In applying a global operator model—unique in the bathroom space—the Roca Group is structured around three core concepts:
This management model facilitates comprehensive planning of the business worldwide and a dynamic allocation of its capacities to market needs at any given time. It likewise fosters the application of common corporate policies to all operations, ensuring consistent product and service quality at every production center.
The Group’s recent expansion to high-population markets with rising access to better living conditions (Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, etc.) has led to expanding the industrial network in 2018 with new production plants, while also boosting its capacity to manufacture all product categories for the bathroom space. Moreover, in keeping with the remarkable transformation in the industry, the organization makes every effort to keep earning the confidence of all its customers and end users—homes, hotels and public facilities.
The key driving forces behind new product launches in the bathroom space include developing innovative materials, which provides new design possibilities and greater customization of the ultimate solution, as well as combining all elements in the bathroom space from an aesthetic standpoint, using electronics in a practical manner and addressing the growing weight of environmental and customer care factors in client decision-making. All this is accentuated by increasingly shorter time-to-market and diversifying shopping channels, with collections adapted to each.
To address this requirement, the Group manages the process holistically through its NPL (New Product Launch) methodology. This system plans product developments comprehensively—from initial briefing until market launch—pulling in coordinated efforts from the Marketing, Design and Production work units. The NPL approach is progressively applied to all product categories and ensures both holistic management of the offer in the market and improved planning of the industrial and logistics network.
Design centers worldwide
Roca boasts a distinctive and consolidated offer that quickly and effectively responds to market trends. This responsiveness would not be possible without detailed launch planning, SKU reduction over the past years and in-house production of all bathroom space elements. The brand’s latest product launches serve as ample proof. The Carmen collection updates one of the most iconic models in the history of Roca, featuring the addition of our rimless solution. The urban-inspired Beyond collection leverages the aesthetic and functional possibilities of the high-quality ceramic Fineceramic® and synthetic material Surfex®. Characterized by its moldable and nonslip properties, Surfex® has been used for the Modo shower tray and the Alena bathtub. The shower tray category is also undergoing a renaissance of its own, thanks to slimline Stonex® materials—also nonslip and durable. In the faucet category, Malva and Syra enhance the kitchen collection and the Insignia range features Cold Start, Safe Touch and Quick Reaction systems.
Following its long-standing collaboration with top designers worldwide, Laufen has presented The New Classic by Marcel Wanders, which also explores the opportunities of new ceramic materials through a collection with a stunning ability to combine rounded lines and angle profiles. The Sense faucet series also catches the eye with its unconventional diagonal shape, and the Navia new generation of smart toilets creatively integrates all elements within the bowl itself.
Developments in ceramic tile production technologies allow for greater diversity in both formats and aesthetic options (designs, textures, reliefs, etc.). The combination of these factors broadens the offer to a level never seen to date.
The NPL (New Product Launch) system draws up comprehensive plans for product development—from initial briefing until final launch—pulling in coordinated efforts from the Marketing, Design and Production work units. This system ensures both global management of the offer in the market and improved planning of the industrial and logistics network.
The Group’s design centers have advanced technology to streamline all processes related to product development—including initial 3D design to assess the viability of each project, computer-aided hydraulic computation and simulation as well as rapid prototyping systems such as 3D printers. The design centers also have test areas to trial the development of new products and especially the first prototypes made.
New plants in Indonesia and Egypt (sanitaryware), Brazil (plastic products) and Argentina (faucet assembly) bring the Group’s total number of production centers to 82, the most ever. This extensive industrial network in 19 countries is managed through a proximity-based production model for utmost flexibility in responding to specific market demands.
Sanitaryware—which poses transport difficulties due to the volume involved—is produced through a large-series production system in plants strategically located to meet demand from key markets and their areas of influence. For the production of other bathroom space categories, a system of industrial platforms is used which is based on standardization of basic technical components of each product, pending further tailoring of the final product depending on the specific demand in each market. In both systems, the cross-sectional management approach encourages identifying and sharing best practices in product development, efficiency indicators, time-to-market and flexibility.
sanitaryware, faucet, furniture and shower screen units per year
CAST IRON BATHTUBS
Boasting a network of 41 plants and a capacity for more than 36 million pieces annually, the Group is the largest producer of sanitaryware in the world. In order to meet growing demand in key markets, the Group has expanded the plants in Tangshan (China), Anadia (Portugal), Znojmo (Czech Republic) and Kaluga (Russia)—projects which were completed in 2018.
Investments forecasted for coming years will gradually expand capacity by commissioning new plants in Jakarta (Indonesia) and 6th of October City (Egypt), scheduled for 2019, enlarging the plant in Tosno (Russia) and building a new plant in Puebla (Mexico).
units per year
The production of faucets, the second-ranking product category in Group sales, is managed through a system of industrial platforms combining full-cycle factories and local assembly units.
2018 witnessed the commissioning of an assembly unit at the Lanús (Argentina) plant, capacity expansions at the Bhiwadi (India) plant and the roll-out of new production technologies in Eskisehir (Turkey)—for PVD (physical vapor deposition) and zinc injection. We have also begun renovating the Similor faucet plant in Laufen (Switzerland).
units per year
The furniture platform currently has six production centers. Its product offering is presented in new collections such as Carmen and Beyond.
units per year *
* Includes vanities, cabinets, auxiliary furniture and mirrored cabinets.
The Group has its own production unit for screens in Suzhou (China), which started operations in 2016.
units per year
Synthetics offer new design possibilities and a high degree of customization, allowing for remarkable increases in volume at synthetic material plants, which invested in new technology in 2018 to step up their capacity.
Products made from these materials include Stonex® shower trays, bathtubs and sinks (inspired by the launch of the Beyond collection in 2018), Supralit® covers and seats, as well as Surfex® sinks and bathtubs as part of the Modo collection. These materials are also a valuable asset in customized hotel and restaurant projects.
Throughout the year, the Group’s ceramic tile plants (three in Brazil and one in Spain) have invested in expanding formats and deploying new technologies for more customized solutions (pattern, color, texture, etc.). The Group’s main markets are Brazil and the United States.
RIS is a key product category in maintaining the Group’s full-range offering for the bathroom space. After the milestone of launching the first recessed tank product family in 2017, new actuation panels—both manual and electronic models—have been developed, as well as tanks for northern Europe and the United States.
In 2018, corporate quality management focused on quality control for new product categories, bringing new suppliers on board and implementing advanced production systems, as well as relying on the cross-collaboration of various departments involved in the value chain (Purchasing, Production, Logistics, etc.), and knowledge transfer among professionals working directly in quality management. Headquartered in the Gavà-Viladecans plant, this department oversees quality management for the entire Group, focusing mainly on ensuring consistent quality of products, services and processes in any market.
The global management model, built on a common working methodology worldwide, has enabled quick integration of new production facilities into the system comprising the Group’s industrial network—either by expanding existing facilities or by acquiring new companies. To this end, the department has local quality control units, trained in technical and internal organization.
Some key local actions in 2018 include introducing the quality management model in two of the latest production centers to join the Group: the sanitaryware plants in Monterrey (Mexico) and 6th of October City (Egypt). Audits have also been conducted to improve and standardize processes used at the plastic product units in Chennai (India) and sanitaryware units in Jundiaí (Brazil). A local supplier control department was likewise consolidated in China.
The functions of the main unit have been restructured to better address new corporate demands, and the unit has been internally divided into three areas: Data Analysis manages documentation necessary for the department’s operation, including legal affairs. Quality Assurance focuses on auditing, product certification and driving continuous improvement. Meanwhile, the Client area works on ensuring customer satisfaction and providing technical support to the sales network.
In terms of certifications, 2018 witnessed the completion of our transition to the new ISO 9001:2015 quality management standard. This standard is not limited to the certification of manufacturing areas (sanitaryware, faucets or acrylic), but also covers corporate services such as IT, Design, Marketing and Sales, among others.
The global quality management model applies a common working methodology across the organization to ensure consistent quality in products, services and processes. This system facilitates flexible integration of new production facilities in the Group’s industrial network.
The continuous development of new products—including new elements and materials—compels the company to adapt its supply chain and production processes and to constantly update its quality control protocols. In fact, a specific quality assurance unit for electronic products was created in 2018, focusing mainly on the family of smart toilets which the Group is expanding successfully to most of its markets.
Current development of the bathroom space consists of pursuing large-scale business possibilities, utilizing customer and end-user segmentation, employing a vast array of purchasing and retail channels (traditional, DIY, e-commerce, etc.), and developing ancillary services related to product installation and use. All this is occurring under the impact of the uncertain development of the economy in the building and housing markets. In this complex environment, business performance hinges primarily on a knowledge of global trends and the ability to adapt to local markets, aiming for a best-in-class and unique commercial offering.
The Group seeks to manage its global brands using a two-fold approach: corporate units first design the main lines of action and develop a series of tools and solutions, and local units then adapt them to the specific characteristics and traits of each market. Resources developed in 2018 include rolling out the new image of the Roca brand, the launch of the new rocagallery.com platform for architects and designers, and Laufen’s custom program projects for the hotel industry.
ROCA GALLERIES 2018
Capturing business opportunities in all segments and channels is essential for the company, and the Roca brand uses unique strategies for its three main groups: end users, installers/technicians and specifiers. The brand image for end users conveys approachability and everyday ease, with marketing materials that reflect real-life situations in the bathroom space and clearly explain product features and benefits, both in advertising campaigns and sales points or trade shows. Events in 2018 include the launch of new faucet collections in Argentina and In-Wash® smart toilet marketing efforts in markets around the world. The same criterion applies to relationships with installers and technicians, for which practical marketing materials are developed—hardcopy or audiovisual media—featuring technical developments or the specifics of new products.
Our historic relationship with specifiers continues as we invite architects, designers and interior designers to consider future bathroom space trends and contribute to the sector’s development. This cooperative effort yields a broad program of activities, including the organization of jumpthegap® and One Day Design Challenge—competitions for young architects and designers—attracting an increasingly expansive international reach. Meetings and specialized seminars are also organized in Roca Galleries worldwide. The Shanghai gallery was renovated in 2018, a gallery will open in São Paulo in 2020 and the rocagallery.com platform was launched in 2018.
Another example of the strong teamwork with the world of architecture is the development of exclusive collections for the Group’s brands. In 2018, these included the sink line designed by Ruy Ohtake for the Brazilian market and Laufen’s recent collaborations with designers such as Marcel Wanders, Patricia Urquiola as well as Ludovica and Roberto Palomba.
The Group brands’ current relationship with specifiers lives on as we invite architects, designers and interior designers to consider future bathroom space trends and contribute to the development of the sector.
In July 2018 the rocagallery.com digital platform was launched, with the idea for it to become a benchmark among professionals for news and trends in architecture and design. The platform has a panel of experts defining its editorial line and more than 30 international partners, specialists in the four main topic areas: views on architecture, eye on design, the future and sustainable world.
Although the diversity of purchasing and retail channels is a global trend in the industry, it affects various markets and segments differently. The Group’s proprietary model is based on developing the presence of its brands in the traditional channel by signing agreements with local distributors or key chains in the industry. This model facilitates application to new markets, or to new regions or metropolitan areas, as in the case of larger countries such as China and India. This is also true of our initial implementation in Indonesia where we signed a joint venture with local partners, and the presence of high-end solutions in specialty boutiques in France and Thailand, among many others.
The e-commerce channel in Spain has developed a proprietary platform in collaboration with traditional distributors for marketing the Roca range, in combination with other platforms such as the 3R bathroom planner. In order to maximize the potential of this channel, a strategic agreement has been signed with Alibaba to market the Group’s brands on its Chinese platforms and the joint development of e-commerce solutions. Finally, product lines were developed specifically geared toward the DIY channel, which also favors cross-selling of different categories for the bathroom space. A good example is the development of packs in Brazil.
The Group has been chosen as a trusted partner in numerous residential and hotel projects around the world, due to our production capacity and service, and our development of innovative and highly customizable solutions. For example, in 2018 the Group’s brands were present in many of the venues for the FIFA World Cup held in Russia and some of the country’s major infrastructures.
In recent years, our relationship has been strengthened within this channel, especially with the hotel sector—always aware of the important role the bathroom space plays in the customer experience. The Group has partnership agreements with the world’s major hotel chains. Bespoke solutions have been developed for Laufen, distinguished mainly by the production of parts in acrylic materials, allowing the creation of very limited and customized series.
The Group has been chosen as a trusted partner in numerous residential and hotel projects around the world, due to our production capacity and service, and our development of innovative and highly customizable solutions.