Deceuninck NV

Well, I can't say Deceuninck didn't warn me. After mailing my letter of introduction to CEO Clement De Meersman I received an e-mail from Ludo Debever, Corporate Communications Manager, informing me the company would be closed for vacation during the period I indicated I'd be in the area. However, I'm five days ahead of schedule and was thinking maybe I'd catch somebody still working.

Deceuninck, with 582 million euros in revenues and 3,000 employees, primarily manufactures PVC systems for the construction industry.

Headquarters and an adjacent factory are located about five miles from downtown Roeselare in an industrial area. Entering the three-story building (built in 1998) I check in with receptionist Sandrine Serpentier. I explain about receiving the e-mail from Mr. Debever and wonder if he or someone else from his department is in today. Nope, it turns there's only a skeleton staff here. But, helpful and friendly receptionist Serpentier gets on the phone and makes a few calls while I look around the reception area. It's a large reception/lobby area as I count two 15-foot tall trees (real) and nine 6-foot tall trees (real) scattered about the room. Piped-in background music plays as I take a look at huge map of the world hanging on a wall. Nearby there's a big glass display (12 feet long by 6 feet wide) featuring a scale model of this site (head office/factory). Back in 1937 Benari Deceuninck founded the company and on a nearby wall hang framed pictures of his three sons (all deceased) but, there's no picture of Benari Deceuninck.

Try as she could receptionist Serpentier can't find anybody around to meet with me. I appreciate her efforts especially when you consider it's her last day on the job–she's had a five month temporary position. One of the perks of working here according to Serpentier are the free coffee, soup and soft drinks in the two cafeterias. I have a feeling I would have received a warm welcome from Mr. Debever.

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