Posted by David Sear
Interview with Laurent Marie, CEO of Trouvay & Cauvin.
That Trouvay & Cauvin is very successful in the Middle East as a stockist and project package specialist is quite evident from their reference list.
That list includes major companies spread throughout the region: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrein etc etc.
And the orders being fulfilled are certainly not peanuts either: how about the 600 km of stainless steel pipe, in sizes from 6 to 18 inch, supplied to the Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Complex for export lines?
Or take the 39,000 manual valves and 225 actuated valves, also delivered to the same project
So what is it makes Trouvay & Cauvin so successful? That was the question I put to its CEO, Mr Laurent Marie, when I met up with him recently in Abu Dhabi.
“Interesting point – why indeed should a company spend tens of millions of dollars buying from us?” was Mr Marie’s frank reply.
“They could probably go direct to the steel mill and save a few per cent. But I’ll tell you why they prefer to do business with us: because we still believe in stocks!”
He further explained that stocks help in two ways. “Firstly we can start to provide materials immediately from our stocks which can greatly facilitate construction schedules. Secondly, at the end of the project, we can buy back items which have been over-ordered or incorrectly specified.”
It turns out that such “buy-back” agreements give major reassurance to clients. Especially where stainless steel pipes or other expensive equipment is involved.
Mr Marie: “If the project specifications are changed – and they often are! – the contractor or end user could be left with millions of dollars worth of stainless steel pipes. The only realistic option is to sell it for scrap, at a fraction of what was paid for it. No-one wants to absorb that kind of loss, so we are happy to buy-back at pre-determined prices.”
Adding value to valves
When it comes to other flow control products, Trouvay & Cauvin can also add value, says Mr Marie.
“We keep stocks of commodity valves and actuators to meet emergency needs. Mostly though we buy for each specific order, as there is such a vast range of specifications.”
In many cases, Mr Marie explains, the client may buy the valves from the valvemaker and have them sent direct to Trouvay & Cauvin.
“We then take responsibility for sizing the actuators, making suitable interfaces, fitting everything together and finally commissioning the assembled unit.”
Mr Marie concludes by adding that Trouvay & Cauvin also adds value through its after-sales services.
“We give a warranty for the complete valve and actuator assembly for two years. So if there is a problem, the end user does not first have to determine whether he needs to turn to the valvemaker or the actuator supplier.”
EXTRA: Mr Marie on doing business in the Middle East
• “ The Middle East is a key market for Trouvay and Cauvin, representing 60% of our turnover.”
• “ The Middle East also has logistical advantages. Eg, we can ship from here to South Africa.”
• “ Being located right next to India and China keeps us alert and aware of the value of a dollar.”
• “ It is easy for businesses to arrange work visas and other formalities here. “