Tuesday, April 19, 2011

L’Oreal Collaboration Through MS SharePoint Case Study

History & Challanges :

The L’Oreal group, founded in 1907 is world’s largest cosmetic and beauty company selling globally more than 500 brands. The company’s head quarter is in Paris, France and five R&D centers are spread worldwide. Two of its R&D centers are in France, One in US, One in Japan and one in China.

Its 150 subsidiaries, Head Quarter and R&Ds centre have to share information and collaborate to make a common strategy across the group. L’Oreal has operations in over 130 countries, employing more than 68,000 people in the year 2007. It operates 42 manufacturing plants throughout the world, which employ 14,000 people. To link everyone of them on the same platform of information is a difficult task.

The intranet for this division must support 3,000 researchers working in France, the United States, Japan and China. The intranet is required to host over 50 websites and support professional applications as well as databases on subjects including biology, patents, hair color and laboratory security.

In such a vast network its difficult for teams to communicate. Team members lose interest in commercial activity when they consume more energy in communication. To overcome these hurdles and to manage its Largest Internet Initiative L’OrĂ©a choose SharePoint Portal Server.

Functionalities of M@sternet 

Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies include browser based collaboration and a document management platform.

• These can be used to host web sites that access shared work spaces and documents, as well as specialized applications like wikis and blogs from a browser.

• Users are allowed to manipulate proprietary controls or pieces of content called web parts to creat or modify sites.

• The MS SharePoint is a premier collaboration server and a powerful platform that allows to work several persons on same set of documents together.

• It lets convert information from MS Office application quickly and efficiently.

• It is targeted as a colaberated work space and a tool for management and automation of business processes.In short this is a collabration of processes and people

 L’Oreal  moved with  SharePoint Platform

ANS. L’Oreal sought on intranet solution to manage the numerous documents generated by the internet and e-business group and to enable its various world wide branches to easily communicate and collaborate in the development of 200 corporate and business web sites.

L’Oreal decided to use Microsoft share point server to create a global knowledge, collaboration and coordination of effort worldwide, enabling a single community ease of integration with desktop MS Office.

The implementation was easy out of box. The simplicity to adopt and integration with other MS office application were the reasons of choosing the SharePoint. Within one week L’Oreal was able to test on the internet.

Benefits of  MS SharePoint to  L’Oreal

In particular L’Oreal wished to achieve the following:

1. To have one global view of all the projects that were developing new products for launch.

2. To be able to form a view on prioritization and be able to make the right resource allocation decisions

3. To improve quality

4. To track engagements with commercial subsidiary companies

Keeping these objectives ultimate benefits of M@sternet for L’Oreal are as follows:

• Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies include browser based collaboration and a document management platform which are user friendly and easy to use.

• These can be used to host websites that access shared workspaces and document across all the offices of the group spread in three continents Europe, Asia and US, means no need to exchange multiple mails with attachments.

• Document library – a place to store relevant documents, files, pictures etc. The advantage is that every related group member can access the latest version of document efficiently.

• Team discussion board allows free discussion amongst the group members.

• Calendar helps everybody to know all scheduled meetings and appointments without losing the track.

• Announcements are available just a click away.

• SharePoint is not intended to replace a full file server. Instead it is targeted as a collaborative workspace and a platform for social networking.

Limitations of SharePoint :

SharePoint is often criticized for its lack of well integrated tools for developers and its complex customized software architecture that differs significantly from those of other ASP.NET-based web applications.

Microsoft has announced significantly better support in the upcoming version of Microsoft’s primary development environment Visual Studio to enhance the developer experience.

This has all the limitations what out of box – template solutions have. It is good for general program management, but may lack certain functionalities of specific needs of Project managers.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

How do brands make use of Innovation Labs to get Market Share?

The once loyal consumers who used to swear by brands earlier are now open to switching, dating and even flirting with other brands - all thanks to modern trade. In such a dynamic market situation companies have to formulate newer strategies like the holistic marketing etc.

More and more companies are adopting the concept of Ignitor's raison d'etre. The executives from different parts of the globe and varied functionality join and work together to innovate the strategy which can keep the company ahead in competition.

In this wave of innovation labs scientists, engineers and marketers work on the same planet together keeping aside hierarchy and toy with ideas and answers in areas ranging from product creation to market strategy. The life cycle has shortened, an innovation today grows old tomorrow. But these labs provide common rethinking and work to redefine the rules of invention, innovation and engagement at a predatory pace.

In Bengaluru a city in southern part of India, Lenovo has a humongous centre - a marketing hub that takes care of the Chinese company's global marketing activities.

Thousands of miles away Google created the Creative Lab - a dedicated in-house ad agency for Google products and the brand.

The owner of brands like Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC and Taco Bell, Yum! Restaurants has set up an innovation centre in Gurgaon near Indian capital Delhi where red circles on calendars read "Innovation Day" .

And in a Mumbai suburb, French automobile major Renault has a design satellite or in layman terms, a centre dedicated to intuitive car design, a concept that's in force across emerging markets including Brazil, Russia and South Korea.

Google :

'The Google Creative Lab has helped the Google, a company led by engineers and scientists to reshape its strategy from pure technology driven company to become one of the biggest marketing platform. The company originally was averse to marketing itself.

'The Google Creative Lab is a small team of creative programmers , writers, storytellers, filmmakers, art directors and digital designers. This lab has surprised with the work like the web video "Parisian Love" and Arcade Fire Meets HTML 5.

The philosophy of Creative lab is to simplify the complex ideas. The lab's role is to connect product ideas with the consumer. With changed approach in 2010 Google advertised heavily its browser “chrome” in all forms of media. The Google is most preferred search engine and does not need glitzy big-budget commercials.
 Mahindra - Renault :

Mahindra-Renault joint venture has nothing to speak other than Logan so far. According to Jean Phillipe Salar, the chief designer at Renault design India it takes three years to create a car - from blue print to manufacturing. Salar has designed the Renault Clio 2, the hatchback.

The studio in India started in 2008. To make up the lost time modellers and designers at the studio are engrossed in designing and creating mock car models to be launched from Renault stable in next few years. The team under Mr Salar knows that they have to compete with the brands which are present in India for far more years.

The Renault has six design studio across the world. The others are in Russia, Brazil, Paris, Bucharest and South Korea. Jean Phillipe Salar has worked across Paris, South Korea and Brazil before taking up the mantle in India.

The studio in India comprises a team of 12 people, designers from NID and International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT), Chicago and modellers , who are essentially engineers, graphic designers and colour and material specialists.

All the design studios across the globe get the same brief. These studios compete with each other to create the best car design. "The design that is the best - the one closest to the brief - is chosen and that is used globally."

Though they all get the same brief, but while designing local needs are given more priority. For instance, in Russia, consumers need something more functional and boxy. In India, customers want something that is well-balanced between design, cost, mileage and space.

Renault India is targeting the growing luxury car market in India. It plans to launch two cars this year - the 838, a sedan and the H45, a 4X4, to establish the brand in India.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

What are the capabilities of new consumers?

Customers today perceive fewer real product differences and show less brand loyalty, and they are becoming more price and quality sensitive in their search for value.

The once loyal consumers who used to swear by brands earlier are now open to switching, dating and even flirting with other brands - all thanks to modern trade and this is posing a serious problem with conventional marketing.

Marketeers have to adopt to new strategies considering following capabilities which consumer did not have earlier :
• A substantial increase in buying power.
• A greater variety of available goods and services.
• A great amount of information about practically anything.
• Greater ease in interacting and placing and receiving orders.
• An ability to compare notes on products and services.
• An amplified voice to influence peer and public opinion.

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What are the components of marketing from the customer’s view point?

A complementary breakdown of marketing activities has been proposed that centres on customers. Its four dimension (SIVA) and the corresponding customer questions these are designed to answer are.

1. Solution : How can I solve my problem?
2. Information : Where can I learn more about it?
3. Value : What is my total sacrifice to get this solution?
4. Access : Where can I find it?

Winning companies satisfy customer needs and surpass their expectations economically and conveniently and with effective communication.

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Explain the Holistic Marketing Concept?

The holistic marketing concept is based on the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes, and activities that recognizes their breadth and interdependencies. Holistic marketing recognizes that “everything matters” in marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is often necessary.

Holistic marketing is thus an approach that attempts to recognize and reconcile the scope and complexities of marketing activities. The four broad components characterizing holistic marketing are:

i. Relationship marketing,
ii. Integrated marketing,
iii. Internal marketing, and
iv. Performance marketing.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Is an Operating Budget?

The operating budget reflects in the projected income statement and is the centerpiece of the budgeting system.
It generally consists of several sub-budgets, most important one being the sales budget which is prepared first. Since an operating budget is a short term budget, capital outlays are excluded because they are long-term costs.

It is built up in terms of following subbudgets:

1. Sales forecast
2. Production budget
3. Materials and purchases budget
4. Labour cost budget
5. Manufacturing overhead budget
6. Non-manufacturing cost budge

The focus of an operating budget is to ensure that there are funds to maintain the continued operation of a business, and that those funds are distributed in the most cost-efficient manner. Most experts believe that an operation budget should begin with a sales budget. An operating budget should also project expenses. 

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What are Budgets? & Its Benefits

A budget is a quantitative expression of plans comprehensive and coordinated plan for the operations and resources of the firm.

Following are the benefits of making Budgets :

• Induce managements to think systematically about the future.
• Serve as a device for coordinating the complex operations of the business.
• Provide a medium for communicating the plans of the firm.
• Motivate managers at all levels to perform well.
• Serve as a standard against which the actual performance may be judged.

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Don't be Serious be Sincere