Article : L'Echo du Berry, 6 May to 12 May 1999
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Jean-Claude Benéteau faces a twofold challenge—to set up his company from scratch and to provide work for an unqualified workforce.
The 35-year-old, originally from the La Vendée département, has, for a number of years, had a dream—to create and manage a company, based on his professional experience and in keeping with his expertise, where he could devote much of his time to the organising the work. Having studied ‘math sup’ (higher mathematics) then ‘math spé’ (special mathematics) in Poitiers, and trained as a mechanical engineer, Jean-Claude Benéteau came to Châteauroux in 1989 to work at the Mead Emballage factory, in the machinery division. As an engineer, he quickly became familiar with the packing packaging production tool and was made production manager. It was then that he began thinking about setting up his own business in a new sector for our region—custom packaging and precision assembly. With this in mind, he carried out market studies, met with the heads of the Chamber of Trades, and learned that a 500 m² workshop was available in Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre, in the Le Fay small business area. The premises were spacious, and the location was opportune (in the centre of France, in the countryside, with good road access). Mayor Jean-François Mosseron and his municipal council approved the proposal. “The two-fold challenge I set myself is currently being overcome,” explains Jean-Claude, “the company was launched in October 1998, starting from scratch, simply by offering a comprehensive service worth showcasing, providing quality work and speed of execution on adapted machines that did not require the staff to have any specific qualifications”. Benoît Boutet was the first employee to join the company as a sales representative. “Coming from England,” he says, “where I was selling hotel stays, I was drawn to the project’s originality and the challenge to overcome...”
Eight jobs created
Christian Bardet, the workshop manager, and six women, most of whom come from a clothing manufacturing industry background, comprise the staff, bringing the number of jobs created in a matter of months up to eight, occasionally supplemented by temporary workers. According to Jean-Claude Benéteau, “Experience acquired in the clothing manufacturing industry is an asset for our staff, from whom we ask for speed, precision and careful work. We have to differentiate ourselves in terms of quality in all aspects of precision assembly, mechanical assembly and in terms of speed in all kinds of packaging.” Berry Services is fast becoming a preferred partner of all kinds of companies using plastic filming, from bars of soap to postal items, or document lamination, a complementary partner of printing businesses (bundling, binding, sorting and mailing), and a service provider for all repetitive tasks in large series (folding, adjusting, gluing on tags, inkjet marking, deburring, inspection). "For the time being, we are progressing in line with our expectations," said the founder and manager of the new company, "we must not yet declare victory—we still have to secure the future of the business and expand our order book by constantly looking for new customers to sustain our jobs and expand our field of operation.” Berry Services can be contacted at the Le Fay small business area in Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre. Tel: +33 (0)2 54 30 97 13.