Clara, Rocking Quality Process At The Core Of The L’Oréal Operations

When we bring people and products together at the world’s largest beauty company across 150 countries, 153 distribution centers and 39 manufacturing locations, we have the best of both worlds: Custom Products! Yet, we all know whether you sell widgets or whiz-bang ideas, success hinges on a quality product.

At L’Oréal, quality is not only a mindset; it’s everyone’s business. From operators to plant managers, from employees to brand directors, from scientists to experts, quality has always been central to what we do. Given that we manufacture annually over seven billion cosmetic products all over the world, quality is a culture shared by everyone, everywhere engaging all of our teams day in, day out. We wouldn’t have been awarded The Operational Excellence Prize in 2017 without a culture of excellence shared by all employees at every level, including our brilliant Operations interns and their relentless focus on quality.

As part of our Operations Interns Summer Series, we are putting a spotlight on interns from various expertises, such as Supply Chain, Development, Buying, Digital Operations, Quality and Packaging. Today we catch up with Clara, L’Oréal Quality Process Intern who has the most charming southern French accent. You cannot hear it, but if you would you would definately agree with us :)

Tell us a little bit more about you!

I‘m Clara and I’m doing my end-of-course internship at L’Oréal. I was born in the South of France, and studied Chemical Engineering at INP-Ensiacet in Toulouse. Before joining L’Oréal, I lived in Dublin and did a research and development internship. I was also lucky to live in Argentina for a semester. There, I traveled a lot, enjoying hiking near lamas across beautiful landscapes and I even got to sail with whales!

Give us some fun facts about yourself!

I’m from Toulouse, and even if I thought I don’t have any “provincial” accent, here in Paris it is just impossible to hide it. All my workmates are telling me that I am not speaking but singing…

I was searching for an internship in the field of cosmetics last year and I was lucky to join the L’Oréal Operations. At the same time, my boyfriend was also looking for an internship. And he found it at the Research and Innovation department at L’Oreal, too! So funny to be together in the same group and to see each other in a professional context!

Can you tell us more about some of the projects you are working on?

I am working in the make-up team. The team is in charge of scaling-up products and ensuring industrialization in our plants. We test make-up products made by our R&I teams on a larger scale : between 30–300kg skids, and we adapt processes to reach the best quality for our products.

Clara’s L’Oréal Supply Chain Team

My main goal was to establish a database about the filling of powders (eyeshadows and face powders). This database will be useful for every employee, from a laboratory to a plant, in order to facilitate filling, and save time when it comes to testing.

Can you tell us about the innovation that has surprised you the most at L’Oréal?

Personalization of products! The fact that every consumer wants personalized products, so we have to adapt very quickly and agility is at the core of the way we think and work.

Agility and flexibility are part of L’Oréal’s DNA. The organization moves rapidly based on the needs of its customers. The goal is to embrace entrepreneurship. We adapt by region. For example, the luxury division in Japan does not have the same needs as the customer service division in Brazil.

Have your perceptions about L’Oréal changed from what you knew about L’Oréal before?

L’Oréal is very concerned about consumer feedback and work hard to satisfy everybody, always thinking of environmental impact and the well-being of each employee. I was not fully aware of the extent of their impact!

To give you an idea, we carry out about 100 quality controls for each one of our cosmetic products over the course of the production cycle, from design to sourcing of raw materials and packaging, manufacturing and distribution. We basically make sure that the product is perfect at every stage of production.

Most of all, though, our excellence shows through in the feedback we are getting from consumers. We get only 52 complaints per million products sold. The challenge now is to cut that number even further over the following years.

Your started at L’Oréal as an intern, where did you hear about L’Oréal and why did you choose us?

Who doesn’t know L’Oréal? Since the beginning of my studies, I was convinced that I want to work in a cosmetic field. For me, it’s one of the most challenging and innovating fields. The world is changing very fast. We have to be able to adapt our way of working every time, to deliver the best quality and to satisfy all our consumers worldwide. L’Oréal is the cosmetic leader, and I was sure that I will learn a lot to grow professionally but also personally in this group.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring other people applying to L’Oréal?

Be yourself and show that your own values are linked to the ones L’Oréal has.

Be ready to be part of a team and to meet all kinds of different and strong personalities from various backgrounds 😄

Inspired by Clara’s story? The best possible quality is a huge challenge for a company like L’Oréal given that the Group manufactures annually over seven billion cosmetic products all over the world. How do we ensure that each individual product meets the very highest quality standards in every country, across every distribution channel and for every one of our brands? By having people like Clara and potentially — YOU. Learn about our Operations careers here:

If you’re an impact seeking inventor, a driver of disruption, join us to lead the Beauty innovation to the next level