on 22 Nov 2016 11:36 AM
Marc Defretin is the Country Manager for Generix Group Portugal. He is 52 years old, with both French and Portuguese nationalities. He studied Engineering and started his career working for Promodès in France. He then moved to Portugal where he has been for the last 24 years. There, he worked for GS1 where he launched EDI within the country. After a stint as IT Manager at Schweppes, he created in 1997 the company that would become Generix Group’s Portuguese subsidiary. Over the last 20 years, the initial team of three members has grown to become a professional and motivated team of 30 individuals.
Tell us more about Generix Group’s handle on the Portuguese market and clients
Electronic invoicing and EDI represent about 90% of our turnover, with the other 10% coming from the logistics area, mainly as SaaS (41% of turnover).
Generix Group has about 20 customers using our Supply Chain solutions in Portugal, with large accounts such as Auchan, Intermarché, Lactalis and DHL, but also SMB clients as well as two clients in Angola, one of which is the leading Angolan retailer.
Within the electronic invoicing and EDI sectors, we currently have more than 500 customers, mainly on the high end of the Portuguese market: 80% of the 10 leading retailers, the 50 leading manufacturing companies, and the five leading logistics operators. Our larger accounts include well-known names such as Nestlé, Luis Simões, Jerónimo Martins, L’Oréal, Intermarché, Lidl, and Renault. Nevertheless, Portugal is a small country and a large part of our customers are SMBs.
The Portuguese subsidiary has been very successful: we currently bill about 3 million euros a year and we have also been profitable for the past 15 years. We continue to grow every year, and our customers have shown tremendous loyalty over time resulting in a very small churn ratio.
Six companies compete on the Portuguese EDI and electronic invoicing market, and Generix Group is for sure one of the leaders with a high level of loyalty and recognition from our customers.
The laws on electronic invoicing are evolving in France. How do they stand in Portugal?
Portugal stands ahead of others in this regard. For the past four years, all the companies have had to send all invoices in an electronic format to the tax authority on a monthly basis, which allowed the government to regulate invoice utilization. More recently, this legal requirement has been extended to the implementation of electronic delivery notes. We are also seeing more and more communication between companies performed electronically.
What are the main challenges that you face in Portugal?
The company has been continuously developing new services and adapting to the evolving market, successfully and regularly managing acquisition of new customers in the two key areas of electronic invoicing and supply chain application services; however, the Portuguese market is relatively small, and so growth remains a challenge. In terms of reputation, Generix Group is now pretty well known and has been building a significant market share.
When new customers come on board, they usually stay with us. We want to keep great and strong relations with our customers, and to work hard to deliver excellence in customer service. Our project and support teams work closely with our customers and are fully committed to their satisfaction. We have a 7.5/10 customer satisfaction score, which we are proud of even if it means we still have room for improvement. And believe me, the whole team is committed to working as hard as needed to make it happen!