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Operations Management Principles

L’Oreal is one of the leading manufactures and distributors of toiletries and cosmetics. Since its inception L’Oreal has strived to be the largest in the toiletries and cosmetics industry and this goal has now been achieved by the company. Being the leading company in the industry bring growth and development challenges associated to maintaining the market position. The company’s production plant in the UK is purpose-built and produces 1300 product types. L’Oreal has seen its times of change and has excelled in being flexible to any changes that would improve productivity and efficiency.

What did L’Oreal do to help it organize the process of setup reduction? L’Oreal systems were not always as flexible as they may be deemed to be today. Through the years since inception, L’Oreal can be said to have worked on making crucial improvements to its production lines and processes. These crucial and strategic changes would then steer L’Oreal to great efficiency levels that ensured effective use of the company’s plant facilities and labor. The necessity to enhance production and ensure flexibility of manufacture was brought about by the need and demand to supply 80 million products each year.

With the level of flexibility in production that the company

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has now, it’s able to run the 1300 products types in 2 months. This then means that the company is able to run a production of about 150 product lines each week. This kind of production flexibility was attained through alteration of various processes that ensures efficiency and effectiveness of both the plant labor and facilities/production machines. Logistics that involved purchase, production, storage and distribution of its high number and variety of products, necessitated a change in the production systems.

Some of the main changes that L’Oreal had to make to organize the process of setup reduction include: 1. Introduction of JIT principles into the production/manufacturing process – the just-in-time production processes may have been a smart move to ensure that products are availed to the consumers just when they are needed. Through this process, there would be organized production that would be current market demand and ensure flow of the demand and supply chain. 2. Organization of the site into three main production autonomous centers technically focused on batches of products.

This kind of setup was focused on ‘related production’ where a range of products would be organized in terms of similarity of usage or production process. These would then the organized in batches and production would be specific to the suitable autonomous production center. 3. Focus of production lines and processes are then set on product sub-divisions – this arrangement was one main focus that would set the production process to be specific to certain product lines sub-divided.

Introduction of production center managers – every production center would have a supervisor that would oversee the production of the product lines in the center. The manager would supervise production closely to ensure that the processes of production are synchronized and well organized to ensure just-in-time delivery of products. 5. Making center managers in-charge of all tasks and processes in their center – with the introduction of JIT in all processes of manufacture, sub-division of products and allocation of centers to specific products lines or a family of products, there would be greater and more detailed supervision of production.

Center managers would ensure that their centers excelled not only in production but also in staff development. 6. Improvement of the shop-floor flexibility, quality and efficiency was introduced as a measure that would that would see improvements made in the set-up time. With these improvements, there would be efficiency and effectiveness in the production processes and fulfillment of the just-it-time concept of manufacture that was introduced by the company.

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