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Companies & industry

Asia: L’Oréal’s long-term commitment

Four months after the big meeting organized by the L’Oréal teams in Asia, hosting more than a hundred suppliers, Jacques Sebban, Director of the Asia Sourcing Centre, takes stock for Premium Beauty News. “A success that exceeded by far, all our expectations,” explains Jacques Sebban, “and who will lead us to repeat the experience at least once every two years, with between each session, real Suppliers Conventions, more in the form of workshops.

Premium Beauty News - So, in retrospect, are you pleased with this very first attempt, last November in Hong Kong?

Jacques Sebban - You surely mean ... delighted! Not only vis-à-vis our suppliers and partners but also because of the internal mobilization it generated throughout the group. And this at all levels, be it the Purchasing, Quality, Packaging or Logistics departments. This great “Supplier Day” allowed each of these stakeholders to play their part. This had a huge mobilizing effect on us.

As for the suppliers who were present in Hong Kong, unanimously I think, they were, both pleasantly surprised by the desire for rapprochement and sharing that we showed throughout the meeting, but also very proactive in their exchanges with us.

Besides, it was with them that we set up this event largely based on their wishes.

Jacques Sebban, Director of the Asia Sourcing Centre, L’Oréal

Jacques Sebban, Director of the Asia Sourcing Centre, L’Oréal

Premium Beauty News - So you will renew the experience!

Jacques Sebban - Yes, of course! This “Supplier Day” will take place every two years, with alternately, a sort of “Suppliers Convention” where topics will be discussed more in depth, why not in the form of round tables. Asia being quite a vast area, these conventions will certainly be held in the North and the South. The next ones should therefore take place in Shanghai and Singapore.

Since this major first in Hong Kong last November, we have had a lot of feed-back from several of our departments but also from our suppliers. The Quality department, in particular, is always very much looking forward to such meetings. Not to mention the teams in charge of the Supply Chain and of Environmental issues.

Premium Beauty News - In Hong Kong all your suppliers were not present!

Jacques Sebban - That’s right! We have more than 800 of them located in the Asian area, which as you remember, also includes India and Japan. And we had invited only 180 of them in Hong Kong. But it was a first. And we could obviously not host all of them.

In fact, this is also an important point of our approach with them. We wanted the Hong Kong meeting to be an expression of that. Our business relationships should be strengthen and also closer to our mutual concerns.

We want to work with confidence and insure that our relationship is in the long term. Convey clear and accurate messages. It is also with this in mind that I created a “Supplier Relationship Management.” We want to provide our suppliers with more information. The message is clear: “we say what we do and we do what we say!

On our side, we have worked to have more experienced, better organized and increasingly professional teams. The cross-cutting nature of our experiences is also important to fully appreciate each sector with its specificities and to intensify our exchanges.

At the same time, it is clear that we want to reduce our supplier base. Simply because it seems sounder to build a relationship that would include more consistent challenges and volumes with a stronger commitment coming from both sides.

Premium Beauty News - A Win-win situation?

Jacques Sebban - Yes, exactly! You know the winner of last year’s Supplier Day in Hong Kong, the Beauty Star company, was invited to come to Europe, to the headquarters of L’Oréal group, to meet all the managers.

I must add that I feel it is very important to be aware of all the challenges that lie ahead. As you know our group has an ambitious investment program set up for Asia in the coming years. We are doubling the production area in India, we are quadrupling the surface in Indonesia, we are studying a new industrial establishment in China etc. Not to mention increasing the performance of our industrial equipments. The message to our suppliers is simple. It’s a question of getting better organized to perform better. For them too, the future looks bright through the volumes that we will be providing them.

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois

© 2011 - Premium Beauty News - www.premiumbeautynews.com
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