Know-how, high technicality, proximity… For more than 40 years, Leman has been committed to developing the quality of its products for building professionals. Precise terms of reference, rigorous selection of cutting tools, choice of trusted suppliers, multiple tests and daily support for distributors and craftsmen, nothing is left to chance!
On his workbench, a craftsman carefully handles a diamond disc with blue and red reflections. A piercing look, precise gestures, the actions are known. However, behind the simplicity of the equipment’s use lies a thorough research into the real needs of the professional. “The selection of LEMAN cutting tools is based on meticulous specifications,” explains Stéphane Meunier, our purchasing and quality manager. “We are very attentive to the market and as soon as the need is identified, my team calls on our trusted suppliers to obtain the right product at the best price. Some of these suppliers have been working with us for 20 years. Once selected in the tender, we launch the research, design and sampling phases together,” he continues. The story begins.
Double control of upstream and downstream purchases
The sourcing process is a real culture within the company and allows the brand to implement a battery of tests that are as complete as they are demanding. Most of the time, these tests are carried out at the end of the production process, even before the products are shipped to our logistics site in La Tour du Pin. “For us, this stage is crucial. It is essential to ensure the quality of our products as soon as they leave the factory,” says Stéphane Meunier. “For example, several of our partners are in Asia. This is why we have set up a four-person unit based in Shanghai: we therefore have an initial quality department directly from China to check that the tools designed meet our requirements,” continues our expert. A model that also applies in Europe, where the majority of LEMAN products are manufactured.
As a result, particularly close links are established with suppliers. “This proximity to the factories allows us to have a strong relationship of trust”, explains Alexandre Platière, quality technician. “The fact that we have to go back and forth a lot to improve some of our products has led our partners to increase their skills. Many factories have succeeded in reaching a milestone, which allows us to be constantly at the forefront of the latest innovations. This is a major advantage,” he says. And it doesn’t stop there!
« Our quality charters leave no room for doubt »
This is because new quality controls are carried out when products are received. “Some people may forget, but the performance of a tool can sometimes be altered by the transport of goods,” notes Alexandre Platière. “At Leman, there is no question of leaving the slightest doubt: we test our products a second time when they arrive in France. For each disc, for example, a specific quality charter is drawn up. We are able to compare their performance before and after shipment. These are important monitoring tools to guarantee the reliability of our ranges,” he says.
This guarantee also involves the attention that the group pays to the environment and sustainable development. “While ensuring that our products are well protected, we develop the most eco-responsible packaging possible, right from the tool design stage, which is a permanent quest,” adds our purchasing and quality director, Stéphane Meunier. Recycled materials and packaging that uses less plastic and cardboard are therefore preferred for transport.
Artisans and workers directly involved in the design and improvement of products
Another major element in the quality approach taken by Leman is the monitoring of its cutting tools and machines. Indeed, once designed, our products are subjected to various checks, particularly on their daily use. “We first use our internal know-how to check the saw blades, discs, bits or machines”, Stéphane Meunier points out. “For example, I am a cabinetmaker by trade, which enables me to carry out tests on the wood part, particularly the circular saw blades,” adds Alexandre Platière. “But then we surround ourselves with a wide range of testing craftsmen: plasterers for the machines, cabinetmakers for carbide inserts, carpenters… Each product has its own test. Because for a diamond disc to be perfect, it must be used for several hundred hours to get the right result”, says our quality technician. This approach of involving dozens of professionals in our tests allows us to have a constant quality on all our ranges. The quest for product improvement is permanent!
But being close to the field also means having teams in contact with our users, craftsmen or workers, who know the reality of their needs. “We take care of training for dealers”, says Alexandre Platière. “I go out and explain the tools to the team that will be selling them, which is very important for the proper understanding and use of our products. This is the case, for example, with the distributor Décocéram, for whom we presented our entire new range of hole saws and their effectiveness. ”
Assembly, adjustment, demonstration and tips for use, made-to-measure comfort is guaranteed from the moment of delivery
LEMAN is always listening to its customers, especially to our distributors. Do you have a question? “We immediately compare the products sold with the products in stock to understand the problem,” explains Alexandre Platière. And he adds: “We repeat tests internally to detect if there is a misuse or a design error. For example, it happens very often that the speed of rotation of a tool is not adapted. Our role is to support everyone in their efforts to use the tools safely and optimally”.
In addition to this feedback from the field, we continue to follow up our customers by offering them a tailor-made service right up to the commissioning of our machines. “For us, it was essential to go beyond the tool and not leave them at the door of the trade,” explains Alexandre Platière. “Our expertise allows us to make life easier for our customers. Imagine that our biggest machine can be installed in 6 hours, the craftsmen don’t have the time! We also train them so that they can get to grips with it as quickly as possible and be operational quickly. This is also the trademark of LEMAN”, he says. The result: assembly, adjustment, demonstrations and tips for use, comfort is guaranteed from the moment of delivery. “And customers love it!” enthuses Stéphane Meunier. A service that takes care of everything…
12.000 references in stock for maximum availability
How can we not talk about LEMAN’s responsiveness? The life of a construction site always holds surprises and requires maximum agility. “This is a point of honour that we have always honoured,” insists Stéphane Meunier. “Thanks to our large storage capacity, we have 12.000 references available in 24 to 48 hours. This is a solid guarantee for our supplier customers, who can obtain supplies without difficulty and respond to the urgent situations encountered by construction professionals. And this stock is a major asset in times of shortage. “While difficulties are appearing everywhere, the loyal partnerships we have with our suppliers and their factories mean that we can renew it without any problems,” notes Stéphane Meunier. “Our 2022 orders have been placed and everything is being done to maintain a large stock, so we are confident,” he reassures us.
Finally, LEMAN is investing in its IT system to optimise logistics and continue its commitment to quality delivery. For example, a new machine can now provide us with dimensions and weights for each of our 12.000 references. This saves time for our customers.
Made in France quality on track
Our company now has a strong ambition: to develop new services to further increase the quality approach to which we are committed. “We are going to increase our direct demonstrations to customers over the next few months,” says our purchasing and quality manager. Before that, a major development is on the cards: that of becoming a manufacturer.
“This is an important but natural step for an expert brand like LEMAN. Contributing to the excellence of our products is a leitmotiv that guides us. We will therefore start producing our own cutting tools in France at the beginning of 2022. Being associated with Made in France is in line with our company’s DNA. We select, design, test and control, sell and install… Now we manufacture! This was the missing link, and it’s exciting”, concludes Stéphane Meunier. For 100% quality control!