You are here


A well-balanced manufacturing base

The Group’s industrial strategy aims to best serve markets by continuously improving competitive performance and quality over the long term.

In an environment where manufacturing is largely outsourced, Groupe SEB has chosen to implement an unusual industrial policy, still manufacturing 71% of the products it sells, thereby limiting outsourcing to just 29%. Today the Group has a total of 29 plants, with manufacturing divided up geographically as follows:

Localization of the production of sales

Following the acquisition of EMSA and WMF, the Group’s industrial tool has been reinforced by an additional 11 plants: 3 for EMSA (Germany, China, Vietnam) and 8 for WMF (Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, China, India).

Throughout the world, the production plan is deployed in a well-balanced way:

  • European manufacturing targets mainly mature markets. French and European plants are dedicated to products for which the Group is a market leader. To this end, the Group takes advantage of technological barriers in relation to product concepts or processes; 
  • manufacturing in emerging markets focuses on the needs of these markets, and for mature markets, on products for which the Group wishes to retain control of its specific technologies (concerning products and processes);Competitive international multi-product plants, that are close to local markets and that manufacture products which are sold locally or for which the Group wishes to keep technological specificities products and processes in house;
  • on outsourcing of production for basic, everyday products, products where the Group lacks a strong leading position, or in the case of partnerships.
To ensure and optimise the competitiveness of its manufacturing base, the Group constantly upgrades its factories, taking into account the economic reality of markets, via adjustment of production volumes, the stopping of scales article manufacturing at Rumilly, refitting of the manufacturing base in South America, strict control of manufacturing costs, refocusing of production and use of sourcing, according to needs.
Permanent optimisation of the industrial productivity

Adaptability and flexibility also apply to the Group’s sales, administration, logistics and IT systems in order to optimize and improve the way they work. Team cooperation, knowledge sharing and systematically implementing best practices, the early integration of stringent quality procedures and the setting up of international support services (“clusters”): these are all factors which allow the Group to best serve its target markets with optimised competitiveness. 

The Group’s industrial competitiveness comes from its edge as a designer of products, especially through its centres of expertise and technological centres:


 Centres of product expertise 

centres of product expertise bring together the specific expertise in research and development, industrialisation and production for a given product category; 

 Technological centres 

technological centres reinforce the centres of product expertise through their knowledge of key technologies in relation to materials, plastics, and electronics.
At relevant sites, project platforms foster collaboration between marketing teams and centres of industrial expertise in the development of product offerings.
To ensure and optimise the competitiveness of its industrial capacity, the Group constantly upgrades its plants, taking account of the economic reality of markets, e.g. adjustment of production volumes, upgrades to the Recife site in Brazil, strict control of manufacturing costs, refocusing of production and greater use of out-sourcing, according to needs.

Our global programme of industrial and operational excellence, OPS (Opération Performance SEB) continues via the rollout of “fundamentals” (5S, TPM, etc.) to improve site productivity. This plan takes the form of certification of 18 additional Green Belt-trained leaders, and by the implementation of 100 or so projects and over 250 workshops across all the Group’s production sites. OPS is a practical programme of continuous performance improvement which:

  • links health and performance in all improvement projects;
  • involves all hierarchical levels (managers, technicians and operators) and all departments;
  • aims to share best practice so as to build a real Group manufacturing culture;
  • results in a common language with the aim of promoting a Group spirit;
  • is reflected in a single, scalable framework resulting from a fully collaborative approach.

Launched in 2011, OPS is currently in its mature phase and enjoys strong ownership by the manufacturing site teams. Projects and workshops conducted in 2016 enabled significant new savings to be made.

In early 2013, the Group also introduced the PCO (Product Cost Optimization) project which aims to reduce the retail price of current products, to optimise the future product offering and to increase perceived value. The approach consists of implementing a method of analysing products and listening to consumers with the involvement of experts (R&D, marketing, design, manufacturing, etc.) within the context of multidisciplinary group workshops, to challenge existing solutions and invent new ones. 

These improvement plans are systematically supported by the Group’s approach to health and safety and a great deal of importance is attached to continuous improvement of the health and safety of personnel in the workplace. A three-year plan has been launched in this regard, aiming for a steady decrease in the number of workplace accidents. When complete, the plan should halve the annual incidence of accidents.

Lastly, another key component of the Group’s competitiveness, the supply chain, is managed on a global level with the aim of rationalising finished product inventory, optimising the quality of this inventory and implementing a process to improve customer service and ensure customer satisfaction. To deliver these results, the Group is focusing on a series of common and shared processes, supported by the rollout of plans to optimise the global logistics chain, from marketing company sales forecasts to planning capacities and production. At the same time, the creation of a Supply Chain School means that the aptitudes and skills of our specialist teams can be developed.

Colombia as an example



  the application of the 5S* method has resulted in improvements in the working environment, workstation ergonomics and staff safety.
Japanese management technique aiming at continuously improving tasks carried out in companies: Seiri (sort), Seiton (set in order), Seiso (shine), Seiketsu (standardise), Shitsuke (sustain).