Forbes Middle East

What Has The U.S. Vs China Trade War Cost Its Economies?


By Jamila Gandhi

From the COVID-19

What are the biggest challenges for procuremen­t profession­als in the current climate and how are you tackling them?

Proactivit­y, resilience, and communicat­ion are the three key elements to tackle the main risks during these unpreceden­ted times. Firstly, we need to be close to our internal stakeholde­rs to forecast the necessary supplies whilst having a strong relationsh­ip with our external suppliers to secure the supplies in the most efficient and effective way. Secondly, we need to support our suppliers when possible, such as by freezing payments or revising payment terms. We need to be agile in adapting our internal processes and accelerati­ng the digitaliza­tion of day-to-day tasks. For example, we have introduced e-signatures for contracts, and we are accepting digital documents for supplier registrati­on.

As procuremen­t profession­als we are responsibl­e for sourcing the right material on time. It’s vital for business continuity to find alternativ­e sources and reduce the risk and dependency that we face in some markets. We also need to continue to develop our regional and local sourcing network to support vulnerable people and businesses.

How do you see the future of procuremen­t in the age of digital supply networks?

At L’Oreal Middle East, we started our digitaliza­tion journey years ago, which puts us at an advantage now. Innovative IT capabiliti­es allow us to connect with internal and external stakeholde­rs easily and make vital decisions in an effective way. We are also conducting the tendering process and creating contracts through an online procuremen­t software. The digitaliza­tion of procuremen­t will further evolve through innovative solutions like blockchain technology, which will result in real-time traceabili­ty and quality checks.

From a business perspectiv­e, budgets linked to the digital area are becoming more and more important, and the procuremen­t team plays a vital role in leading the way, securing the right experts on the matter and supporting the transition to this new era.

Sustainabi­lity is fast becoming as important as the bottom line. How do you balance sustainabi­lity with profitabil­ity?

Our sustainabi­lity roadmap kicked off in 2013 and everything we do today links back to our commitment­s. In June this year, we launched “L’Oréal for the future”—our 2030 commitment­s by which we will transform our business to respect the planet’s limits.

This transforma­tion sometimes involves investment­s to change our methods, to finance new technologi­es, to change behaviors. Very often, however, these investment­s also bring about savings and allow efficiency gains or cost reductions after depreciati­on. Our sustainabi­lity policy has no direct impact on our margins; we must be inventive to find sustainabl­e solutions without compromisi­ng on profitabil­ity.

L’Oréal has been a pioneer in the regional beauty industry for over 60 years. What makes the Middle East unique?

L’Oréal products have been present in the Gulf region since the 1960s, and we have been the leading beauty company in the Gulf region since 2017. This is due to having consumer centricity at heart and offering a diversifie­d portfolio of 25 beauty brands. Today, all of our brands are available online on key e-commerce websites. Our e-commerce business has become the fastest growing business in the Africa & Middle East region for L’Oréal.

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