“Our strength is a mix between industrial production and craftsmanship,” Dott.ssa Laura De Robertis points out. The marketing director and coordinator of international sales joined Dierre three years ago. Her father Vincenzo De Robertis is the current director.
He and Alessandro De Robertis founded the company as C.S.A. S.a.s. in 1975 before changing the name to Dierre in 1978, inspired by the Italian pronunciation of the letters D and R of De Robertis. Today, it is the only company on the market which offers the complete range of locking systems.
“Our customers need to deal with only one contact person,” Dott.ssa De Robertis emphasises. “The complete production cycle is done internally, from the lock to the finished product. This allows us greater flexibility and short delivery times of no more than seven days after the order, usually less. But above all, every aspect of production is in our control. Otherwise, it would be impossible to guarantee outstanding quality, which is our standard.”
Every measure is possible including customised products. “We develop and build around 200 customised products every year, for example for towers, churches and so on,” Dott.ssa De Robertis explains. “We operate an additional carpentry just for these kinds of requests.”
Doors, windows, vaults, safes – when something needs a secure closure, Dierre has the fitting and aesthetic solution. The core business, which accounts for 50% of the 89 million EUR turnover, is the armoured doors, followed by internal security doors and fire-rated doors, especially for international markets.
“We have divided our collection,” Dott.ssa De Robertis clarifies. “There are dealers which sell our main brand Dierre. Others only sell our wooden interior doors. For those doors, we use the commercial brand Mood Wood.”
Over the years, Dierre excelled with a number of innovative products, most notably Mia, a lock with interchangeable block in 1986; Anthea, an armoured shutter in 1989; Space, a hide-away closure system for sliding doors in 1991; the motorized electronic lock Elettra in 1995; the D-Code lock in 1996 and the hideaway hinge in 2006.
Since 2009 Dierre has been a partner of Casa Clima, an important office in Italy, which awards green building certification based on all the products of a company. Hence, the theme energy efficiency is the focus of the current innovations of Dierre.
At the last Made Expo in Milan, the company presented the new brand Synergy In, which excels in thermal and sound insulation, fire resistance and security, and is suitable for residential buildings and vertical structures.
Synergy Out, a product with similar properties for outer doors, suited for horizontal structures, will probably be ready for the market this year. Dierre also presented a new collection of the Mood Wood brand, with magnetic locking mechanism, new door knobs which look more like a closet handle than a traditional one, and new materials with a stone or textile effect.
Other innovations of the company are new panels, burglar-proof swinging doors with three locking points, a new built-in safe and double bit locks with a lock trap system. “The Made Expo was very successful for us,” Dott.ssa De Robertis states.
“We had not been on trade fairs for ten years. But now we plan to internationalize increasingly, so trade fairs have become interesting again. We also intend to display our products on the Bau in Munich, and we show our products at the Batimat in Paris every two years.”
In addition, the company recently changed its strategy for the Italian market. “We no longer sell directly to the end customer, but to dealers and big retailers,” Dott.ssa De Robertis explains. “Even though we still do contractual work with direct contact, it is no longer our focus. We have area managers who work with representatives. All dealers are defined as Dierre Partners and have to operate a showroom to display our products. It is more important to have a many customers with brand loyalty and a strong position in their region, with the best customer service for the final customer, than a few big ones as they cannot reach the market, especially the market for building renovation. It is the only opportunity we have to catch in the European market. For the markets abroad, it could be the right strategy to start with a few big customers.”
This policy, classified by Dott.ssa De Robertis as geomarketing, is also used on the foreign markets, but the segment ‘contract’ is still very strong there. “Due to the crisis in the building industry, we want to generate a minimum percentage in this segment.
Therefore, we have developed our network of dealers in the last five years.” The goal is to generate the whole export, currently at 27%, this way. “Before the crisis, there was boom in the building industry, especially in Russia and Spain,” Dott.ssa De Robertis remembers.
“It is different nowadays, especially in Spain.” Since the 1990s, the company has been active on foreign markets. Nowadays France is the most important export country, followed by Portugal, Spain, Poland and Germany. In Portugal, the company owns a production site.
“But exclusively or the Portuguese market,” Dott.ssa De Robertis adds. “It is a lower priced product designed exclusively for local needs.” Portugal is an important market where the company generates a turnover of more than three million EUR.
Germany, on the other hand, is difficult to deal with. “We started two years ago and are now in the phase of product approval since we also sell fireproof doors there,” Dott.ssa De Robertis explains. Dierre is also active in Eastern European countries, like Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Baltic states and especially Russia.
“We intend to invest there in the coming years,” Dott.ssa De Robertis reveals. The growing markets of North Africa, China, Taiwan and Turkey are also important for Dierre. “In the near future, we will step up our activities in South America, too,” Dott.ssa De Robertis adds. “So far, we have only had sales there from time to time. Now we intend to open showrooms in Brazil and Venezuela.”
The relationship with the retailers also involves a lot of support, including schooling and special manuals about locks. The network of dealers is complemented by aftersales and spare part centers.
Dierre Key Points have special knowledge and privileges, like the authorization to make duplicates of keys. Though even the keys of Dierre are not necessarily keys in a traditional sense, with the new SmartDoor System, it is possible to simply open the door with one’s own smartphone. Just another step in Dierre’s mission to create doors which guarantee a safe and in every regard comfortable and aesthetic environment.