CEO Outlook Magazine

Jacques-Olivier Joncoux | CEO & Chairman | Sphering Group

Jacques-Olivier Joncoux

CEO & Chairman

" I believe that striving for excellence, a large multicultural interest, and a strong commitment to the people I’m leading have made an impact on the organization, enabling a solid knowledge of the market and cultures. "

Leading A Legacy

It took Jacques-Olivier Joncoux five years to be ready to profoundly transform Sphering Group and adapt the organization to a new and ambitious vision. For Jacques-Olivier, it was a big responsibility to lead the family-owned French regional company that his grandfather created and instill the best technology and ideology for the greater good, at a European leading level. The pioneering leader is proud to benefit from a heritage of a hundred years of existence, engineering, and innovations.

In 100 years, a lot has changed, and product lines have radically been transformed, but what has always remained is their culture for the innovation that matters and the capacity always to be ahead of the norms and leading edge. “I believe that striving for excellence, a large multicultural interest and a strong commitment for the people I’m leading have made an impact on the organization, enabling a solid knowledge of the market and cultures,” says Jacques-Olivier. “I’m a self-demanding person, to the extent that this is a requirement to meet personal and collective ambitions. I’m also very proud to run a 100-year family business and to carry out a strong vision for Sphering Group’s second century. I strongly believe in the “made from here” label, and I am sure that developing local economic autonomy is a key success for tomorrow’s industry, ecology, and society.”

According to Jacques-Olivier, the market’s volatility brings opportunities that must be strategically foreseen. A CEO must be able to translate all this into a long-term vision and medium-term development strategy and action plan. “I strongly believe that continuously investing in our people, facilities and technological capabilities is the main key to success. This winning strategy has driven major achievements and the Sphering Group has known tremendous years in the past two decades,” elucidates Jacques-Olivier.

“I believe that success relies on our capacity to go step by step with inexhaustible tenacity, that meeting our objectives implies working hard to be always ready, and that we must be able to better lose a good opportunity than rushing in without being accurately prepared.”

The group deploys strong core values within its business units in the main EU territories. An EU global presence enabling a rich and essential multiculturalism that has been integrated into the group’s DNA. Sphering Group runs its operations with an exclusive combination of local approach and global efficiency, each business unit being autonomous and faithful to its historical local economy and customers. Sphering Group is a unique model of ethical industrial collider and is positioned as the EU market maker in flue and chimneys systems.

Building A Brand

The global Flue and Chimney Pipes market size was valued at USD 545.09 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.39% during the forecast period, reaching USD 790.5 million by 2028. However, it is pertinent to mention that the industry is always one of the first sectors to experience economic and geopolitical issues. These past years have particularly been intense for the global economy, and the market’s volatility and multiplicity of cost increases forced industrial actors to adapt. In the meantime, the climate emergency has led to deeply reassess the industry as we know it, with a collective momentum including making processes and operations greener and adopting sustainable procedures. “Wherever it is possible, we are now committed to design sustainable solutions. This, without reducing our capacity to meet performance standards and expectations,” explains Jacques-Olivier. “For instance, increasing the efficiency of appliances implies having lower temperatures which can lead to difficulties in the exhaust fumes. Thanks to our labs, we can develop new systems that match the latest appliances, latest requirements, and at the same time, climate concerns we are facing.”

Sphering Group expands its industrial presence with leading brands and comprehensive product ranges powered by its internal innovation and test laboratory “WeLab.” Leading edge and designing secured and efficient products have been in Sphering Group’s DNA for a century, and they believe that the constant improvement of their know-how will make them grow and prosper. The company’s WeLab is crucial to its success; every year, hundreds of tests are performed alongside its research and development strategy for advanced and sustainable products. Sphering Group works closely with appliance producers to co-develop special products that optimize combustion and reduce CO2 and fine dust emissions. Sphering labs are the additional strategic means that make them a reliable partner that is always ahead of the norms and standards.

Sphering Group has also implemented its CARE policy with customers, employees, secured and efficient products, the environment, and society. “Chimneys and ventilation systems can be considered simple accessories: they are flues and ducts extracting combustion gases, hot or cold air … but that’s at first glance,” says Jacques-Olivier. “We believe that, for over 100 years now, we have been providing much more than that. As bold innovators, we dare to constantly set new standards by developing cutting-edge technologies to make buildings safer and providing high-performance heating or cooling systems using fewer resources. As sustainable industrial actors, we care about contributing to secure, durable and healthier buildings as well as cleaner air for the industrial, commercial, and residential markets.”

Sphering Group is proud to distribute the group’s manufactured products locally, acting as partners and sharing common interests with its customers to develop local businesses. They are committed to designing secure, custom-made solutions to meet specific needs and requirements. “What we mean by “We CARE” is: we care to do well by doing good with customers, employees, secured and efficient products, environment, and society. This has driven us for a century and how we traduce it for this second one,” adds Jacques-Olivier.

Towards the Future

Sphering Group develops cross-departmental boundaries leading to an increase in their understanding of the customer journey and trying relentlessly to achieve the best client experience. Today, more than ever, operations and the IT department must work together to give the company a better view of the market, a better quality of customer service, and needs to be more and more agile and responsive. “Our brands have developed merchant sites which provide the customers with a personal account relying on a strong information system and an intuitive web interface, combined keys to bring our customer a smooth and seamless experience,” says the pioneering leader. “As our customers are our best ambassadors, strong commitment and striving for excellence enable us to be their reliable partner and acquire greater knowledge of their needs. This allows us to adapt the market with new products and services and deliver a superior digital customer experience.”

These past months have been intensively vivid for the Sphering Group. They acquired a British company, SFL, in October 2022. A few months later, eka-edelstahlkamine, in Germany, joined the group in early 2023. These two successive acquisitions brought the group’s revenues to 190 million euros with +1000 employees across Europe. With eight production plants in the major EU markets, the group has promising opportunities to generate fruitful synergies. A result made possible by an addition of external growths and cultures united on a common pathway behind shared values, projects, and vision.

With a position as the leading industrial player in the flue and chimney systems and a controlled global financial stability, Sphering Group can keep considering further developments.

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