This April, 2017, Enrick Duval celebrated his 15th anniversary at resqme, Inc. Originally from Paris, Enrick moved to California in 2000 after he received a Master’s Degree in business. Since his arrival at resqme, Inc. Enrick has been part of the company’s many changes and important milestones which means he knows a lot about safety and our company’s main product, the resqme® car escape tool. We talked with Enrick to find out what’s behind the compact safety tool that has sold over 4 million items worldwide.
What’s your role in the company?
During my first 10 years at resqme, Inc., I was the Sales and Marketing Manager. 4 ½ years ago, the company went through a major shift in its business model and I was appointed as the Director of Operations. Among my tasks, I am in charge of the coordination of the inventory, production and distribution processes while ensuring the smooth day-to-day business operations. I also keep learning! For 2 years, I went through intensive training with the APICS organization and follow the CPIM program and more recently, I have started my Six Sigma training.
So you were there at the beginning!
Pretty much! Back in 2000, I was working as the Business Service Manager at the French American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles (FACCLA) and at the time, the President of resqme, Inc., Laurent Colasse, was one of the members. In 2001, Laurent Colasse was looking for someone to help develop and grow the sales department. So we met in Santa Barbara and had a lunch at his favorite pizza place! Laurent explained his project but at the time, I had other opportunities in Paris and in Dublin. But things didn’t work out as planned. During that time, I was still in contact with Laurent and when he offered me again the position, I didn’t let the opportunity pass. On April 2002, I moved to Santa Barbara and joined the team. It was meant to be!
Starting from scratch must be an incredible experience. Were you involved in the choice of the company’s name change, the logo, all of that?
Definitely and what a great experience that was! It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago the company was still called with its original name, Innovation Distributing Inc. Back then, we were doing business as NOV8., which stands for “innovate” and we had two main divisions: NOV8 Safety and NOV8 Promo.
Tell me more about the evolution of the company branding.
As the company grew, it was important for us to see how our brand could grow as well in the USA but also worldwide while reflecting our mission statement. The answer was right in front of our eyes and we decided to name the company after our best seller tool, the resqme®.
We worked on creating new designs for the logo. Even the spelling changed! We decided to put everything in lower case with a 3 branches cross. If you pay attention, the “me” is “safe” inside the cross. It was a major and a critical step in our development in getting a global brand. I think that if we would have kept our original company name, our business would have been totally different.
How would it be different?
Promoting a line of products with a company name easily identified and a powerful logo is key. Changing the company name to resqme, Inc. was a good move. Moreover, “resqme” tells a story that people can connect with. Most of our products includes the “me” that leads to consistency and create a sense of adhesion.
What do you like the most at resqme, Inc.?
It’s mainly about the fact that we are not only here to sell something. We have a mission and every day, we are doing our part to make life safer. Since the beginning, I personally feel a strong connection to the products and especially with the resqme® car escape tool and I am convinced that one day people will have the resqme attitude!
The resqme attitude?
Absolutely! Having a good attitude toward safety is key to be ready for the unexpected, don’t just wish for the best! I also think that it is important to increase awareness around you, especially towards your loved ones and friends.
Tell us more about the resqme car escape tool, since this is where it all started.
The resqme is a compact powerful car escape tool with the specific purpose of helping save lives. For me, it is not a gadget! So our goal is to offer a high quality tool with a main purpose. I don’t believe in all those 5-in-1 safety tools that will distract you from the main reason why everybody should have a safety tool like resqme.
I have noticed that a lot of fake copies come with whistles, flashlights or other functions that the resqme doesn’t have.
Yes, that’s correct and actually that’s a choice we made! Companies often like to offer more and more features to a product, so the consumers feel like having it is a good deal. It might be true for some products, but when it comes to safety, I personally think that you need to get the best possible tool that will do the “job” when you need it the most. My two main mottos are, “less is more” and “don’t gamble with your life”. We want to make a real change in the community and keep growing as a professional and reliable safety company.
What would be challenging then?
I would definitely say that it is to keep the integrity of the product, and making sure that nothing can interfere with its quality. It could be from the manufacturing process, the supply chain and all the way to when the people have the product on hand. Our end users MUST have the best experience possible with our products.
Being in the operations, you have to literally think about everything that happens before and after the sale: from the choice of the plastic, to the quality of the blade, the steel, everything. Thanks to my 10-year background in sales, I have a good idea what the sales department is trying to accomplish daily and what ultimately our clients are looking for. This does help a lot. There is no room for approximations, which fits my personality since I have a strict methodology. Voice of the customer is key, so we try to meet their needs as much as possible. We have been selling over half million units per year for the past 8 years: that’s over 4 million people with the resqme on hands. It is rewarding to know that these people are safer with our tool.
Can you think of anything you would do differently?
The team at resqme, Inc., is always coming with new concepts, new ideas and inevitably we end up with too many projects. I wish we had more time to do more for the community.
What makes working at resqme different than working somewhere else?
The company, resqme, Inc. is a very small entity, operating with 15 team members. Working here allows me and everyone else to express their visions and ideas. The resqme attitude, starts right here with all the people working at resqme, Inc. Also, working in Santa Barbara is a blessing! I love it here. As a French American person, I can see that Californians people are very open to other cultures, including food! I am a foodie and love to cook! Here I can find pretty much find everything that I like! Finally, being surrounded by beaches, the Sierra Nevada and beautiful National Parks, I really enjoy traveling with my family and taking photographs of the landscape.
Where do you see yourself in the next years?
I definitely see myself with resqme, Inc. and who knows, for another 15 years! We have some many projects. Like the launch of a new company in France called, resqme Europe, SAS. We are also diversifying and our new project is to soon launch in conjunction with our safety app called “SOS resqme”. This is new and we are all up for the challenge.