A company with sustainable, solid and orderly growth
Espiroflex, a leading company for the manufacture and sale of technical and lay-flat hoses, is now the first company in Europe to have a raw material production plant. It can therefore make the materials it needs, have complete control over the quality of these materials, and conduct research and continuously develop new product compositions with a view to the constant improvement and evolution which characterise the company. We visited this production plant a few months ago together with Mario SANCHEZ, the company's marketing director, and Sandra MORVAN, the company's export manager.
An interview with Mario Sanchez, Espiroflex's marketing director
When was the Espiroflex company created?
Espiroflex was founded in 1995 as a family company. It was founded by Bruno Sánchez. He was working with different companies, in Germany and in Italy, always in the BBC and BU sectors. He decided to create this family company and sustainably always financed by ourselves to keep on growing steadily. In 1995 it was established and it started to be developed and to sell not only in Spain but in the rest of Europe. We started to grow and we detected different key markets, specially Spain, France and Italy.
What role does Soditecc France play?
France was the cornerstone of our strategy so in 2001, after 6 years, we decided to acquire Soditecc France. Soditecc was a company very well renown in this sector. The company was in the south of France (Narbonne) so it was a key point for strategy and logistic. It was very well known for the distribution of rubber hoses. We acquired this sector and we introduced the PVC. Right now, they are selling both. This synergy brought a big growth for both companies. Right now, Soditecc is one of the key players in the distribution in France and it is growing year by year.
Tell us about your production plant in the Czech Republic?
In 2004, we decided to create another plan in eastern Europe to be able to produce and serve from there to the rest of the key markets in the rest of Europe. That was established in Pacov (100km in the south of Praga). We started to produce there exactly the same hoses that we produced here in Spain. In Spain, which is the headquarter, we could find offices for R&D, engineering, chemicals, production, human resources etc... We manage the export and national sells from here. We have lot of warehouses based in Barcelona and in the rest of the Spain. We tried to replicate exactly the same in Czech Republic.
Offices of R&D
What makes Espiroflex different from other companies?
There is a key competitive advantage that differs Espiroflex from the rest of the market. We are the only manufacture producing hundred percent of our whole raw material. We decided to replicate also this in Czech Republic. They are producing all raw material they need to manufacture hoses. They are able to self-provide themselves with the whole material.
We keep on growing and in 2011 we decided to create new premises for Soditecc France. We did the same in 2015 in Spain and in Czech Republic in 2016. In total we are right now around 72 000m2 in Europe. And we are increasing in France again.
Why is this a competitive advantage?
Besides the 4 000 references in our catalogue, we have a considerable percentage of customized products to offer tailored solutions to our customers. To produce them we need to constantly investigate, develop and create new formulas for new hoses. The only way to do this is to have our own chemical engineer team an to have the machines to create this. Otherwise you will always depend on what is existing on the market, but our vision goes far beyond, is transgressive.
In which other countries do you export to?
In 2006, we detected that Germany was also a very key market so we decided to replicate there a distribution company. We are not producing there. It's a key logistic point to serve whole Germany and even adjacent countries.
The main point of Espiroflex was France, Italy, Spain and Germany but then we started to explode export. Espiroflex is present in more than 50 countries distributed along the 5 continents. We export to whole Europe, South America, part of north Africa, some parts of Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The point is to keep providing all those countries with always the excellence and quality of Espiroflex.
Espiroflex Spain (head office)
Storage of pipes
Tell us about the importance you attach to product quality.
Espiroflex is a company that it is positioned in the market, in terms of quality, on the top. We are always based on the quality of the products because of the philosophy of our investment. Every single batch of Espiroflex is controlled, every single meter is marked to detect the day, the hour, the minute, the operator, the manufacturer, the machine etc.... We have every single thing registered and we keep our samples in order to analyze internally. Another of our proposition to the market are the certifications. We have got different certifications for every single country. It is the only way you can control the process and the quality of the material from the very beginning until you finally deliver to your costumer.
The main point right now for Espiroflex is to keep serving all those challenging markets with quality. We are experts on the most technical markets where the quality is the most important value. We have several propositions every day from different countries but we are only interested in those adding value to the productions. The reason why Espiroflex was born was to change the mentality of the market and start bringing products that could serve for the most technical sectors. In the pool sector, the requirement needed for safety and comfortability of the pool installation is key.
Tell us about your production for the swimming pool market...
Regarding the swimming pool market, we would like to start with the origins of Hidrotubo. Hidrotubo was the origin of Espiroflex. Espiroflex was born because of this hose that we first developed and patented years ago when we started the company. In Spain, as it happened in many other countries, the rigid pipes of the houses were never flexible so Espiroflex had a challenge that was to replace all of those pipes by flexible ones. It is easier to install, cheaper at the end and it provides maximum comfortability. It was aimed to transfer the water with safety and full quality to the houses.
We tried to replicate exactly the same characteristics to the pools. There are differences but essentially, they are the main requirements. We tried to focus on these markets and Espiroflex put all the efforts, R&D and investments on this hose. This is the reason why Espiroflex tried to position the market as the main leader globally for the production of pool hoses, specially Hidrotubo.
We started to serve the main players in the market around the world for pool hoses. We established as the main leader and now we can conclude that we have put in the market more than 40 million meters of Hidrotubo and have become the main reference in pool hoses. This is the fruit of a daily hard work that started since the first day of Espiroflex back in 1995.
The star product of Espiroflex is the family of Hidrotubo.