Growing an industrial company
In this Meet an Entrepreneur video, Marie-Christine Mariani, founder and manager of MCM STEEL since 1998, explains how she made her industrial business grow.
- Hiring, growing?
- The biggest investment?
- What tasks for the CEO?
- Current challenges
Find out more about her on mcm-steel.com.
Discover all our videos with French and English subtitles on our website: meetanentrepreneur.lu.
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I have a long list. Each time, I add and cross out, I add, I cross, I add… And at the end of the day, you say “Ah, I didn’t get that done,” then you look and say “Well I did do all that.” You’ve got to be positive.
Growing an industrial company
Marie-Christine Mariani, founder and manager of MCM STEEL since 1998
By myself, yes. Then I got a secretary. Then I got someone to control the quality. And then, let’s say 3 or 4 years later, I hired a first salesman, a second salesman, and slowly we grew. We also took on an in-house accountant.
The biggest investment?
I took the big plunge in 2012, because I was having my material worked on and stored in various service centers. And that was rather complicated, because every time, we had to go and see the material, we weren’t their priority… Sometimes they didn’t make our order right away, so our end customer wasn’t happy. So, in 2010, I started looking around to make my own service center, where we are today. It’s a whole other job because you have the machines on site, plus everything that comes with them too: a machine that breaks, a missing piece…
What tasks for the CEO?
I run the company, so I’m responsible for all that is commercial, so the follow-up on purchases and sales. Next, all the accounting, payments, I’ve got my eye on everything. And… receiving customers, going to see suppliers. Plus all the procedures you have to set into motion, because sometimes you wake up in the morning and you don’t expect Covid to happen. So closing the company, reopening two months later… I am also responsible for all the staff, the quality of their life at work is important, too. Lots of things. I have a long list. Each time, I add and cross out, I add, I cross, I add… And at the end of the day, you say “Ah, I didn’t get that done,” then you look and say “Well I did do all that.” You’ve got to be positive.
Right now, it’s finding material, managing to keep loyal customers… Always keeping the staff motivated, building loyalty. Today, we also have the challenge of finding more funding because steel is going up, so if we want to do more, we need more. And then there’s the challenge of having a future vision, too. I say I’ve always got my nose to the grindstone. I go and I go, doing the everyday things. And you never have time to look around and say “Oh, there’s that project, maybe we could do it, but it might take a year. But here’s the thing, in a year’s time, it’ll be done and it will perpetuate that part of the business.” So you have to reinvent yourself every day.