What's your job about?
My current role at L’Oreal involves assisting the operations team with day-to-day tasks at our distribution centre, as well as undertaking and executing various operations projects. I have assisted the Operations Manager and Head of Health and Safety in completely getting rid of plastic void fill and sticky tape, switching to paper alternatives to become more environmentally friendly. L’Oreal always puts employees’ safety first and thus, I played a role in helping to implement COVID-19 safety measures at the distribution centre.
One of my most proud initiatives is improving our eCommerce operations. With a lot of autonomy and support given by my manager, I was able to analyse our eCommerce processes and identify bottlenecks. Then, by leveraging Design Thinking and Theory of Constraints, solutions were developed and trialled. I relied heavily on backing up my solutions with data and rational assumptions to provide a compelling case. In the end, I was fortunate enough to be able to implement many of my suggestions, which will go on to improve our eCommerce operations from cost, efficiency, capacity, environment and ergonomic perspectives. I learnt so much from the experience including how to negotiate with suppliers, apply problem-solving frameworks and drive meaningful change within a business environment.
Overall, I would say my experiences were extremely hands-on, dynamic and taught me a great amount in a relatively short period.
What's your background?
I was born in China and immigrated to Australia with my family in 2008. Thus, I am fortunate enough to fluently speak both Mandarin and English! Currently, I live with my family of four plus a cute Border collie puppy.
I graduated high school from Camberwell Grammar. Altogether, I have changed schools 6 times during my primary and high school years (due to family moving) – this has taught me resilience and how to quickly adapt to different environments. As I was brought up in a household that valued education and academics, studying for VCE for a priority in the later years of high school. The process of achieving my ATAR goal instilled in me a great work ethic and taught me that working hard and smart equal remarkable results.
During my university years, in addition to completing my course, I was involved in many student societies and clubs leading to friendships and memorable experiences. My favourite is being able to fly to Berlin, Germany to help a medical equipment manufacturer start-up solve a business problem. I also undertook an internship at a consultancy to gain some real work experience.
I came across the role at L’Oreal in my final university year. The application process involved online testing, video interview, Assessment Centre and reference checks. Although it was challenging and nerve-wracking, L’Oreal was creative and made the processes interesting and engaging. Since then, I have been working at the company for over 6 months and it has been an unbelievable experience!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, absolutely. As someone who entered the role with barely any prior supply chain knowledge, I think that to be successful, the most important thing is to have a great attitude. As long as you are keen to learn, observe and ask plenty of questions, you will be able to make up whatever initial knowledge gaps there are. Another great characteristic to have is to be entrepreneurial. Although L’Oreal is a giant, global company, we sometimes function similar to a start-up! Being able to work in dynamic environments and be flexible would be a huge asset.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is the people I get to work and interact with. Whether it be the management staff who are always open, supportive and helpful, or the warehouse operators who always smile and say good morning even at 6 am. Everyone contributes in their own way to L’Oreal’s amazing culture. Some of my best memories at the warehouse have been doing some actual order picking and packing with the operators. It gave me a hands-on experience of what operations partially is and helped build meaningful relationships.
What are the limitations of your job?
One limitation, especially being out at the distribution centre, is that sometimes it can be difficult to access other business departments such as sales or marketing who are normally located at the corporate head office. While it is great to be a part of an amazing warehouse team, you are 40kms away from everyone else! However, the team is typically very happy for you to spend a couple of days a week at the head office where you can catch up and network with others. In addition, with the things technology can do, why not have a video call?
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