The revival of the Forge de Laguiole

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CEO, Forge de Laguiole

Seminar Entrepreneurs, towns and regions | Wednesday May 2, 2012 - 10h -12h

Having worked for five multinational companies for over twenty years, Thierry Moysset fell in love with the Forge de Laguiole cutlery works, a factory in the middle of the remote Aubrac region of France where he grew up. Laguiole’s products had been imitated to such an extent throughout the world that in April 2007 the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Moysset and two industrial investors decided to buy the Forge, and concentrated on the assets which had been neglected. They chose to focus on the traditional aspect of the products and the noble nature of the profession, rather than putting their energy into a vain attempt at reducing costs, and to acquire a share in the market at any price. Moysset created a team, and symbolically burned all the company’s former plans, automatic machines and standardised instruments, and instead set about motivating the workforce and highlighting the importance of the profession of cutlers. The Forge’s unique products are manufactured by motivated individuals who are proud of their work. Laguiole knives are much sought-after. Five years after Moysset tried to turn the company around, the orders are rolling in. The Forge is not able to satisfy all its potential customers, and has even cut back on certain markets, giving priority to the European market (especially in France, Germany and Switzerland) where the company has built its reputation. The company’s challenge now is to attract and to train new, professional cutlers.

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This session was published in issue n°97 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Périlleuses quêtes de nouveaux mondes.

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