needs of emerging markets.
Premium Beauty News - You also have a duty of expertise?
Philippe Thuvien - This packaging expertise is one of L’Oréal assets with the supply of a real support to operational and innovation teams. Packaging expertise also has a mission of value analysis, of regulatory monitoring and of implementing new regulations as well as our Group’s requirements.
Premium Beauty News - Design is also an integral part of your approach.
Philippe Thuvien - Areca, the design agency brings its contribution to the various activities of the Group and it also works in close cooperation with the Packaging Innovation teams to develop new concepts.
Premium Beauty News - Among the “external” operations, two have retained attention, the Cherrypack launched last year and, more recently, the First Open Packaging Innovation Challenges in July 2011.
Philippe Thuvien - This is indeed part of this spirit of openness and partnership that we want to develop. You have named two but there are others and there will be others in the future.
The First Open Packaging Innovation Challenges were launched with three schools: Advancia, a School specialised in business management, ESIEC, a school specialised in packaging engineering and the Strate College, a school specialised in designing. The main highlights which emerged from such an initiative were, to rely on collective intelligence to create value, to promote university-industry rapprochements, and to have innovation focused on the needs of customers and future customers. Each winning idea, being of course rewarded.
Premium Beauty News - The next edition of Cherrypack will take place in November?
Philippe Thuvien - Indeed, we have decided to renew this positive experience with the Purchasing department.
This year, suppliers participating to the operation were selected by a broadened panel comprising members coming from such areas as Purchasing, Packaging and Development, Research and Prospective Marketing. It an opportunity for us to build an exclusive offer to meet the needs of our brands and of consumers.