Thanks to e-commerce giants, the Saint-Langis-Lès-Mortagne cardboard factory is booming

Patrick Lidoine, director of the Saint-Langis site, and Hakim Serhir, new director of International Paper in France. ©Le Perche

In the memory of one worker, we have never experienced such a boom in SNCO (Normando Corrugated Cardboard Company) since its inception in 1949. Almost the entire production has been redesigned in light of a colossal investment by the group International Paperwhich has several websites in Normandyincluding that of Saint-Langis-Lès-Mortagne (Orne) for 50 years.

no less than 10 million euros were injected by the group to transform the production line and add new machines.

Production up to 60%

The reason for this record investment? The rise of e-commerce, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a heavy toll on French shopping. “We were able to observe the strong growth potential of this segment and we questioned how to respond to this quickly”, develops hakeem serhirthe new Director of International Paper from France, visiting Saint-Langis-les-Mortagne it is May 4, 2022. Several of the group’s sites will therefore expand in France, including SNCO.

“The site had the capacity to expand and accommodate new processing lines. It corresponded well to the expectations to be developed. »

It is, therefore, a strategic choice for the group, but also a response to the e-commerce giants, which have to deal with an ever-increasing demand. Amazon or Cdiscount are part of International Paper’s major contracts, “but there are many other online platforms”, insists hakeem serhirwho want to maintain discretion in relation to their customers.

International Paper
The cardboard factory grew. © International Paper

Total production in 2023

With this new direction, SNCO will increase its production volume by 60%, that’s all. “Obviously, this requires reviewing a lot of things”, slips Patrick Lidoinethe site director for three years.

“We hope to find a balance in 2023. Until then, we will have to adapt to these additional volumes. Because the logistics are no longer the same when you grow 60%. »

Specifically, it will be necessary to plan for an increase in road traffic at the site, even if the company takes care to create boxes that are as close as possible to the containers, in order to limit the vacuum in the packages and, thus, store more per truck.

E-commerce giants such as Amazon in particular will allow the company to increase its volumes by 60%.
E-commerce giants like Amazon will allow the company to increase its volumes. © International Paper

Recruited teams

At the Saint-Langis plant, production takes place in two main phases. The first is to give the boxes a wavy shape. The second is the transformation according to the customers’ wishes. Here, SNCO benefited from two new state-of-the-art processing lines. Lines called “combined” for pressing, cutting, folding and gluing cardboard boxes. A building came off the ground for the occasion as of July 2021.

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Always open recruitment

The development and investment project for the site has been under review since the end of 2020. But it was in the summer of 2021 that things accelerated, with the start of work and recruitment started.

130 employees

About twenty people have already been recruited by SNCO and trained on the machines in the process. “But there’s always a little bit of turnover,” explains Hakim Serhir, director of International Paper in France. Patrick Lidoine, head of SNCO, agrees: “Some people realize during the training period that it doesn’t suit them. In fact, you have to know how to adapt to the 3*8 rhythm, but above all teamwork, which is the basis of our work at the factory.” With these changes, the company currently has more than 130 employees.

Therefore, recruitment is still open for the future. What profiles are wanted?
“There are no standardized profiles. We’ve had hairdressers who came to us, for example. You have to be manual, of course, but learning takes place on the job. Some have spent their entire careers with us, gradually climbing the ladder. The most important thing is will and the state of mind of the people who visit us”, specifies Patrick Lidoine.

The site’s director, who spent much of his career at Saint-Langis, admits that recruiting is not easy in the industrial sector these days. “However, there are great needs to respond to these new markets.”

“About twenty people were recruited and trained for about 6 months. »

Patrick Lidoine.

But vacancies will still be filled (see box). It will take about 1 year for teams to reach the expected full production. Machines that now make it possible to produce 3 of the 4 large card formats, ie around 90% of the world market.

Please note that all these additional investments for e-commerce will in no way change SNCO’s customer portfolios. “We keep all of our historic customers, which we will continue to serve, probably even better than before,” notes the site director.

Volunteers are invited to introduce themselves at the factory reception and submit a CV. SNCO, La Gare, 61400 Saint-Langis-lès-Mortagne. Such. : 02 33 85 25 25.

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