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MathieuCategory Manager, France
Hello, my name is Mathieu, I'm 31 and I've been working at L'Oréal for nearly eight years.
After studying chemistry at university (UPMC - Paris 6) and doing a master's in international purchasing at ESC business school in Bordeaux, I joined L'Oréal on a placement at the end of my course. The six-month internship with the General Purchasing Department (DGA) led to my first real position as a raw materials buyer for the DGA. Three and a half years later, I came to work in the purchasing department at the Caudry plant in the north of France, learning all about packaging purchasing for L'Oréal's Luxury Division. After two and a half years working on different packaging portfolios while we reorganised our purchasing departments, I was put in charge of packaging launches for Lancôme, supervising a team of three people at the European Sourcing Centre.
During these eight years in industrial purchasing, I have met a number of people working in a range of business lines, including Research, Legal Affairs, Development, Logistics, Packaging, Quality, Production and Marketing. One of L'Oréal's strengths lies in its ability to foster tight-knit relations between many different departments to successfully market high-quality, innovative products in line with the group's business targets.
On an everyday level, when Marketing and Industrial Development teams present a new project, we always have to overcome the same challenge: identifying the best sourcing, coming up with more effective spending forecasts, determining the best investment-capacity ratio, suggesting new cost savings (technological breakthroughs, process analysis, etc.), coordinating initiatives with purchasing teams in other regions and incorporating new sustainable-development solutions (such as lighter packaging), while at the same time enhancing perceived quality for the consumer!
Purchasing is crucial at L'Oréal. It hinges on implementing on a supplier strategy that is in line with the group's needs, whether in terms of promoting new technology, sustainable development, market security and versatile logistics or upholding ethical commitments and ensuring a solid geographical footprint.
The issues we face in our line of work are constantly changing: every day, we need to adapt to our social and economic environment. We need to overcome major challenges that always keep you on your toes; you never have the chance to get fed up!
As for where I go from here, whether I stay in purchasing or opt for another line of business... L'Oréal offers real scope for change and purchasing covers a wide range of fields, such as Industrial Purchasing, Service Purchasing and POS Purchasing, all with very different issues and challenges.