Maxime Guillois, promoted Head of Operations in North America


Capture d’écran 2021 03 24 à 12.47.09

« Work is about 75% of your life, so better work with passion. » And Maxime Guillois is full to the brim with passion. Recently promoted Orinox Head of Operations in North America, let’s meet him, he who started his atypical career almost 9 years ago as a designer and who's still driven by his perpetual need to learn and go above and beyond.


Can you tell us your story ?

When I was about 12, I already had quite a clear idea of what I wanted to do.

Since I had skipped a year, I was pretty young when I did my first 2 internships within design offices. I undertook a two-year work-study technical degree in Industrial Product Design (French BTS CPI) and became sort of an alien to my family since they all worked in the car industry : garage manager, mechanic, autobody mechanic...

What were your first experiences in the professional world ?

I started as a designer in the agriculture mechanics sector: I created a now patented mechanism that protected plough bodies. Then I moved to the South, to Toulouse to be more accurate, to work for nearly 4 years in a design office specializing in the medical sector. There I created a complete device using an already-existing device that no longer worked and tried to improve it. I redefined the specifications and built them with a model maker. It was a device that dried endoscopes and kept them in clean bacteriological conditions. To put it bluntly, it was a fridge for endoscopes. Thanks to this project, I earned a patent and my superiors detected in me good organizational skills.

The first week I got to Toulouse, I met an American woman without knowing back then that she would later become my wife ! We suffered the distance for quite a long time since she’s had to go back to the US for her education. I therefore decided to leave the South to head back North to my family near Nantes.

« Go work there, they work with computers ».

Back in Nantes region, I started looking for a job and one day, my cousin told me about Orinox saying « You should go work there, they work with computers ». I didn’t know anything about this field but then I met Maxime (Maxime Fourreau) and we immediately matched. He offered me a E1 designer position even though I was only 22.

My first missions for ORINOX

At this point, I had no experience with the AVEVA universe. For me, the training was quite simple since I had already worked a lot with 3D softwares. Incidentally, I remember criticizing the exercices they had us do during the training and I even changed a few of them for the challenge. After that I went on missions in Lyon, Paris and Angers and became an administrator and later an industrial piping designer. I was there when the parent company was built in Châteaubriant and then, I became a tutor for AVEVA products. After a few years, I felt like I had explored all the possibilities ORINOX could offer.

The triggering factor

At the same time, I was still in this long-distance relationship with my American girlfriend that I had met a few years earlier in Toulouse. After 6 months, I suggested to Maxime that he hired my wife. That was an efficient bluff since he took her in to get her help with the international development of the company.

First steps in the US

A month after we arrived in the US, an IVB (International Volunteer in Business) joined us. Our arrival was fraught with pitfalls: European culture being way different from the American culture, development was extremely challenging.

We realized that it would be pretty hard to get into the market since we weren’t recognized on the territory. Nobody would take us seriously and we ended up questioning the very existence of the American branch. Then finally, it worked... thanks to a tiny project worth only 1500 dollars ! After a while, we signed our first huge project worth 100.000 dollars with AVEVA. We were right to hold on since we later established substantial contracts. I was the first surprised but I enjoyed the business dimension of the job, while keeping the technical lead and the production side. This passion for the trade that we share with Maxime allows us to draw people into our story.

Encouraging development perspectives

For now, there’s 10 of us based in North America (US and Canada). I remember the first person we hired: Issa. That was a rather long recruiting process: 8 months went by between the first exchanges we had and the day she was truly integrated. I’m extremely rigorous regarding the profiles I’m looking for. We follow the same processes as ORINOX France, however contractual terms here differ to such a degree that you can hire someone in only a few days since there’s no notice period, unlike in France.

The US branch will keep developing and structuring itself in order to reach the goals we’ve set (meaning 35 collaborators by the end of 2023 and a turnover exceeding USD 6 million). As Head of Operations, my goal for the years to come is to give a place within the organization to each collaborator and take them on this adventure. On a personal note, I’d like to head more towards the renewable energy sector. I’d like to work with companies leaving a positive environmental footprint on the planet and I feel like the team actually shares my convictions.

What would you say to someone hesitating over joining ORINOX ?

I’d tell them that at ORINOX, we deal with all sorts of things, we learn so much in various lines of business. We aren’t a sourcing company. If you’re passionate about technics, computing, new technologies and if you’re up to changes and to always learn new things, then ORINOX is the place to be.

To directly reach Maxime Guillois :