Premium Beauty News - If we quickly go back over the main stages of Aircos’ growth, the whole only dates back to fifteen years.
Éric Merville - Actually, Aircos’ activity dates back to more than 40 years but it’s only in the early 2000s that the company takes its current form around three core activities, namely: injection in our site of Ardon (130km South of Paris), formulation with two laboratories, one in Boulogne Billancourt (suburbs of Paris), and the other one in Romorantin (170km South of Paris) and manufacturing and packaging, also in our factory of Romorantin.
As a matter of fact, it is through these three perfectly mastered activities that we are able to offer a truly customized product.
Premium Beauty News - Consistent investments were required?
Éric Merville - Approximately 500,000 euros per year on average, excluding large industrial investments such as the updating of the site in Romorantin, in January 2OO9, at a cost of some two million euros. But it was worth it! In eight years, the staff of Aircos jumped from 75 employees to 150! The turnover which had already reached €11 million in 2008 will be nearing €17 million this year!
Premium Beauty News - Even so your company is evolving in a harshly competitive environment?
Éric Merville - Yes, but there is no secret. Our customers are paying more and more attention to market changes and their brand positioning. In this regard, they need industry experts. This is the reason why our core business is focused on cosmetics by developing a tool suiting their needs.
The production unit in Ardon is air conditioned and automated. The factory hosts 35 state-of-the-art injection moulding machines, including 3 dual-injection. But we can also design and implement in-house specific machines and automated systems to continually improve the site’s performance. This industrial building which is ISO 9001:2008 certified includes marking operations and has a clean room to design "pollution protected" parts.
Our formulation laboratories in Boulogne-Billancourt and Romorantin enable us optimal responsiveness in our proposals. And we continue to invest in this area to strengthen our skills and our ability to respond. We can manage a project from its first concept to its most advanced design. Our integrated analysis laboratory enables us to manage all microbiological testing, we can thus guarantee independence and responsiveness.
Finally, our new factory in Romorantin, which is ISO 9001:2008 certified, GMP compliant, currently under Ecocert approval with an OTC production area allows us to perform all types of filling, our industrialization team designs in-house automated systems to optimize our packaging process. This plant has a production and packaging capacity of over 110 million units/year.
Premium Beauty News - A area where one must constantly innovate?
Éric Merville - Innovation has always been the driving force in Aircos’s development, the R & D department which is integrated, has two main functions: conduct studies applied to customer specifications, but also identify and anticipate changes required for the future of our profession. With a reinforced R & D team, we are in a position to work on tomorrow’s textures and colours. In September we will invite our customers to discover our 2011/2012 autumn-winter ranges. They are called "System 80", "Requiem" and "Ultra Glam."
And, as you know, lipsticks and lipgloss are entering our cosmetic range as of this autumn.
Premium Beauty News - A real "full service" business?
Éric Merville - This them, which is haphazardly addressed by many people, encompasses realities we have been dealing with for years: actually in the field of make-up, we master all its components.
This mastery allows us to offer our customers full product responsibility. Brands need strong answers to meet market demand: cases, pallets, jars ..., Our teams know how to come up with appropriate solutions for the projects they have been entrusted with. The combination of our know-how enables us to perform multi-product pallets, in addition, thanks to our experience in the field of injection, a number of assembly are processed automatically.
We have what it takes to be full-service specialists and it is clearly a cornerstone in the development of Aircos for the years to come.
Premium Beauty News - And what are the next steps?
Éric Merville - Broaden our lines of products, as I told you. But also expand our influence abroad. Exports only accounts for 20% of our business. Which is not enough.