“Throughout its 60-year history, Société Française d’Assainissement (Group SFA) has been, and continues to be, an innovator,” says Regis Saragosti, CEO of Saniflo North America, which encompasses the U.S., Canadian and Mexican operations. “From its inception in 1958, to its expansion throughout Europe and, eventually, North America, Group SFA has revolutionized the ease and flexibility of commercial and residential bathroom installations through its macerating technology.”
Originally a designer of water treatment-plant equipment, SFA developed the macerator for plumbing applications in France in the 1950s. By reducing waste to slurry and pumping it to a main drain line, the technology allowed toilets, sinks and other plumbing fixtures to be installed atop finished floors virtually anywhere in a home where no below-floor drainage existed. The SFA solution was just what the postwar French and their housing industry needed, representing a path forward after the Second World War and a return to normalcy.
Expansion throughout Europe and then North America
Over four decades, Group SFA continued to integrate its manufacturing process vertically and extended its operations across Europe. By the 1990s, the company had subsidiaries stretching from England to Russia. During that same decade, SFA began a quality-certification process, and its production facilities earned ISO-certification.
At this point, the company felt confident to share its plumbing solution with those living in North America. Thus, the late 1980s saw Group SFA’s expansion into Canada and, in 1998, the company arrived in the U.S. Saniflo became Group SFA’s U.S. subsidiary, and the Saniplus was the first macerating product the company introduced in this country.
As more North American wholesalers, contractors, engineers and homeowners understood its macerating and drain pump solutions, business began to grow. “We have doubled sales over the past 10 years in North America and now hold 90 percent market share in our category,” states Saragosti. “Unlike when I started, most industry professionals today recognize the Saniflo brand and what we can do for them and their customers.”
Group SFA has continued to integrate its operations vertically, so that it now controls more than 70 percent of its production internally, including the product molds and, since 2008, the motors. In total, the company has almost 200,000-square-feet of manufacturing facilities and 160,000-square-feet of warehousing facilities.
In addition, the company looks to continue its reputation as a product innovator and educator. The past 60 years of success have taught Group SFA that it’s not just the product that customers want, but also the service that accompanies it.