Labels are a key component of the marketing mix, yet they are not always integrated into the first development phase of new products. "This is unfortunate, but it is a fact that we have to deal with", explains Alexandre Burgot-Dervin, President of DB Groupe. "Our job is to adapt to the design chosen by the brands and to make it industrializable. This involves a wide variety of technical know-how and industrial tools”.
The DB Groupe is a family-owned company that has specialized in product identification since 1991. It has two factories in France – one near Rouen, the other near Orléans – organized around three divisions: DB Technique, for industrial marking, DB Tech, for product identification and traceability, and DB Premium for premium labels and markings. The Group employs 70 people and plans to achieve a turnover of 12 million euros in 2023, 50% of which will be generated in the luxury sector (perfumes, cosmetics, wines, spirits, and fine foods).
Technical mastery and agility
"The label is a medium that can take many forms and serve many functions. It plays an important aesthetic role, it is a key element of compliance, it is a traceability tool, some serve as a guarantee strip, etc. This multifunctionality requires very different technologies, which must be mastered and adapted to meet multiple demands, in a context where development cycles have become very short", emphasizes Alexandre Burgot-Dervin.
DB Groupe has highly flexible industrial equipment for this purpose. "Today, we can produce labels by the unit as well as runs of several million, with or without personalization," continues the manager.
This feat is made possible thanks to the mastery of three major processes: flexography because its high precision is ideal for legal notices; screen printing, the Group’s flagship process, which offers the best results in terms of aesthetics (quality of colours, gilding and embossing) but requires extensive know-how; and digital technologies, which are highly complementary to the two others. Different finishes – embossing, relief varnishing, doming – can also be achieved. “We are convinced that the future will consist of multiprocess labels enabling all customer requirements to be met", adds Alexandre Burgot-Dervin.
DB Groupe is banking on local production and services. The company generates 20% of its turnover abroad, mainly in Europe. Like many others, the company has had to deal with the disruption of supply chains in the post-Covid period. Today, however, DB Groupe believes that it has reached the critical size to offer its customers, storage solutions that guarantee business continuity in the event of logistical problems.
Reducing the environmental footprint
The Group is fully participating in the efforts undertaken by all industrial players in Europe, to reduce the environmental footprint. "We have worked hard on raw materials (paper substrate, adhesives, inks) to offer more environmentally friendly options. We have obtained exclusive innovations from our suppliers for our customers. But the environmental footprint of our actions is not limited to our products. We have to consider the impact of our entire activity", explains the company’s president.
DB Groupe is certified Imprim’Vert and ranked Silver by EcoVadis, with the aim of reaching the Gold level as early as 2023, with quantified objectives in terms of reducing energy consumption, recycling waste, and improving the carbon balance…
In particular, DB Groupe was a pioneer in offering its customers free take-back of their glassines. "In terms of volume, this is certainly the main waste generated by labelling. We recover all glassines, whether they come from our factories or not. The paper is then shredded and reused as recycled glassines. The more recycled material there is, the more viable and sustainable the system is, it’s a virtuous circle."
Since 2018, DB Groupe, through the DB Foundation, is also committed to funding research into children’s diseases, and accompanying hospitalized children. "What our labels allow us to offer to society is an important part of our raison d’être", explains Alexandre Burgot-Dervin.
To meet the demands of its customers, DB Groupe is investing in new equipment. The company plans to open a new production line every year for the next five years. This equipment will add to the 17 lines already in operation.
Naturally, because of these investments, the company’s infrastructure will have to be adapted. The Olivet site, in the Loiret region, will be expanded from 2,500 to 4,000 m2. At the same time, construction work will reduce both energy consumption and the carbon footprint of the buildings, while improving recycling rates.
Finally, the company is also investing heavily in the search for new talent, their loyalty, and the development of in-house skills.
DB Groupe will be taking part in the next edition of the Paris Packaging Week exhibition, on 25 and 26 January 2023 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. It will welcome, on its Stand J191, its clients and all brands wishing to study new projects, and present its know-how, its latest achievements and commitments. " What is the most important is not our labels, it is what they allow you to do," concludes the company’s president.