Jean-Philippe Lesecq, AVIME Chief Executive, explains a bit more about his company, its business sector…
Can you give us a brief introduction to AVIME and its core business?
AVIME was created in the 1980’s and is based in the Lille region. Originally its founder and I worked for ETS NEU, a company in Northern France that helped train a great many engineers and technicians in the field of air flow systems and turbo-machines. Drawing on this experience, we started AVIME which worked mainly with rotating machines, vibration analysis and predictive maintenance, our original core business.
With demand from our customers for more services, we then launched a new balancing and repair service for rotating machines. At the same time, we continued growing our air flow systems business with customised fans that we manufactured for our customers, which included Veolia, KPNC, ArcelorMittal, Suez, Vinci, Total, EDF.
Over the years you have expanded onto the international stage. Can you tell is a bit more?
As we worked in partnership with our customers, we were asked to work in various geographic regions around the world: Denmark, Norway, Poland, the Middle-East, the United States and Hong Kong.
In 2016, for instance, we delivered 8 industrial blowers and fans that we made to order for Veolia and KPNC. Thanks to this project AVIME was able to consolidate its positioning and highlight its expertise and know-how in the field. International markets were not however one of our original priority strategic objectives. Given the French economic and industrial context, we have had to follow growth opportunities on the international market. Our maintenance operations however remain entirely in France.
We currently have promising prospects in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, as well as in Poland, England and Kuwait. Alongside a French engineering firm, we are going to be building 19 fan turbines for deduster trains for the New York subway.
Over the years, and despite our small size, we have acquired very significant international references. What makes the company stand out?
Our very high levels of technical know-how and expertise in our areas of business mean we are respected by our customers. Many of them respect us as experts and use us as a point of reference. We can also offer them all the benefits of working with a SME: Reactive capacity, agility, personalised service and proposals.
What challenges are you facing? What is the outlook?
Over the last ten years our customer recognition and satisfaction curve has accelerated significantly. We must however always be on our guard and ensure our ambitions are appropriate for an SME of our size. To enable our continued success, we invest in software and equipment…
In terms of the outlook, we decided to strengthen on presence in France by opening technical hubs in Brittany and in the Rhone valley. We also grasped the opportunity for a small external growth operation in the Brittany region, which has helped us further build our customer portfolio to include brands such as Lactalis, Entremont and Bongrain. This is going to help us build our maintenance business, to recruit and decentralise our operations.