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Groupe SEB has chosen to equip itself with a global manufacturing base to serve all its markets. This industrial organisation is based on complementarity. It includes sites specialising in dedicated product families in Western Europe, together with international sites whose main purpose is to manufacture products for local markets. When necessary, finished products are also sourced from carefully selected suppliers.

Sites specialising in particular product families to guarantee expertise and competitiveness

Innovation is one of Groupe SEB’s key strengths for growing its sales profitably in the long term. The industrial organisation in Western Europe is based on establishing skills platforms. These centres of expertise contribute to the Group’s success by bringing together all the teams and resources – marketing, design, research and development – needed to create high quality products with strong added value while remaining close to production sites. By concentrating technological skills and consumer expertise within a single team, we can simplify discussions and accelerate the time to market of new products. Product development has to take marketing specifications into account, but it must also respond to industrial constraints that will guarantee the products’ quality and competitiveness. Keeping the development teams close to the production ones is a big step towards this goal. Examples are the success of the Actifry fryer, developed and produced in Is-sur-Tille (Burgundy, France), and the Silence Force vacuum cleaners range, developed and produced in Vernon (Normandy, France).

Innovation is a vital precondition for the profitability of our factories, but it is not enough on its own. It is essential for sites to implement continuous productivity plans and optimise their production costs. This is the goal of our OPS operational excellence project (SEB Performance Operation), which involves staff in a continuous improvement process aimed at eliminating tasks with no added value while optimising health and safety at work.

The organisation of our industrial sites must also maximise economies of scale, supply materials and components at the best cost and optimise the absorption of fixed costs, which is why these specialist sites need to concentrate global demand. The Rumilly site (Haute Savoie, France) is the world’s biggest non-stick cookware factory, and its production volumes allow for a high level of automation, ensuring its global competitiveness. Another example is the Pont Evêque site (Isère, France), specialising in iron and steam generator production, which has just acquired a fourth steam generator production line, improving productivity, quality and flexibility.


International sites to serve local needs

In addition, the Group has international production sites located in emerging countries, fast-growing markets which constitute very strong levers for growth. These international sites, close to where the goods will be consumed, aim to offer products tailored to their markets based on specific knowledge of local consumption habits. They also enable the items to be produced at a price in line with local competitors. These sites are also global centres of expertise in certain product families – this is the case with fans in Brazil, for example, or electric pressure cookers in China. As such, just like in Western Europe, the international sites have their own development teams for closer collaboration with the manufacturing teams.

External sourcing, a tactical lever

In addition to this internal manufacturing base, the Group makes use of external sourcing from carefully pre-selected suppliers belonging to a Groupe SEB suppliers’ panel:

  • For products with low strategic importance for the Group but which require a high degree of investment;
  • For product families with little scope for innovation where price is fundamental.

In these cases, we must be able to guarantee the best production costs while ensuring our quality standards are met. The proportion of the Group’s income achieved by these outsourced products amounted to 27% in 2012.



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And also:

France –           Vernon (vacuum cleaner), Is-sur-Tille (electrical cooking), Selongey (pressure cooker), Mayenne (kitchen electrics), Lourdes (kitchen electrics), Saint Lô (Electronics), Tournus (cookware)
Germany – Erbarch (linen care)
Italy –              Omegna (cookware)
Russia –           Saint Petersbourg (cookware)
Brasil –             São Bernardo do Campo (cookware), Recife (small appliances and cookware)
Colombia –    Cajica (small appliances multi-products), Copacabana (cookware)
China –             Shanghai (small appliances multi-products), Yuhuan (cookware), Hangzhou (electrical cooking)
Vietnam –      Vinh Loc (fans), Hô Chi Minh (cookware), Binh Duong (components)
India –               Baddi (small appliances)


OPS on the path towards operational excellence.

In 2011 the Group undertook a vast continuous improvement project baptised OPS (SEB Performance Operation). This project aims to continuously question and revise our manufacturing processes in order to keep improving their efficiency. Staffs are at the centre of the approach, which has the dual benefit of involving them in solving problems encountered on the ground and recognising the value of their work by improving their working conditions and efficiency. All the projects launched under the banner of the OPS programme are seen from this twin viewpoint of productivity and health/safety, as neither can be separated from the other in the long term. A repository of best practice is shared by all the Group’s sites, enabling them to share experience and good practice between sites in order to accelerate progress. This approach helps improve competitiveness, health and safety, quality and commitment. At the end of 2012, an internal competition was held to identify the best initiatives, providing a real source of motivation and synergy for the teams.