Frédéric Munoz has held several positions in purchasing during his career with LVMH. An engineer by training, his purchasing experience has played an important role in his career itinerary.
“Purchasing is a field that’s extremely rich in terms of acquiring different skills, and my career is a perfect example of the benefits. After getting my degree in engineering from Arts & Métiers I worked in the consumer personal care sector as a Packaging Development Engineer, then a Buyer and ultimately Purchasing Director. I sharpened my management skills through my relations with suppliers. Simply working on their costs isn’t enough, you need to support them to deepen their engagement and motivate them.
This is even more essential in the luxury industry. In 2001 I was named Leather Goods Purchasing Director at Louis Vuitton, a Maison where creativity is everything. This makes innovation a key success factor and an area where suppliers make a pivotal contribution. I worked to better integrate purchasing with the design department in order to better meet the expectations and needs of our creative/artistic director. In my department, buyers were assigned to a given material to let them focus totally in finding innovations and engaging directly with the creative teams, even anticipating their needs. This rapprochement quickly flowed through to quite good results. For example, it allowed us to find pertinent solutions when the Louis Vuitton bags by Takashi Murakami were being developed, since the canvasses – which had 30 colors – required special printing processes. In four years I learned to better identify the potential value added for the Maison and the key growth drivers. I also learned to identify the players who could contribute to its development, namely our suppliers, thanks to their savoir-faire and their business model, and to optimize their management.
These skills helped me in my day-to-day work in new areas, particularly at Louis Vuitton, where I moved to production from 2004 to 2010 as Director of the Issoudun workshop and then Leather Goods Production Director. And they continue to guide me today at a new Maison in a position with broader responsibilities. Since 2013 I’ve been Operations Director at Fendi. Based in Rome, I’m in charge of development, purchasing, production, supply chain, IT and other areas. Internally, I thus work with our style, marketing, merchandising and retail teams. And of course, I work outside with our manufacturing partners, as well as with colleagues in operations at other LVMH Maisons in order to share best practices and to coordinate job mobility. Throughout the value chain at Fendi, from product design to sales to our customers, I’m totally focused on delivering excellence to transform our slogan into action: “Make it happen!”