A proud past for Ch‚ssis Hanin
Ch‚ssis Hanin : master craftsman in this area
Ch‚ssis Hanin in Marche-en-Famenne has long since celebrated its hundred years' of existence. This company today has three SMEs working for it and is a national and international benchmark for windows, doors and glazing. Looking back on a history that is out of the ordinary !
Ch‚ssis Hanin in a nutshell
If you have taken any interest, no matter how small, in the Luxembourg and Belgian economies, the name 'Ch‚ssis Hanin' will certainly not be unfamiliar to you.
Chief executive Denis Rutot and his wife, Mathilde Pirlet, have been at the head of this company, which now has over 30 employees, since 1992. Both from self-employed families, they caught the bug and took on this company with dynamism and intelligence to ensure that its knowhow in joinery and glazing was perpetuated.
Windows, doors, canopies, shutters, verandas and mirrors, everything is designed and produced in its workshops where there is a constant concern for perfection and innovation.
A bit of historyÖ
In 1905, Georges Hanin decided to set up a glazing and glass working company in Marche-en-Famenne. The company grew and expanded that part of its activities involved in the production of windows and doors. The company prospered until 1992, when it was obliged to file for bankruptcy.
Mathilde Pirlet and Denis Rutot bought 'Ch‚ssis Hanin' and relaunched its business with two workers. It took five years to return to the previous level.
In 1993, the company expanded its product range, deciding to focus on high-quality aluminium and PVC. Business prospered and led to Denis Rutot being presented the best debutant head of business award by the COMENEF management prize panel of the French-speaking Chambers of trade and commerce. At that time, the company was employing 7 people and its turnover had risen to 25 million Belgian francs.
Still abiding by its philosophy of prudent management and high-quality expertise, the company continued to grow and bought out 'Miroiterie jamboise' in Jambes, a company established in 1959.
The Rutot family did not stop there and in 2004 they bought up the bankruptcy assets of 'Vitrerie du Condroz'. The company was, by that time, sufficiently diversified to undertake all the stages of the business, from design to installation of a product.
All that remained was to acquire a niche market little exploited by the competition. In 2007 the company therefore bought 'Drion Bank Security' of Gembloux, a company specializing in bullet and burglar-proof windows, doors and booths. Denis Rutot and his wife decided that the activities of this company, which had been created in 1929, should be kept.
Since then, the company has employed 30 staff, including in its subsidiaries, and its turnover reached 2.5 million euros in 2007. The managers therefore decided to launch new workshop for Miroiterie, whose business had doubled in five years. They also take part in the Batimat trade show, the Paris equivalent of the Belgian 'Batibouw' construction trade show. This proud history does not end here since Ch‚ssis Hanin was selected in 2009 as a prize winner by Lux@venir to represent the province of Luxembourg at the Walloon Entrepreneurial Grand Prix and nominated for the GODEFROID awards.
Craftsmanship at the service of the most elegant of buildings
This overall strategy, based on a concern for total quality at every stage in the design of the product, rapidly proved to be profitable. The company operates with a production workshop that is craft based, with no production line or automation. The staff are highly qualified and are involved in each step of the production of items to create a specific product that responds to rigorous demands.
And this product must comply with the company's key words: quality, durability and beauty. It is the aesthetical aspects that are company's strength. 'Ch‚ssis Hanin' is concerned that its work should be aesthetically pleasing while keeping up with the style of the times.
There is one psychological barrier to be overcome by the company: that of changing the mentality of owners, architects and, perhaps one day, of members of the Commission of Monuments and Sites. For some of them, placing plastic on ancient architectural assets amounts to sacrilege.
But they may rest assured: those buildings in which it has been tried and tested prove the contrary.
A group rather than a merger
The three companies managed by the Rutots have developed a group philosophy.
'Miroiterie jamboise' and 'Drion Bank Security' are subsidiaries of 'Ch‚ssis Hanin' but the three companies are managed independently. They complement each other without competing.
Each operates in a particular market with products that are different from those of the two others. But they maintain close links, demonstrating a good overall vision for the sector as a whole. They therefore combine top of the range products (windows and doors, glazing and leaded lights), materials (PVC, aluminium and steel) and customers (private and business).
The company has many Ideas up its sleeve. It is a question of constantly adapting to new market demands. This means that the concept of a carbon-neutral building will also one day apply to historical buildings and castles. Safety is a market that is expanding fast; an opportunity for Drion to develop anti-explosion and anti-terrorist products. Glazing, in addition to its traditional customers, will see the artistic side develop. Finally, several options are currently being explored to export the company's knowhow. All these technical advances will be of benefit to everyone.
And the next hundred years will see many amazing new advances in this area !