Everything we do centers on our customers and making sure that the products created by our Houses are available when and where they are needed is a fundamental priority. The LVMH Supply Chain plays a pivotal role in respecting this promise. Alain Doudard, Supply Chain Director for LVMH, presents this essential Group function.
What exactly does supply chain mean?
It designates all the processes and resources that go into planning, managing and executing product flows at every step in the chain that links suppliers to end customers, including management of information and financial flows. This spans planning, purchasing, production, sales administration, customer service, logistics, managing returns, etc. In short, the supply chain figures at the very heart of our activities: all the products made by our Houses at some point pass through the hands of the people who work in this essential function. From procurement of raw materials to the sale of our products in stores, from planning to execution, everyone works with a single objective: satisfy our customers, wherever they are in the world.
In a Group with such a widely diverse range of businesses as LVMH, what are the key objectives and challenges for the Supply Chain?
Regardless of the segment, the Supply Chain makes an essential contribution to value creation. In the universe of luxury we face specific challenges such as significant seasonal swings in demand or the capacity to handle large volumes of new products. There are also major time constraints with the pace of new collections, a global marketplace, valuable products whose security must be ensured during transport, optimized inventory management and other imperatives. Anticipation is essential to meet these organizational challenges.
In an increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex environment, the LVMH Supply Chain must show considerable agility to guarantee the excellence of our products. We must provide impeccable customer service while containing costs and risks and optimizing investments. Our teams constantly work closely with other departments at the different Houses: Marketing, Merchandising, Retail, Finance, etc. They coordinate and orchestrate actions to achieve the objectives of our brands.
How does LVMH support the Supply Chain at the Group level?
In 2013 we created a Group Supply Chain committee to facilitate exchanges across the Supply Chain community. By looking at issues together and sharing expertise, LVMH deploys tremendous leverage to meet different challenges. For example, to optimize talent management we coordinate with Group HR teams and brand HR to document and develop our competencies. We’re also in the process of creating a Supply Chain Academy. What’s especially motivating in a Group like LVMH is that there is not one but multiple supply chains that have a vast variety of challenges to address. It’s obvious that we have more intelligence collectively than individually. We need to encourage this mindset to ensure that the LVMH Supply Chain continues to create value for each of our Houses.