Royo was born as a carpentry 43 years ago, and the three members of the second generation have turned the family business into a multinational with 775 employees, four factories in three countries and 15 commercial delegations in as many to sell more than 60.
It is a trajectory that has had its bad times. As in many construction auxiliary industries, Royo’s revenues fell 65%, to 35 million euros in 2010. “In 2007 we exported half of the production, and in 2008 opened our first factory in Poland, projected before The crisis, “explains Raúl Royo, CEO. “This internationalization and the decision to bet on technology to reduce production processes returned the benefit to the company in 2011, and we maintain both lines as our growth strategy.”
Technology is one of the pillars of the group to deal with its competitors. Royo has five people controlling the processes of the factories to take the lean manufacturing (methodology invented by Toyota to gain efficiency) to its last consequences, something unusual in an SME. It is also unusual for a company of that size to have an R & D & I department with 18 employees, to which it allocates almost 5% of turnover to investigate improvements in production processes; The materials of the products, and in making designs according to each market.
“The company is aligned with the parameters set by Europe for industry 4.0, and works on leading continent projects, such as HuMan Manufacturing Workplace, to apply exoskeleton and other technologies, such as augmented reality, to industry, just like they do Giants like Airbus, “says the spokesman of the AIDIMME Technological Institute, which accompanies Royo in the investigation.
How do they apply it? One of the last ideas is to dress their workers with exoskeletons, mechanical suits that will multiply their strength and improve their ability, which were invented to go back to walk those who go in wheelchairs. “I invest in technology to reduce the cost of production by 2% per annum with the same staff, that moves it to prices to compete without lowering quality,” says Raúl Royo, who in the past four years has opened factories in Mexico And Poland. In the last five years they have been able to reach revenues up to 70 million euros billed in 2015. They have just finished their second factory in Poland and aim to climb to second place among the largest European manufacturers in 2020.
“We decided to approach the customer with our own facilities to reduce and generate confidence. In 2013 we jumped to America, opened the factory in Mexico, along with a local partner, and a commercial office in Miami, “explains Royo. The company sells in six states of the country, but in an incipient way, because, according to Royo, “in the United States they must know you and trust you to buy you. It’s a market with companies with up to 4 billion euros in turnover, like Kohler, which does not allow mistakes to a newcomer. ”
In Mexico they invoice a million euros and pretend to multiply sales by six years in four years as the lower purchasing power classes win to get closer to the middle class. From the factories of Mexico and Spain, they provide Costa Rica and Panama, countries where it has opened commercial offices with local partners. “When we have digested the American implantation, we will look for new countries to establish ourselves, such as Chile,” predicts Royo.
The Spanish market begins to raise its head, although it will not return to precrisis levels. “It grows by the reforms, and it will do [at a rate] from 6% to 10% because it was stopped. During these years consumers have saved, but will invest in another way. The crisis has accustomed the consumer to buy cheap, the price of bathroom furniture fell by half and, as with clothes, the option is to buy best picks bathroom furniture to renew before and go with fashion. This change has been noticed in other countries, but not as radically as in Spain “, analyzes Royo, who has found in the manufacture for the brand of large distribution areas another growth line. Even so, its Spanish plant will not sell more than 30% of its production in the country, the rest will be dedicated to the export to the Mediterranean Europe,
With these mills, the group will close 2016 with a turnover of 78 million euros, and plans to reach 110 million by 2020. While consolidating in international markets, Europe is its great niche. The growth of the Polish factory opened in 2008 (with 340 employees, is as large as the Spanish), which serves the rest of Europe, has forced to open a second factory in that country. “In Western Europe, we grow at 20% a year while the market moves from 3% to 4%, gaining ground to the rest of the European manufacturers. We are also benefited by the fact that the Chinese cost more to export to Europe, because their production costs have risen, their currency exchange value has fallen, and Europeans work more comfortably with mainland companies, more Compliant with the agreements reached. ”