Unleash your business potential through technology

SAINT-CELESTINE. At just 29 years old, Benoit Jutras became the owner of Bois Laurentide, a company full of potential, but where everything needed to be redone. It is with a lot of passion, time, listening and organization that the young man from Baie-du-Febvre took over the reins of the company that already has more than 60 years of history.

Bois Laurentide specializes in customized transport solutions, such as pallets, skids and wooden crates tailored to the specific needs of customers. The company also sells raw wood and offers wood pasteurization services for shipments abroad.

Benoit Jutras acquired Bois Laurentide with two other shareholders, but in less than a year he bought the shares of the other two owners. “It comes with a lot of challenges, but I had a vision of progress, a vision of improvement and I wanted to make all the effort necessary to get there,” said Benoit Jutras.

“It is a company with zero structure”, admits the young entrepreneur.

Far from hiding in an office, Benoit spent his first year as an owner on the ground, in the heat of the moment, to understand how the Bois Laurentide works and, above all, to determine what needed to be changed. , to improve. and restructure to optimize the company’s performance, but also the quality of the work of its employees.

What he wanted first of all was to be there and listen to his employees. » I try to give the maximum to the workers so that they are proud to come to work at Bois Laurentide. Everything we do, we do to improve your day-to-day. Productivity, therefore, will come by itself, as will production, sales, etc. “, he believes.

Rebuilding a business from A to Z

Before starting, the original Baievillois was partially aware of the challenges that awaited him. “However, there are some that have come my way!, reveals Benoit Jutras. It is known that it is difficult to start a business and build a clientele, but it is as difficult as restructuring a business from scratch. I made a lot of changes, but in the end they were well received by longtime workers and customers.”

Thanks to Benoit’s vision, Bois Laurentide has made a technological change that stems, in particular, from a significant reduction in its environmental footprint and the minimization of the waste of its products. In addition, Bois Laurentide won the Organizational Innovation award at the Gala des Manufacturiers Mauritie / Centre-du-Québec on 27 April.

Bois Laurentide tends to become a paperless company. Each workstation now has a touchscreen display that shows the progress of orders in progress and from which employees can access manufacturing plans and animations of assembly sequences.

In addition, in the administrative department, all documents are scanned and soon, foremen and team leaders will be able to make their rounds around the floor using electronic tablets. Even on the side of the wood-fired pasteurization oven, we moved away from the handwritten letter to opt for an electronic display of the graphics of each of the treatments.

Bois Laurentide also considerably minimized its losses. In fact, Benoit Jutras guarantees that the company no longer generates scrap. Previously, due to lack of communication between different departments, leftover wood was lost between different stages of the manufacturing process. Now the stock has been optimized and before starting any order, a visit to the lumber shop is essential to take advantage of any raw material left over from a previous operation.

In addition, unusable wood is cut and crushed before being used to heat the plant using a biomass boiler. So, everything that comes out of Bois Laurentide is a finished product! “, enthuses the owner. All cutting devices also include a suction system for wood dust which is sold to farmers as a bedding for cows.

“It is with an accumulation of small gestures and tools that we give a small boost to the environment”, says Benoit Jutras. If we can do that little bit, the neighbor can also do their little bit and, all together, we can reduce our footprint. ”

A promising future for Bois Laurentide

This is just the beginning of the changes that Benoit Jutras intends to make in his business. For example, the implementation of a new bid calculation system allows Bois Laurentide to increase its profitability. Thus, the entrepreneur can now think about developing a growth plan that includes robotization to lighten certain tasks of his employees.

“As we make it to order, the possibilities of having a fully automated production line are not possible, so we are looking to make a robot-human hybrid”, comments Benoit.

This hybrid system would allow him to maintain a small team of around twenty employees, while increasing the company’s productivity, which he considers necessary given the shortage of manpower.

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