Our goal, being the innovative and agile partner of choice to our customers with smart and sustainable tubular solutions.
Vallourec's industrial footprint is divided into four regional areas with similar production capacities, reflecting the geographical balance of our markets while offering us greater protection from currency fluctuations. Our new production routes represent a major change for the Group, perhaps the most significant in recent years, allowing us to reconnect with competitiveness. This is a real transformation, a type of cultural revolution for Vallourec, given we have historically operated in a somewhat fragmented manner, highly dependent on Europe where costs are higher.
The second pillar of our transformation is differentiation. Because it is only by differentiating ourselves that we'll be able to resist new competitors and counter the trend towards trivialisation, which is affecting our industry like most others. By differentiating ourselves, we'll be able to consolidate our growth in the medium term.
And differentiation is above all about innovation. We already have good provisions for this, as innovation is part of Vallourec's DNA. What has changed is that our customers are now asking more than perfect tubes and connections. They're now asking for more integrated solutions to help them lower their operating costs.
This represents a broadening of the field of innovation for Vallourec. But we're taking up this challenge.
1/ Moving from product innovation to solutions innovation
Today, customer innovation is also about finding new solutions, combining value-adding products and services to optimize and safeguard their facilities, simplifying flows and supply chains at the same time.
Innovating alongside our customers, helping our employees' innovative ideas come to fruition and opening up to the outside, startups, laboratories and other companies... to be truly effective, we need to go faster and be "agile". And we know we'll only do better if we change how we work and develop our ideas.
We're currently at a pivotal moment for the digital future of Vallourec. Indeed, we've triggered the changes that should help us take advantage of all the potential digital technology offers.
What kind of potential? We've identified 3 avenues on which Vallourec is in motion:
Our new range of Vallourec.smart services is designed to bring together all Group services, including the digital ones offered by Smartengo, with two key areas of focus:
After the digital transformation, our next great challenge will be the energy transition. Without doubt, the need to renew resources and support growing energy demands will guarantee strong activity within our industries for many years to come. But we need to be prepared. We've chosen to do so by supporting our oil and gas customers, who are showing a clear desire to develop their portfolios and become energy suppliers more generally.
For us, this is a way of extending our approach to innovation and differentiation, this time, with a medium-term perspective. Applications we could pursue include geothermal, offshore wind and solar power, and we've already taken part in a number of projects in these sectors.
Looking to the future, the carbon capture, use and storage is a major challenge in reducing climate change. We have the obvious skills and are already taking part in several pilot projects with some of our customers most interested in this area.
Finally, hydrogen is the ideal sector in many ways and we're currently assessing how we might contribute.
The main stakeholders in our transformation are our employees. We ask a lot of them and their commitment is strong despite the difficult times we've experienced, which is indicated in the surveys we regularly carry out – and this is a great source of satisfaction for the Group's management team.
In return, we owe them our strong support in enabling them to meet the challenges facing our company and contribute to Vallourec's lasting success. In this respect, our approach in terms of Human Resources is based around three objectives: