A pioneering French company since 1977, NVequipment is based on an independent model allowing it to combine industrial performance and craftsmanship.
Explanations with Pascal Cardi, Chairman and CEO of NVequipment.
What is your core business?
We are to the boat what the soft top is to the automobile. We manufacture outdoor protective equipment adjusted to each model. We make navigation easier for people who trust us and my goal is to be perceived as the benchmark for the outdoor market in Europe by both builders and yachtsmen. More than 40% of our production goes abroad!
We have been ISO 9001 certified since 2007 and have just been awarded the Living Heritage Company (EPV) label, a recognition of our exceptional know-how. We also join the FRENCH Lab, a great way to promote our professions and be part of the industry of the future.
The navigation market is booming, who are your customers?
The yachting market is divided into 4 universes: leisure, cruising, multihulls and boats over 50 feet. NVequipment serves two distinct markets with different expectations: the new boat market, with the main customers being boat builders, brand dealers, upholstery and sailmaking companies, and the second-hand boat market. For a new boat sold in France, 8 are second-hand, so second-hand is a very important market for us. The rental market allows us to prove the resistance of our products.
Tell us about the industrial know-how on which NVequipment is based
Our industrial model is a real subject, since we produce in small series. We are very close to the luxury sector. To take the example of the car again, the world leader manufactures roughly 10 million vehicles, while the world leader in boats manufactures between 10,000 and 20,000 boats. It’s a niche market and managing to create an industrial model on small series is not so simple.
The first thing I put in place when taking over the company was to reorganize this industrial aspect. The result stems from the work we have carried out with the NVequipment team for 20 years.
Our know-how is specific and our wealth comes from our teams. Versatility is an area on which we have been working for a long time, it is an area of motivation for employees and it allows us to react very quickly. Thanks to this, we are only very slightly impacted in the current context: our delivery times are less than 3 weeks despite the problems with the supply of raw materials.
What makes your difference?
Each product is specific to a boat, we do not make tailor-made products, however our catalog today includes 8500 products developed since 1977 and each year we develop between 400 and 500 new references per year.
Another advantage is our continuous improvement and lean manufacturing approach, which allows us to guarantee a service rate of over 95%: the customer is at the top. The people who come to us are amazed by the quality of the reception of the operators. We are in the inverted pyramid approach, our bottom line is the empowerment of our employees.
We are pursuing a CSR strategy, already initiated in recent years on social and environmental aspects. Today, we are tackling the decarbonization part, a major challenge for the company. And finally, our production is 100% made in France or even made in Vendée!
And for the future?
Internationalization is a strategic axis. We are continuing our development to establish ourselves in all the countries concerned by boating. The digital aspect is an extremely important point, more than 50% of our current investments relate to the investment of tools to optimize product development times and facilitate the work of the entire production sector. In line with our environmental commitment, we try to ensure that our products do not pollute the planet. For example, we offer the renewal of fabrics for the yachtsman and organized services for the repair of NV products, we save energy, recycle fabric scraps and plan the use of eco-responsible packaging.