Steel Shed Solutions recently joined the Silicon Luxembourg Business Club, so we wanted to help you, the reader, get acquainted with the company. We met up with Dominique and Vincent Lyonnet, the founding brothers, for the low down. Representing a pinnacle of success, their buildings are featured in the new edition of Farming Simulator* the number one farming simulation game edited by Giants Software.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Olivier Minaire
featured: Vincent Lyonnet and Dominique Lyonnet
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What does the company do exactly?
Luxembourg-based group Steel Shed Solutions, created in 2001, is a digital platform used in the sale of steel kit buildings. The group sells nearly 1,000 buildings yearly in 48 geographic zones. The group offers free, instant quotes online, and remains committed to maintaining low prices while ensuring first-rate quality thanks to systematic quality control and products made with galvanized, high-strength steel that are in strict compliance with European standards.
How did you come up with the idea?
At a young age, Dominique cultivated a genuine interest in the craft of construction trades, a job his father performed with passion. In 2001, after the American tragedy on September 11, the banking world was idling and offered advantages to those seeking to manage a project. Dominique seized the opportunity and started his business of trading in steel structures.
At first, he was an intermediary to manufacturers from Eastern European countries who had worked with his father since 1991. He managed his business alone from a base in the Grand Duchy. It goes without saying that he knew his products perfectly. His network was established, and his customers were planted primarily in France, Belgium & Luxembourg. A period of observation and learning gave him the courage to fearlessly react in 2007 during the subprime crisis. Indeed, the slowdown in industrial activity dangerously reduced his role as an intermediary. Dominique then decided to become his own product distributor.
But Dominique had help from a very important person. With his brother Vincent at his side, Dominique had help managing the commercial dimension. Together, they created the offer and structured a range of standardised, lightweight, optimised and resilient products, developed with their historical partners and adapted to all markets.
“With more than 20 million in top line in 2017, we have deployed our services in more than 20 countries.”
What are your products and services?
Steel Shed Solutions sells functional, low-cost, easy-to-assemble buildings suitable for various purposes: storage or livestock hangars, industrial buildings, agricultural structures, equestrian facilities, and more.
We provide product offering across different websites adapted to the group’s international clientele with, in particular, the batimentsmoinschers.com website available in several languages: guenstigehallen.de (German) and easysteelsheds.com (English version). Some of the group’s other sites focus on specific types of products, such as tolesmoinscheres.com, an activity linked to the sale of sheet metal and accessories.
What is your business model?
We naturally reoriented from our initial activity as a simple intermediary to a true referent supplier, specialized in standardized online solutions that maintains highly functional and boasts high quality, easy installation, and low cost. Vincent pays considerable attention to inbound marketing online, which naturally makes him the first to offer a direct, free cost estimation on the market. Attention to relevant services and price positioning in the actual economic context is now paying off.
Who are your clients?
With our digital platform, we are targeting a broad customer base that includes entrepreneurs, SMEs, multinationals such as Renault, Lafarge and Eiffage, as well as institutional customers such as city councils and government ministries. We are also working with private customers via a range of kit shelters available on our dedicated website direct-batiment.fr.
What are next steps in your development?
With more than 20 million in top line in 2017, we have deployed our services in more than 20 countries. Surrounding ourselves with new skills, we strive to acquire resources with the goal of doubling their turnover in the short term. A private equity fund (Next Stage) provided support during 2018, which has allowed us “to go where others are not and to think outside the box” by satisfying our addiction to metal!