Premium Beauty News - We will soon be able to count European metal converters of the Beauty industry on the fingers of one hand?
Marc Pivaudran - It is true that crisis has done deep damage, probably irreversible for some of us. We’ve had our share but we are pulling out of it. This drop of almost 50% between 2008 and 2009 was unimaginable. As you know, we had to reduced our workforce to 180 people on two production sites in Souillac (stamping and surface treatment/assembly) while keeping our expertise.
The U.S. market has been in the past a tremendous powerhouse for the development of G. Pivaudran representing up to 50% of our activity (30% today!), but the crisis on the continent has obviously impacted us more than others.
Premium Beauty News - Is crisis the only factor responsible this drop in the metal industry concerning beauty packaging?
Marc Pivaudran - No, of course. It is clear that we have been subject as everyone else, for several years, to a slow but increasing erosion of our margins under the pressure of a customer market always demanding better price conditions. Asian competitor are obviously not helping us.
And our industry is always asking for more investment and technology. Transfer presses, and with all the more reason, the lines for surface treatment are expensive and quality has a price. And in any case, must be paid for! Not to mention the compulsory investment in terms of environment which led us for example to equip ourselves, early 2009, with a machine capable of achieving double anodizing treatments in optimum environmental conditions.
Premium Beauty News - A fine example of quality product that design for Hermes is!
Marc Pivaudran - Quite true, a fine example! May I remind you that it is a glass bottle dressed with a very thick metal stirrup. To achieve this We had to push aluminum to its very limits during the press forming process, but also adapt and develop associated surface treatments which are polishing and anodizing. This beautiful object is a true novelty, in terms of design but also by the gestural, and we are extremely proud to be associated to it with our partner IPack.
Premium Beauty News - Is metal still in fashion?
Marc Pivaudran - If you have a look into our order book for the months to come, undoubtedly yes!
I think our growth this year will be over 30% and we have a number of new projects. This restart is accompanied with the arrival of a Director of Operations and Continuous Improvement, who took office mid-March.
I must also say that our "innovation" process has never slowed down and we have some concrete things to offer our customers who are of course very eager to take advantage of.
By the end of the year, we will be able to show some of these leads, especially for surface treatments and new technologies for material deformation.