back Illustration of a coding database

The human relationship at the heart of digital transformation

27 September 2023

As a family-owned group founded in 1966, Manutan is a European leader in B2B e-commerce, specialising in the distribution of equipment and supplies through a model that combines the strengths of digital technology with human ambition. An innovative approach strongly anchored in the Group’s DNA to support its customers in optimising their Class C procurement strategy, in other words, indirectly facilitating efficiency and sustainability every day. 

Manutan was innovative right from day one, as the first company in France to display prices in its mail-order catalogue: transparency that already facilitated the simplification of the purchasing journey”, recalls Sylvie Collombet, Group Digital Marketing Director. Since then, the family business has demonstrated long-term growth, supported by a skilfully executed digital transformation. 

‘All you need. With love.’

The Group, which was originally Mail Order by catalogue evolved into a remote seller some years later, and today is one of the leaders in e-commerce B2B in Europe. The company’s expansion has been driven by internationalisation, product range development, and the digitalisation of distribution channels, including e-commerce. The first sales sites date back to the 2000s. With the impact of digitalisation on purchasing, the company has embarked on an enormous transformation, putting the human relationship at the heart of its project and developing digital solutions to serve its customers, employees and suppliers.

The Group motto, ‘All you need With love’ bears witness to the promise made to its customers to meet their requirements with +700,000 product references, while establishing a solid and sincere partnership. “We have a wide range which continues expanding in line with market trends and our customer needs. Our e-commerce sites are permanently evolving to provide the best customer experience, and ensuring that they find answers to their questions or solutions to their needs as easily, quickly and pleasantly as possible.” 

The power of digital in serving humans

The Group’s other trump card lies in its Supply Chain and its capacity to serve and support its customers throughout Europe and other countries with its export department. With 27 branches located across 17 countries in Europe, Manutan employs more than 2,200 people and had a turnover of 906 million euros in 2021-2022.

The technology serves customers, employees and many suppliers (more than 3,000). Manutan's strength is its ability to associate an industrial approach with personalised customer relations, founded on respect and transparency.Digital innovation is at the heart of our corporate strategy. By combining the power of human relations with the opportunities of digital technology, we offer our customers, suppliers and employees a unique experience. We target various performance indicators beyond our financial performance: ‘with love employee’, ‘with love customer’, ‘with love supplier’, and ‘with Love Planet’ measuring the respective satisfaction of our employees, customer and suppliers, along with environmental impact”.

A model founded on the relationship

All stakeholders are at the heart of activities at Manutan, which continues to invest in training, innovation, engagement and internal mobility, not to mention developing a sense of pride, as demonstrated by its label Great Place To work for the 7th year running. In addition to the digital transformation alone, the Group has evolved from a traditional model of Remote Selling to a relationship model, benefiting its entire ecosystem - customers, employees, suppliers and the environment. It offers a wide ranges of complementary services: advice on optimising the buying process, solutions to digitalise the process. Its solution Savin’side© is a methodology supported by a specific application, developed by buyers for buyers, aimed at enhancing business competitivity, by optimising the total cost of Class C procurement. “Our range of products and services evolves constantly to meet the needs of our customers and the B2B market”, confirms the Group Digital Marketing Director.  

A committed partner

“By combining digital with a close customer relationship we are able to identify the products and services of the future. This customer proximity is coupled with a trusted partnership with our suppliers, who we involve in our range development towards a more sustainable model”, emphasises Sylvie Collombet. “Today, environmental and social aspects are important criteria in the purchasing decision. We have a role to play towards our customers. We are keen to offer them better visibility on the environmental and social aspects in their procurement, thus supporting them in establishing their responsible procurement strategy”. Today, the Group is particularly focused on this aspect in its range development: “on the one hand, we are committed to sourcing ‘eco-responsible’ products, which we then offer for sale. On the other hand, we are developing services which target the circular economy”.