Edouard Ducerf, the Group’s new CEO: “2020 promises to be rich and exciting! ”
As the Ducerf Group takes on 2020 with ambition, Edouard Ducerf, our new CEO, shares his vision of the challenges facing the business, and the timber industry in general. From the sawmill, one of the Group’s main sites located at Vendenesse-lès-Charolles, he talks about the handover process between the 4th and 5th generations of directors, our objectives for the development of markets, customers and product innovations, and the Group’s new-found momentum, driven by all our staff.
Leadership changeover at the head of the Ducerf Group.
As 2020 begins, it promises to be an important year in many respects for the Ducerf Group. It celebrates the beginning of a new decade characterised by the development of our activities and new aspirations for our business, in the light of major challenges for our Group and for the entire wood sector, whether economic, competitive, technological and/or related to climate change.
To mark this change of era and carry the company’s ambitions ever forward, on 1st January 2020, Edouard Ducerf took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Group, following on from Jacques Ducerf. “Responsibilities that I welcomed with great pleasure and enthusiasm, while remaining fully aware of the challenges ahead;” says Edouard Ducerf.
In fact, “we’ve been preparing the transition for a long time”. For several years now, Edouard has been honing his knowledge and exploring the Group’s different departments and production plants, spending time in the forest to get as close as possible to the resource. As a result, he has, “over the years, forged a comprehensive view of the different activities at each stage of the chain, making it possible for him to understand all the issues faced by the Group and its employees, and as such to know with greater acuity what course to take going forward. ”
This transition marks the handover process from the 4th to the 5th generation of directors at the head of the company since its creation in 1885. Although there are now three Ducerf family members (Edouard, Jean-Marie and Catherine) leading the Group, “the previous generation remains on hand to ensure a trouble-free changeover”.
2020: the start of a new era marked by major challenges
The challenges are numerous for the Ducerf Group this year. To begin with, in the short term, our CEO wishes to perpetuate “that which constitutes the DNA of our company since its early days: innovation”. Conquering new markets, attracting new customers, offering new products and services… In 2020 more than ever, the sky is the limit for the Group, which has every intention of holding on to its pioneer status in the hardwood sector!
In the short, medium and long term, Edouard Ducerf would also like to “continue to develop the industrialisation of sites, to be far more productive and competitive, while at the same time offering a fulfilling working environment for the teams and reducing arduous conditions”.
As such, if 2020 sees a change of generation in terms of its directors, it is also a transitional year for the Group in general. Indeed, a big chunk of our workforce is retiring, or has retired over the last 5 years. The individuals that will replace them “will serve as exceptional levers to initiate fresh momentum and inject stimulating energy into our activities,” promises Edouard.
After a positive 2019, the long-awaited awakening of big export
Despite increased competition and a sometimes uncertain economic context, 2019 went smoothly for the Group.The company finished the year with highly favourable results from a purchasing point of view. Last year’s drop in prices made it possible to buy for less and consequently to improve its return. The year was also positive for the 1st and 2nd transformation divisions.
So it was with purpose that the company launched ahead into 2020. A year that promises to be even better in terms of performance, given an “awakening of markets, and particularly big export”. An aspect that was not in the Group’s favour last year.
So, “it’s up to all those who make up the Ducerf Group (employees, partners, customers, etc.) to continue working together to strive, in 2020, for a year that’s even more rewarding and exhilarating than the last! ”