LACROIX Group

Strategy

LACROIX Group has just acquired a stake in SESA, an American firm specializing in DMS (Dynamic Message Signs). Phil Perut, the CEO of SESA, tells us a bit more about his company and the alliance with LACROIX Group.

Testimony

Phil Perut
SESA's CEO

  • What is SESA?

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    PP :

    We are first and foremost a developer and producer of DMSs mainly for expressways but also for cities, focusing on the assembly part of the production process. Our activities in this sector are closely aligned with what LACROIX City will be able to offer. We are based in Providence on Rhode Island to the south of Boston, 4 hours away from New York and 6 hours from Montreal.
    Our company has around 25 employees and our turnover reached 7 million dollars in 2018, with an order book of 8 million euros. We operate in 23 of the 50 states in the US as well as in Canada, and we’re not planning on stopping there!

  • What services do you offer?

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    PP :

    We work in several sectors: DMSs connected to the power grid, autonomous solar powered signs, and the retrofit upgrading of existing signs to the latest LED technology. We are also building our mobility line which develops smaller, connected signs to manage traffic flow.

  • What are the foundations of your business model?

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    PP :

    We manage the production process from A to Z. We contract our partners to manufacture different components in their areas of expertise: fine sheet metal, circuit boards, etc. then we assemble them and test the finished product at our ISO 9001 certified factory. The use of subcontractors for upstream component manufacture allows us to be flexible in responding to customer demand. We have a huge assembly facility, measuring 1500 square meters, as well as an inhouse engineering and design office.

     

    At SESA, we take a project-based, rather than catalog-based approach. We are committed to offering unbeatable customer service: we say that the project is finished once all equipment is totally operational. We also promise our customers permanent technical support, which gives us excellent feedback and satisfaction rates.

  • What are the specificities of the US market?

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    PP :

    The country’s federal structure is enormously significant. Our key customers are the State DOTs (Departments of Transportation), with whom we must go through a lengthy procurement process before bringing our products to the market. We don’t work with municipal services much as this requires a much greater depth of detail in the sales process. The city market is mainly served by our distributing partners, to whom we offer products and support. Our key contacts are therefore both the DOTs, and the distributers who supply our products to the cities. This market structure isn’t actually very different from its French counterpart.

  • What are your ambitions?

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    PP :

    In the short term, our ambition is to continue our growth and reach a turnover of 8.5 million dollars in 2019, with an order book of around 10 million dollars.

    From a geographic perspective, we plan to grow more in the Canadian market, which is very close to the US market in terms of standards.

     

    With regards to our products, we plan to maximize the number of connections in our products in the future. My belief is that an unconnected object is an obsolete product – it is time for new smart technology!

  • How do you see the opportunities arising from LACROIX Group’s acquisition of an equity stake?

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    PP :

    Our alliance with LACROIX Group will enable us to add to our offer of DMS-related products. We plan on capitalizing on the alliance to accelerate our rate of innovation and launch new products. LACROIX City’s V2X products, which enable communication between vehicles and road infrastructure, is something that we are particularly focusing on as the American market could be a great user of these new technologies. Our relationship with LACROIX Group also gives us solid financial backing enabling us to progress further in the smart mobility market and to launch new products.

     

    In return, we will bring to LACROIX Group a foothold in to the US market which is extremely complex to enter, which has many specificities, in particular in the process for responding to public calls for tender.

     

    This is a win-win relationship, which holds enormous potential for both businesses!