Jean desAutels, Outdoor Living Barrette
Jean desAutels is CEO of Barrette Outdoor Living, a leading supplier of outdoor products in North America. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he served as the company’s president from 2010 to 2017 and vice president of finance and operations from 2007 to 2010.
Q: At the end of 2021, your company announced a rebranding and the consolidation of several of its brands under one roof. What drove the change and how has the update affected Barrette Outdoor Living dealers?
A: We wanted to strengthen the Barrette Outdoor Living brand to increase our overall presence and awareness in the market. By bringing together multiple brands under one umbrella, our primary goal was to improve the owners’ experience by providing them with more of a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution for all of their outdoor living needs. Previously, with our fencing, railing and decking products all under different brands, the Barrette Outdoor Living name was rather watered down. Now our interactions with the end consumer are much more seamless with Barrette Outdoor Living front and center. This not only enhances our interactions with owners, but it is also an opportunity to increase leads for our vast national network of dealers and contractors.
Q: As more homeowners continue to focus on home improvements caused by COVID-19 closures, which Barrette Outdoor Living products should dealers be looking to promote?
A: Many of our new 2022 products coincide with our new brand campaign which focuses on the outdoors, encouraging people to express their “outdoor side” by bringing indoor activities to outdoor spaces. We’ve always provided homeowners with traditional ways to enhance their outdoor spaces with our fencing, decking and railing products, but now we’ve begun to introduce unique ways to create more welcoming and intimate spaces. For example, our large assortment of decorative panels can be used in a variety of applications, including with our new aluminum pergola to provide privacy and shade, as infill with selected railing products for offer a unique semi-private design, or in our framing system. create a privacy barrier or hide unsightly areas in the yard.
Q: Over the past year, Barrette Outdoor Living has expanded into the decking and fencing categories. What changes can customers expect in 2022?
A: With all of our products, the biggest change customers can expect is ease of installation. This has been a top priority and we have worked hard to make installing our products as easy as possible. We’ve added several exciting new vinyl fence products, including two styles of horizontal vinyl fences that feature a structural post channel that allows the infill panels to easily slide and lock into place. We have also updated our range of mixed material fences to make it possible and easy to install vinyl infill panels in either the horizontal or vertical direction. We have also developed a special railing adapter kit that allows our decorative panels to be easily inserted and used as infills in certain railing products. And our new InstaDeck exterior flooring system, a click-to-tile system, makes it easy for homeowners to add a freestanding deck at ground level.
Q: With supply chain concerns at the forefront of the industry, what is Barrette Outdoor Living doing to help alleviate the issue?
A: We’re proud to be an American manufacturer and try to do as much as we can here at our 14 locations. We are also fortunate to have established long-term relationships with vendors who provide consistent and reliable support. Since we are vertically integrated for much of our product offering, we haven’t encountered many supply chain issues. For example, we mold our own railing brackets and post caps, we manufacture the plastic connectors that we use to assemble our aluminum fence and railing panels and we have our own fleet of trucks that have us helped to avoid the transport problems that many other companies face.
Q: Another common concern for storage resellers is how they can help improve the build process for their customers. How can Barrette Outdoor Living products make life easier for builders and installers and their retailers?
A: We understand and respect that the time it takes for a contractor or homeowner to install our products is incredibly valuable and can make or break the success of our products and ultimately our business. That’s why we devote considerable energy during the product development phase to ensuring that our product installations are well thought out and carefully tested to make installation as safe and easy as possible. For example, our hidden Step-Clip fastening system makes it easy to install deck boards, saving time and money. For some aluminum railing products, the panels are pre-assembled, which allows for faster installations. And most importantly, we stand behind our products by providing dedicated support, superior customer service, and product warranties that offer one of the most comprehensive coverages in the industry. spirit.