Batinfo: Could you introduce us to the Durieu Group?
Thibault Durieu: The Durieu Group is a family SMI, created in 1923. I thus represent the fourth generation. Each of them brought a new impetus; for my part, this was in particular the development of the wood sector and more particularly outdoor wood at the same time as the international deployment.
Our story begins in the import-export of car parts which constituted the first pillar of development before the arrival of the second pillar with the development in 1930 on the initiative of my grandfather, a chemical engineer, of Transyl, the leading penetrating oil on the French market. The first activity will disappear after the war. My father marked his time with the launch of the now famous rust remover Rustol, which was to be one of the components of the first wood saturator launched in France in the 90s.
Until 2008, 90% of our manufacturing was done under American license. On this date, we had the opportunity to buy back all of our intellectual property, which allowed us to become completely independent in terms of R&D, brand, etc...
It was also from this period that we deployed outside France to win new markets in Europe and beyond, each time creating local partnerships, or own subsidiaries (Belgium, Spain, UK, US). We are now present on 5 continents.
Batinfo: Where is Durieu today?
Thibault Durieu: When I summarize Durieu, I like to say that we are in the cosmetics of materials and more specifically wood and metal with a simple line of conduct: quality/efficiency/ease of use/durability. This last notion is essential for us and it is what logically led us to adopt the base line "Traverser le temps" / "Add life to years". For the protection and embellishment of works, we have a range of technical and decorative paints, and wood products that can be applied horizontally and vertically, inside and outside and on all species of wood. This wood care line is really an area that we have been building for twenty years and which has become a real strength. Of course, our range of anti-corrosion products, notably carried by Rustol, continues to be part of our historical products.
Today Durieu is a company of just over 150 employees, with a turnover of around 40 million euros and 100% French production spread over two sites, one located south of Paris and the other in the North of France.
We achieve between 35 and 40% of our turnover internationally through our subsidiaries and our partners present in more than 60 countries. At the beginning of 2022 Durieu even arrived on the territory of the Philippines.
Batinfo: What are the projects for the Durieu Group?
Thibault Durieu: To support our growth, we have launched numerous projects in recent years, whether in terms of products, organization or on a strictly industrial level.
At the industrial level, this materialized in particular at the end of 2019 with significant investments in the robotization of our supply chain. On the organizational side, investments have been massive in the digitalization of our ecosystem. With the aim in particular of supporting our customers as efficiently as possible. We have also strengthened our IT infrastructure and our protection systems against external malicious acts.
On the product side, our strong marker is eco-responsibility; this is an important value for our group that we have taken into account for many years. Our environmental charter dates back to 2007. It continues to dictate our daily actions and is even reflected in the long-term support we provide to two partners, Ecotree and Wings of the Ocean, respectively defenders of the preservation of forests and biodiversity (a virtuous circle for our wood industry) and oceans, beaches and coastlines (the navy being a market segment in which we are also present).
In the future, we have set ourselves the objective of continuing to transform ourselves, to innovate and to make our teams even more agile and efficient. Developing and strengthening the service part are also missions that are close to our hearts. For example, we are training more and more applicators who work with us in addition to the technical sales network that we have set up. The goal is to be able to support construction sites from start to finish in order to guarantee the optimal satisfaction of end customers.
We also have several projects in the works to celebrate the centenary of our company next year but for which I prefer to keep a little mystery for the moment! 2023 will also mark the conclusion of an ambitious and successful strategic plan that we set ourselves four years ago. The next one promises to be just as challenging and stimulating.
In summary, Durieu is therefore a group that will soon be celebrating its centenary, but which is firmly rooted in its time and turned towards the future. Our ambition is to continue the development of our offer without any compromise on the quality of our products, of course in compliance with regulatory standards and with strong attention paid to our eco-responsible policy.
But we must not forget that this great adventure is only possible thanks to the men and women who make up society. As Henry Ford said: "The two most important things do not appear on the balance sheet of the company: its reputation and its people."