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Packaging & design

La Factory or the winning strategy of "custom-made"

10 million euros in turnover this year, seven people, a true expertise in the creation and production of a perfume from "each and every angle" of it and "custom-made" (glass, cap, conditioning, packing...), the team at La Factory, a company founded in June 2007, is a proof that everything can still be undertaken to get a prominent place in France in the packaging industry dedicated to the Beauty sector. Review of an exceptional saga.

Isabelle de Maistre

Isabelle de Maistre

This team from La Factory is discrete indeed! "It’s true, admits Isabelle de Maistre, Executive Vice President, we didn’t communicate too much during these early years. And this is normal! We had to work and above all prove ourselves." Work and prove oneself... a daily task that started one day in June 2007 for Jean-Michel Pontier, CEO, Jerome Bouvet and Isabelle de Maistre, both of them Executive Vice Presidents. Jean Michel and Isabelle took office in Boulogne-Billancourt, in the suburbs of Paris, while Jerome settled in Oyonnax, near Lyon. "And for good reason, explains Jean Michel Pontier, we have a factory of plastic injection and moulds and a local partner, Sylmaplast and PMP, of which Jean Michel is a shareholder." All three of them have the culture of perfume, this French Touch so dear to many foreign customers. And those foreign customers, they actually also know them quite well. Especially those located in the Gulf region.

It is true that the young firm has quickly earned a solid reputation for itself in the manufacture of high technology components by hiring not only renowned designers but also by selecting materials and manufacturing processes that would give a finish comparable to that of prestige bottles. "Actually, explains Rémi de Précourt, Sales Manager, we take part in all stages of the design of bottle components. From 3D design/development and modelling including the study, the design and creation of prototype moulds (small and large series), plus the injection of all types of plastic materials, treatments (electroplating, plating, lacquering, etc.), decoration, assembly, metal and wood parts, glass to the final stage packaging, with one factory Condiluxe of which Jean Michel Pontier is also a shareholder.

An injection plant in France and one in Romania

2009 was a new milestone for the company when managers decided to build their own injection plant in Romania. "This was a logical decision, emphasises Pontier, we had to insure our development and at the same time, guaranty our industrial independence under competitive economic conditions vis-à-vis market demand."

With 40 people, with a location in a region strongly "plastic industry"-minded due to the presence of the European automotive industry, this plant in Romania, La Factory G&J, came at the right time for the management at La Factory. "The plant in Oyonnax, details Pontier, is recognized for the quality design of many projects in Surlyn, PCTA, PA, PP, ABS, SAN... The G&J factory in Romania, whose main objective is to find an alternative to French production costs facing Asian competition, helps us strengthen our offer in the injection and transformation of all plastic parts with a strong specialisation in Surlyn. The local team not only monitors the production projects in injection, but also provides a logistical support for additional assembly operations (gluing of rhinestones on plastic or glass packagings) finishing or surface treatments. It is also in charge of sourcing for some industrial partners in other fields of activities."

Glass and metal

And glass in all this since it remains undoubtedly the customers featured material to contain their fragrances? "In fact, explains Isabelle de Maistre, our role is to introduce, of course, customers to the best glass-making partners. We have fifteen years of experience in this field. To note that our internal structure is in a position to offer graphic solutions in terms of decoration and to ensure its industrial production. In parallel, we also create series of stock containers, ‘ready for decoration,’ to optimize development time and budget."

Since 2010 the firm has strengthened its business in Asia. "Secured partnerships were established, we were told by officials at the Boulogne-Billancourt headquarters, on the basis of cross commitments to insure the processing of a wide variety of materials (aluminium, zamac, plastic injection, moulds). This strategy mainly focusing on ’technical’ metal parts has been awarded this year the prize ‘Forme de Luxe’ for the design of a ‘metal’ range on Swarovski’s Eau de Toilette and skincare range. Furthermore, to support this activity a technical and quality representative office was opened in the South of China to relay the production operations comprising sourcing, development, production, and quality control.

Jean-Yves Bourgeois

© 2011 - Premium Beauty News -
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