Our suppliers

Our suppliers

It is the responsibility of the manager of each subsidiary to choose his or her suppliers, and to maintain trusting relationships with them through regular contact.

Although some suppliers are common to several subsidiaries, we do not feel it is useful to have a centralised purchasing department for the group. We prefer each subsidiary to focus on its market priorities and ask each to share information about these “group partners”.

Over 500 manufacturers partners
throughout the world

Total value of purchases in 2018 : € 197m
(in 2017 : € 171m, in 2016 : € 146m)

67% of our purchases come from European manufacturers.

Our suppliers are manufacturers whom we have selected from amongst the best in their profession. We work with them in very close collaboration, over the long term.

We ensure that our suppliers’ products meet all prevailing technical and safety standards.

From the start, the group’s development was based on Italian industrialists, who have a very good reputation for their knowhow in the valves and pump fields. Today, they account for 36% of our supplies.

Over the past fifteen years, we have also developed relationships with Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers, having visited over 700 factories working in our sector.
Today, 34% of our purchases come from China and at Taiwan where we have 50 or so regular, high-quality suppliers. Each year our teams make 15 or 20 trips to the country, often accompanied by a Chinese employee who lives in France. She is also responsible for assisting and advising subsidiaries, developing and facilitating relationships with our industrial partners and their directors.

In general terms, our site visits are very detailed. We look in particular at employee working conditions and ensure that no child is present in our partners’ workshops and factories.


Risks :

In our relationships with our suppliers, we ensure that we are not too dependent on them due to an excessive percentage of purchases or due to the strategic nature of their supplies. Our n°1 supplier accounts for 8% of the group’s purchases.

For strategic equipment, we generally have several suppliers.


In pourcentage201820172016
China and Taiwan34%36%34%
France10 %10%11 %
Germany5 %5%6%
Other countries8%5%3%

In pourcentage201820172016
US Dollar33%36%34%
Other foreign currencies1%-


Invoices received but not paid on the closing date of the financial year and whose due date has passed (table required under section 1 of article D. 441-4) in thousands of euros :

0 day
(for information)
1 to 30
31 to 60
61 to 90
91 days
and more
(1 day and more)
Number of invoices concerned (ex-VAT)1,574
Total value of invoices concerned (inc-VAT)1,82168(82)3722,1793,741
Purchases over the financial year (ex-VAT)*229,273
Percentage of purchases over the financial year (ex-VAT)1%1%

* External costs and purchases consumed

Our french customers

Our customers are wholesalers in heating and sanitation, pumps, plumbing fittings, industrialists for Sodeco Valves and all DIY players for Dipra, Sanidom/Rousseau, Mecafer and Domac.

The number of customers per subsidiary: between 180 to 4,000
Numerous customers are common to several different subsidiaries

Some of our customers have grown through external growth operations. Others opt for organic growth. In any event, they are very diverse:

  • Independent or subsidiaries of listed or family groups.
  • International, national or regional in terms of organisation and logistics.
  • Members of a group or independent for purchasing, marketing and communications.

They include: Descours et Cabaud, Saint-Gobain Distribution, Comafranc, Fransbonhomme, Kingfischer, Qérys, Adeo, Richardson, Les Mousquetaires, Mr Bricolage, Rexel, members of Algorel and of Socoda.

We have very active commercial presence at the national decision-making centres and points of sale (sales activities, training, etc.). The organisation of our sales force with small teams of highly professional and highly professional and responsive salespeople.

Risks :

As for suppliers, we ensure that we do not depend on our customers too much.

Today the distribution of turnover is as follows:

  • the biggest customer represents 4.9%,
  • the 5 biggest represent 21.1%,
  • the 10 biggest represent 33.6%.

This is not a dangerous level of dependency.

We are also careful to call in our customer debts by reacting quickly in cases of unpaid bills.

Our rate of customer loss is exceptionally low under 1% of turnover for 2018.


Our international customers

From the end of the 1960s through to the middle of the 2000s, the group’s subsidiaries bought in Europe to sell in France.

Today, they buy throughout the world to sell in Europe or Africa via our subsidiaries Thermador International, Sodeco Valves, FGinox and Sanidom/Rousseau.

Thermador International was set up in 2006 and in 2018 accounted for 44.1% of the group’s export turnover. Sodeco Valves and FGinox brought 39% of our international business, the rest coming from our other subsidiaries.

In 2019, we estimate that the portion of our export activity as a whole could increase from 17.5% to 18.5%. Thermador International delivers wide ranges of products perfectly suited to market needs to wholesalers from our main stock in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier and to short deadlines. Progress with logistics and shortening in delivery times have simply pushed back our borders, since we are now able to deliver the whole of Europe D+2 and D+6. For our African customers, orders are submitted in full and immediately to forwarding agents who ship the merchandise in two or three weeks to the markets concerned.

Sodeco Valves, whose head office is in Belgium, delivers D+1and D+2 to its industrial customers, mainly in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Switzerland (there is a commercial company in each country, with local sales staff).

FGinox has an export department and sells its ranges of stainless steel connectors to industrial customers and specialised wholesalers in Europe and Africa.

Sanidom/Rousseau has a sales subsidiary in Spain which stocks and distributes tap ranges for DIY superstores in that country.

Our future potential growth margin is immense, judging by the current and future needs of high-development-potential countries and commercial synergies that are gradually emerging between the different subsidiaries concerned.