Innovation, security and quality to win the market

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2005

Axel Arnoux, president of Chauvin Arnoux Group, and George Milushev, Chairman of Unitech, Bulgaria

Would you please present Chauvin Arnoux Group and its specific business principles and policy?

A.A. The history of Chauvin Arnoux Group started in 1893, in France being established by Raphael Chauvin and Rene Arnoux. Now we have more than 1 200 people all around the world, responsible for production, development, commercial marketing and management. Chauvin Arnoux is an international company – we have ten subsidiaries in China, United States, Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, and also one in The Middle East, Lebanon. The company has four primary activities: test and measurement instruments for secure electronic business, electrical equipment for energy, temperature controllers and temperature sensors for industry, metrological equipment and measurement services - more than 5000 references of products. We have also a big R&D department and invest more time, financial and human resources for products and technologies R&D activities, near 11% of the turnover and more than 100 persons working in this department. Chauvin Arnoux Group is an European market leader for professional electrical measurement instrumentation and export in more than 100 countries in the world. We produce in France in the region of Normandie and Rhone Alpes with 4 plants. Our principe for R & D: what we announce it is what we do! It is very important principe for metrology.

How your business is organized in South-Eastern Europe?

A.A. In South-Eastern Europe we have official partners like Unitech, in Bulgaria. And we try to motivate our partners in the region for country-wide expansion and to make Chauvin Arnoux good name more popular.

What about the other countries in the

A.A. It is the same for Bulgaria, Romania, and the others, also for the new countries, which joint European Union.

In which countries Chauvin Arnoux has its oldest traditional partners in the region?

A.A. I think Bulgaria and Romania can be represent like our first country partners, and both of them get success.

Since how many years?

A.A. Since 1994. Actually, we started correspondence in 1992. After establishing the contacts, in 1993 was the first business visit of Chauvin Arnoux manager. Now we have good business in the region working with partners in Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Turkey. All of them integrated to the good name of Chauvin Arnoux all over the world and EU.

How your product sales and service are organized in the region?

A.A. We rely on our regional partners services quality for metrological and measurement products. For example, in Sofia office we are able to offer full range of services both for before and after sales support. This is the same in the other countries in the region.

What about the stock and logistic operations?

A.A. We have big centralized stock facilities. Our partners also support local stocks that can communicate one to another.

Which are the best sold products of
Chauvin Arnoux in South-Eastern Europe?

A.A. I suggest the most successful are Qualistar (power measurement) and also SCOPIX (digital oscilloscope) from Chauvin Arnoux and Metrix. These are the latest products we launched using high technology, more than 2 years of research and development with a special design for our microprocessor. There are also recorders, analyzers, multimeters, based on the newest technologies. In next November we will also launch a new range of products with a lot of innovation. You will see it very soon.

What is the main customer’s benefit from the latest technologies you offer?

G.M. One of the biggest benefit of the Chauvin Arnoux new products is that they are adaptable to the European standards. Coming to European Union we have to adjust our legislation and the standards to European ones. All institutions such as Agency of Accreditation or Agency of Metrology follow that principles and adopt the standards. Most of the countries in the region are pointed to be member of European Union. In this aspect they will try to save more energy, to protect the people, to have more security, also to guarantee the investments and usage of new equipment for a long time.

What new technologies are implemented in the new product lines?

G.M. New technologies becoming more and more adaptable to the customer needs. For example the oscilloscopes. The normal scope has 15-16 buttons on the front panel. Now scopes are simplified. If you want to use it just take and use it without need to learn long user manual. It is equipped now with front panel screen info and it is as user friendly as Windows interface which is now the world standard. See the scopix 0X 7000 or MTX range.

How this is increasing the user’s efficiency and make the new devices more

G.M. There are a lot of small things about functionality which are important to the complete equipment performance. For example if you take an instrument produced years ago, you can use it two hours and you should charge it for one day. Now, you are charging new instrument just for an hour and use it all working day. That is a very important because you doesn’t lose time. The newest instruments are ready to work for a long time without the risk to break down. New tools are ready to function in severe environment, they are well protected. This is very, very important. You may get your tools with you everywhere. It is no need to bring with you a half laboratory.

Let’s talk more about the customers. You bring them easiness of usage, reliable devices, extended functionality and simplification. How this changed the user behavior?

G.M. We believe that the biggest change to happen is that more and more customers, incl. customers from South-Eastern Europe, are looking for universal instruments, functional, reliable, secure. Which simply means quality. Maybe when you are working with no-name products for a month or two and have to repair or renew often, you become familiar with the products problems. And when it is broken, you buy the next. When high-quality product price is offered to you, you start to think "Oh, for this price I will buy one extra no-name multimeter". And next time you will buy it again. But if it brakes down in your hand and you have to go to the hospital, you start to think "If I don’t use this kind of products, I will give maybe a triple price, but I’ll have a reliable device". This is a reason for customers’ thinking changes.

Does it mean that the product quality and security become more important for the customers?

G.M. Yes, and this is the one of the most important advantage. We need more security for users. The instruments must be made for protection. About the future I am sure that we will win the market and stay in business because we offer the best quality.

What are your future projects in South-Eastern Europe?

A.A. I think the region is a very attractive market. I know well that countries from ex-communist area are going through economical evolution to become a part of the world open market and there are many things to do here. I believe in the progress because there is young and good educated generation and a lot of motivation of the people to get a better life.