Secodi: Providing quality power and end-to-end service for 45 years.

Continuing our series of interviews and insights into our global distributor network, in this issue we turn to France where Secodi has been a Perkins authorised distributor for 45 years. Today, in addition to France, Secodi companies serve customers in Turkey – where Power TK recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, as well as Finland, Spain and francophone countries in Africa. Secodi distributor principal, Yannick Billy, outlines the reasons for Secodi’s success and its plans for the future.


 

 

“Secodi was founded in 1978 by a truly visionary couple, Jacques and Marie-Paule Fétis,” Yannick explained. “From the beginning they insisted on representing only top quality companies and supporting customers with comprehensive service capabilities.”

Secodi’s relationship with Perkins began almost immediately and the company has grown from a Nantes based regional distributor to being the Perkins authorised distributor for France. Today, Secodi is a key part of the Fétis Group, a privately-owned international engineering organisation which serves the off-road machine, specialist truck, energy and marine industries in nine countries and from a total of 33 sites.

“As a Perkins authorised distributor,” Yannick continued, “we have three primary business focuses. First, we provide new engines and support them with in house engineering expertise to make sure each one is configured properly for its application.

“Starting with the wide selection of options available from the Perkins factory, we add custom products, such as wiring harnesses, hydraulic pumps and instrument panels produced in house or by other companies within the Fétis group. We also design customer cooling packs to fit tight spaces while resisting dirt and vibration to ensure reliable operation.

“The new engines team’s expertise helps customers optimise their application design and simplify their supply chains. It also significantly reduces the time it takes for an OEM to bring a new product to market,” Yannick added. “We help them save time at every stage of the project: design, prototyping, validation and production.

“Once those engines are in the field, we maintain a complete service and repair capability covering everything from routine maintenance to a complete rebuild. We supply those services either in the field or in our well-equipped workshops located throughout France.

“We also support customers who prefer to manage their own maintenance with genuine Perkins parts for their engines. Our experienced team members help with part identification and most parts are supplied from our French warehouses to give customers the quickest possible response.”
 

Authorised trainers

In addition to their engine customisation and support services, Secodi operates a Perkins authorised training centre, offering hands-on courses in a variety of subjects for Secodi and customer personnel. It also provides on-site train-the-trainer programmes for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who then train their own personnel and networks.

The combination of engineering expertise before the sale, and comprehensive support afterward has been a key to Secodi’s success from the beginning. It continues to be so today, and in 2022 it fuelled a 61 percent growth in year on year engine sales revenue.

“The key to this success,” Yannick noted, “is an experienced commercial and applications engineering team with deep knowledge of the architecture of off-highway machines. This brings the ability to propose highly competitive solutions that are tailored to the needs of each machine.”
 

Understanding the customer

As an example, Yannick pointed to successful applications within the French wine industry. France is, of course, strongly associated with magnificent wines and incredible food. This has made it home to many innovative companies looking to mechanise the production of high quality and very delicate crops.

Wine grapes are typically grown on steep slopes which means that machine stability and a low centre of gravity is critical. Also, the design of vineyard machinery is driven by the very tight space between rows of vines, further complicated because the wine makers of different regions have firm, and very different, ideas about the optimum distance between rows.

The innovative agricultural OEMs competing in this market are typical of the clients that value and benefit from Secodi’s expertise and the firm has maintained long-term relationships with many of them.
 

Looking to the future

Of course, as the finance industry often says, past results are not a guarantee of future results. So, Secodi is actively looking to the future and preparing for the changes it will inevitably bring.

For example the company is proactively developing strategies and supporting them with investments to reduce its overall carbon footprint. And now, every diesel engine sold by Secodi today is confirmed to be 100% compatible with the hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), helping customers to reduce the net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 90 percent compared with conventional diesel.

“But,” Yannick explained, “the demand for these fuels will be likely to outstrip supply in the coming years. To prepare for this, we are participating in a number of customer projects for dramatic improvement in machine efficiency through hybridisation.

“Some of the hybrid projects are for ‘range extenders’ which are relatively small engines for larger electrified machines. These extend the operating hours of the machine, but critically they provide a ‘get-back-to-base’ capability if the lithium ion battery becomes depleted. Range extenders are expected to play a part in overcoming a ‘range anxiety’ barrier to the adoption of electrification in machines.”

Secodi also is preparing for the success of the Perkins alternative power products, announced in 2022. They are already actively transferring engineering expertise from sister company DINTEC which has over 10 years successful experience of delivering successful electrification projects. On-machine power management is a particular area of expertise within the Fétis group which will be used to complement the Perkins products and accelerate the machine development cycle.

All of this work recently led Secodi to be named as one of three finalists in the Diesel Progress Summit Awards 2023 for International Distributor of the Year – a remarkable achievement of which the whole team were rightly very proud.

Jacques and Marie-Paule Fétis had a vision building a successful company in 1978, and a plan for making it happen. Today, their focus on representing only top quality companies and supporting customers with comprehensive service capabilities has proven its value at Secodi, its sister companies in the Fétis group, and a growing list of customers in France and around the world.


 

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Secodi distributor principal, Yannick Billy