A coffee with… Elvira Pinedo – Luxury Supply Chain Director at L’ÓREAL

Biography / Supply Chain Director – Luxury Division Iberia

Industrial engineer by training and logistics at heart, with more than 15 years of professional career in different areas of the supply chain mainly in L’Oréal and passing through Paris to live in the lungs of the organisation. Being in the scouts since I was 8 years old and all my experiences have taught me that people and talent have to be at the heart of the operation as an indispensable lever for any business transformation and development.

Empack: First of all, tell us what it means to be the director of Supply Chain Luxury within the company, what does your job consist of?

Elvira: What a good question! I would say that my job is to orchestrate a great team to get the product to our customers’ points of sale at the right time with the right quality and at the right cost. We have an extensive (and precious) brand portfolio and we are in many distribution models and from my team we have to make sure that all distribution is well nourished with the product portfolio of our brands. Within the supply chain of the L’Oréal divisions, we have two very important areas: the first is sourcing and demand forecasting and the second is customer service. And of course the coordination between the two is fundamental to have a good End to End process and to guarantee the satisfaction of our customers and the availability of our products on the shelves. It is also fundamental in my job to keep a long-term vision in order to adapt to this changing market and the wishes of the customer and consumer.

Empack: After more than 15 years of professional experience within the group, what do you think have been the biggest challenges you have faced and what projects do you remember or would you highlight in your professional career?

Elvira: L’Oréal accompanies our career by giving us the freedom to go further. This materialises in challenges that help us grow personally and are the way to drive the business to achieve the results we are getting. At L’Oréal we believe in transformation and change as a driver of growth and so at every stage I have been through over the years I have felt that I was facing a great challenge: including brands in our portfolio (Yves Saint Laurent) as Demand Planner, going to Paris to the SOP and managing a global launch of Armani, growing the retail model with Kiehl’s, experiencing the pandemic in the FMCG division with an explosion of colouring, the union of Spain and Portugal, and now this year, the biggest challenge: an unprecedented technological project being Spain and Portugal pioneers in the development of the solution at a global level in which we are moving to SAP Hana. And I cannot forget the cross-cutting challenge of sustainability that we all share together at L’Oréal under the company’s purpose: to create the beauty that moves the world.

un café con elvira pinedo l'óreal

Empack: A year ago, L’Oréal Spain opened its new headquarters in Madrid, an ambitious project of almost 20,000 m2 and capacity for more than 1,170 employees in the heart of Madrid, Madrid’s new innovation district. L’Oreal’s new headquarters in Spain was built to obtain two of the most important international distinctions in environmental sustainability and well-being. What can you tell us about this project, which has been in existence for a year now?

Elvira: It has been a long awaited move because L’Oréal has listened to us to build this new headquarters which is amazing and has been designed with strict environmental, technological and wellness criteria. All the spaces in the new headquarters have been designed around three axes:

Go Flex: workplaces are better and we can freely choose the best place to work depending on the moment and the task to be performed. Key to cohesion, collaboration and innovation.

For its part, Go Tech responds to digitalisation and connectivity, and Go Well is committed to sustainability in the design of spaces and focuses on caring for people. We employees value the fact that the company makes the effort to look after our health and well-being (gym with classes, health coach, physiotherapy, breastfeeding room…). And we also care about being part of a company that seeks to be sustainable.

L’Oréal’s new headquarters in Spain has been built to obtain two of the most important international distinctions in environmental sustainability and well-being (LEED Platinum certification and the Well seal), in line with the commitments set out in its ‘L’Oréal For The Future’ programme.

Empack: Finally, do you think the pandemic has changed L’Oréal’s perspective on business development, and is it possible that there are now areas that have been identified as growth areas due to changing consumer habits?

Elvira: We have learned many things from the pandemic, mainly the power of being flexible, agile and adaptable. One of L’Oréal’s main strengths is its brands and this has not changed, but in business development, the weight of e-commerce is evident and the search for new distribution models is also evident. And knowing how to maintain Brick & Mortar and at the same time grow ecommerce is key. In this sense, the pandemic has accelerated the digital development in which we at L’Oréal had already been pioneers, and CRM, which we were already working on, has become essential to know our consumers and define our strategy. On the other hand, the pandemic has strained the logistics industry in many ways and this has also put the supply chain in the focus of the business. It’s been a challenge for us, but a very good opportunity to add value and differentiate ourselves. It has helped us to strengthen the relationship with customers to make smart decisions and manage rapidly changing levels of demand well.

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