We’ve all heard about the virtues of quality over quantity. One person who has taken this expression to heart is Didier Georgelin, Director of French ball valve manufacturer, Bazille.
Valve World took the opportunity to visit his newly constructed factory last year. Made of stainless steel, it is immaculate and clean and shines and glimmers in the countryside at Ascoux, around 100km south of Paris. “This modern infrastructure allows us to continue developing our business and at the same time, meet the requirements that we have set for ourselves” he says. “When I acquired this company in 2008 it was a family run company with a long tradition of making stainless steel ball valves - I wanted to build on that.”
Today, he says their expertise is delivering exceptional surface quality of ball valves. “Our aim is to achieve a perfect sealing of the valve. In our business there is a triumvirate of price, quality and lead time – quality needs to remain the main concern, no questions asked. We buy raw materials from European sources so that we are confident of the right certificates. We build European solutions. We have to focus on quality and be trustworthy. We can’t fight on price, but we can outshine on quality and service.”
Bazille serves the oil and gas, nuclear and defense sectors. Approximately 60% of their sales go to the French domestic market, with the rest of Europe accounting for the remaining 40%. The company attended their first Valve World event in 2014, and since then have been looking to use the events for expand their reach, particularly since the move into their new premises last year.
“I had two objectives right from the start - first, I wanted to obtain our ISO 9001 certificate. Secondly, I wanted to develop our reach into the European market”. He is pleased to add that the first goal was reached when the company was awarded their certificate in 2012. Is the market flat? “I am pleased to say that our international exports have increased by 10%” he reports. “Many larger clients might think twice about employing a smaller company, but the advantage is that we’re quick and nimble, we’re flexible and we’re here to exceed expectations. A small business culture has passion and expertise, we consider ourselves more as craftsmen than industrialists” he laughs.
“Our next objectives are to become even more customer orientated. We can now offer full valve ball sets (ball and seats), coating and lapping. We partner with others in Europe, namely Sweden, Italy and Spain for raw materials. As for the future we’re also aiming to obtain further global certification, the Environment ISO14001 and also the safety ISO18001 in 2018 which would be further proof of our commitment to quality.
“We are also trying to do ball seats, and also manage coatings, and of course continually striving to improve service. There is always room for improvement, of our own process, how we work, our own environmental health and safety. That’s what gets me up in the morning.”
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