The pandemic has led the Terrebonne, Quebec manufacturing company to invest to meet demand
PHOTO PIERRE-PAUL POULIN
José Chagnon, President, and CEO of Plasticase inc. in its offices in Terrebonne.
JEAN-MICHEL GENOIS GAGNON
Saturday, November 7, 2020, 1:00 AM
(This post was translated from the original French article by the NANUK Team)
Last spring, Plasticase saw its main business markets collapse due to the impacts of the pandemic. "We had to take the bull by the horns and reorient our focus", their management told The Journal, which has taken advantage of the explosion in demand for medical equipment.
Plasticase is a Terrebonne-based company specializing in the manufacture of molded plastic cases to protect equipment.
The company counts among its customers, military organizations like Lockheed Martin and Cadex Defense, manufacturers, and companies in the health field like Medtronic or GE Healthcare.
In the first few weeks of the pandemic, as with many other businesses here, the number of purchase orders dropped almost immediately for Plasticase. In fact, the group's revenues have plunged between 50% and 60%.
Management then decided to approach various North American and European manufacturers of high-demand medical equipment due to COVID-19, such as artificial respirators.
"This is fragile equipment that often needs protection during transport. We won contracts in the United States, and that gave us a boost," said President and Chief Executive Officer José Chagnon in an interview. "We were able to rehire our people," he continues.
Increase in turnover
Today, mainly thanks to the medical industry which represents between 7% and 10% of the group's sales, Plasticase is experiencing growth in its turnover of about 13%, compared to last year.
"We already had a few medical clients. Our goal in the spring was really to contact manufacturers and distributors to lend a hand to the cause and we saw opportunities," explains the CEO, who wants to grow his company even more over the next few years in this business sector.
He emphasizes that he is working on a project with a partner to decontaminate many different types of objects. Since the contract has not yet been signed, he prefers not to mention the partner's name.
"It's a mobile ultraviolet decontamination system. We have several products in development," the man who leads a team of around 100 people provided as an example.
In May, a transaction with one of its dealers allowed the company to launch a transactional website and increase its sales by 60%.
Plasticase is the manufacturer of NANUK professional protective cases and offers its products in around 40 countries.
Within a year, management hopes to have a first warehouse in the United States. However, the company is not thinking, at least for the moment, of building a new production plant there.
As business sectors, the company targets recreational activities and professional requirements, particularly the protection of firearms, drones, cameras, commercial industrial, military, and medical equipment.
Walter Capital is the majority shareholder of Plasticase.