For a company as large as France-based L’Oreal, one of the world’s most well-known cosmetics giants, it can be difficult to estimate the amount of supplies and labor needed to produce mass quantities of products. Specifically, the company’s Professional Products Division, based in Solon, Ohio, was having trouble keeping track of materials needed to create the nearly 18 million holiday pre-packs it assembles each year. The pre-packs, which contain shampoos and conditioners from the company’s various brands (Redken, Matrix, etc.), require an assembly line crew and special packaging materials in order to be put together for shipment to distribution warehouses and salons. L’Oreal’s old tracking system for the pre-packs involved nothing more than spreadsheets, which were time-consuming and outdated.
Mike Fry, L’Oreal’s assistant vice president of information technology, stresses both the importance and convenience of the SYSPRO Enterprise Resource Planning software it chose from Driscoll & Associates, Inc. The system, which is affordable, easy-to-use and capable of organizing the smallest of small businesses or the largest global corporations, was customized by Driscoll & Associates to meet the needs of this specialized, niche project.
Since L’Oreal’s implementation of the SYSPRO software eight years ago, material planning and analyst labor have been cut by about 25 percent, according to Fry. With the help of Driscoll & Associates, the system was able to be customized for capacity planning, and management now has a much better idea of the amount of materials required for pre-pack assembly. The software also allows the company to determine the size of the assembly line crew needed to get the job done, thereby eliminating excess labor and excess costs. SYSPRO has also saved the company time, which is critical in making sure the pre-packs arrive promptly so they can be sold before each designated holiday.
“I’m truly impressed with the combination of the SYSPRO product and Driscoll & Associates,” notes Mike Fry, L’Oreal Assistant Vice President of information technology. He says that SYSPRO works and has been extremely cost-effective for L’Oreal, noting that Driscoll & Associates sold him on the investment. “It starts with Dave Driscoll. He understands manufacturing. He has been exposed to a lot of different types of manufacturing, and he knows the SYSPRO product. This is of great value. When we present a business problem to him, he’s going to come up with a creative solution for us, and it will be cost-effective.”