A STRONG COMMITMENT TO THE REGION
With over half of its sales exported around the world, Focus could have made the utilitarian commercial decision to outsource production to countries where the social conditions, salaries and environmental regulations are much less restrictive for businesses than those in France. It would also have been possible to move Focus’s head office from its historic location in the medieval village of Viols-le-Fort in the foothills of the Cévennes to a big city for logistical and marketing reasons. The choice to maintain its roots in the region where it was founded has allowed the creation over time of some 30 jobs in a little developed part of the Languedoc region.
Mindful of its economic, social and environmental responsibility, some 20 years ago Focus chose to take over the metal workshop in the south of France that produced all its fireplaces after it ceased operations, saving 13 jobs. Today, Cavaillon employs nearly 50 people, and major investments have recently been made to improve its operational capabilities.
For Dominique Imbert, this acquisition was both a way to show his appreciation to those who had supported him in riskier times, as well as to ensure his continued independence. His decision would transform the small workshop into a factory that today produces fireplaces for customers from Russia to Brazil and Australia to North America.
Innovation, design, sustainability and social responsibility are the values that have guided Focus since its inception and which will continue to drive its development in the years to come. These choices, militant and pioneering from the outset, have allowed the artistic, entrepreneurial and economic success of Focus created by the motivated and dynamic team at the side of the founder and designer of the company, Dominique Imbert.
Focus is living proof that beyond passing trends, concerns about short-term profitability, and commercial opportunism regarding sustainable development, other business models are not only possible, but indispensable for the future and the well-being of human beings and the environment.
Management with a human priority
Taken from an interview with Dominique Imbert, the President and founder of Focus
What is your personal vision of management? How would you define it?
For me, it means prioritizing people over profits and keeping them motivated. It means making sure that all the people who work here have the right conditions to do their best and feel happy in what they are doing. This facilitates professional development within the company. I like to think that a company can be a kind of family.
How do you manage on an everyday level? What are your tips?
I feel that I manage using intuition, supported by the expertise of my management team. During a recruitment interview, I believe it is very important to know the person behind the potential role they will fill, which I endeavour to discover by taking them to lunch.
What do you pay particular attention to in terms of keeping people motivated?
One measure that I put in place is a profit-sharing system. I’ve given each employee who has been with Focus for over 10 years shares in the company. I also feel very strongly about providing pleasant working conditions, so the team feels satisfied about coming to work every day. I hope that they identify with Focus.