The company S.C. Moutardi S.R.L. is founded, having as its main business activity the “manufacturing of packaging”, namely pallets and EURO pallets. When the company was founded, it had five employees (two of whom are the owners), three manual machines: band saw, circular saw with movable table and pendulum circular saw and only one client who was not the end client, but an intermediate client. The production capacity is one pallet lorry (1000 pcs.) per month.
Pallets at national level
The company starts to work with clients not only regionally, but also nationally. It was decided to increase the production capacity and to double the number of employees. New solutions are being sought for a more efficient production of pallets and EURO pallets.
The company acquired more advanced production technology, which allowed a 10% decrease in prices. The implementation of this technology has also led to doubling the company's production capacity. The motto for Moutardi now is to produce more and cheaper pallets.
Pallets also online!
A decision is taken to create a website to facilitate communication with clients. The possibility of online orders is discussed. We want to make communication with our clients as easy as possible. The sale of pallets on the Internet is intended to be important in the company. Our pallet offer can now be seen only in Romanian. In the coming months, this site will be translated into three other languages. From this day forward, Moutardi pallets are also available online.
The decision is taken to collaborate with intermediary companies and to increase the production capacity for the current year by 30-50%. However, for brokered pallets and Euro pallets, the company requires a certain price control as a pallet manufacturer, especially since there have been cases when pallet brokers practiced excessively high surcharges.
More pallets for the Romanian market and the EU market.
The production capacity is increased from 4000 pallets / EURO pallets per month to 7,000 pallets/EURO pallets per month. The company decides to invest in a more efficient pallet production line so that it can sell pallets and EURO pallets manufactured according to the standards and quality requirements in European regulations.
Pallets for EU
Moutardi SRL will start exporting pallets and EURO pallets to EU countries. Our company intends to export pallets and EURO pallets to countries such as: Germany, France, Italy mainly, but also to other countries of the European Union. Moutardi SRL does not target other countries for the export of pallets, apart from the EU member states and with the exception of the Republic of Moldova.
Increased production capacity
The production capacity was increased to 10,000 pallets or EURO pallets per month. The total supply capacity was increased to 25,000 pallets/EURO pallets per month by establishing collaborations with other regional pallet and EURO pallet manufacturers. A new major investment in a more productive pallet line is scheduled for 2011, when the company hopes to reach a productivity of 25,000 pallets (or EURO pallets) per month.
Starting with March 2009, our company produces palletised firewood. The production of firewood is the secondary business activity of our company, in addition to the production of timber and pallet components.
Pallets may vary in size, at the client's request, or they have standard dimensions: 1x1x1.8 m with a volume of approximately 1-1.2 cubic meters / pallet. Our firewood is mainly from hardwood: beech, hornbeam, oak. Wood can be cut to standard lengths (25.33 or 50 cm) or to any size the customer wants. Our firewood production capacity is approximately 100 cubic meters per month with the possibility of increasing depending on demand.
Given the growing demand for hygienic plastic pallets coming from the agricultural and food industry and from the pharmaceutical market, the Management decided to start importing plastic pallets and distribute them on the Romanian market. This type of pallet can be manufactured by companies we collaborate with in both standard and custom sizes.
Wood waste management
The optimisation and upgrading of our wood waste management process will be a priority for the first half of 2010 in our company.
In order to align with national and European standards regarding environmental protection in terms of wood waste as a result of our main business according to the NACE code: “Wood cutting and planing”, our company started a collaboration with two important collectors of sawdust and wood waste from Romania. Both sawdust and other wood waste generated in our main production (pallets) and the secondary one (timber) will be used in the end to manufacture finished products based on sawdust such as: pellets, briquettes, chipboard or MDF.
Increase in share capital
The share capital of our company was increased from 200 RON to 20,000 RON through a financial contribution from one of the two partners who own the shares of S.C. MOUTARDI S.R.L. This capital will be used for investments to upgrade the pallet assembly process, which will be carried out at the beginning of next year - 2011.
More durable pallets and EURO pallets
We are pleased to announce our clients and collaborators that our technology and method of pallet assembly has been changed. Thus, we gave up using simple nails (smooth) in the production of pallets, replacing them with ringed and ribbed nails that ensure a better board fastening and increase the strength of the pallets during storage, handling or transport of goods.
Our company purchases the equipment of another pallet factory in the area that went bankrupt. With this acquisition, the effective production capacity and the machinery doubles and the number of employees from this moment increases by 50%. The new machines are as those already owned by our company, but with higher cutting parameters and higher power, namely: band saw, circular saw with movable table, pendulum circular saw.
Pallet orders for companies
Following an increase in orders and the start of our collaboration with other new clients, we exceeded our production capacity and decided to subcontract our surplus of pallet orders to small factories in the area that have free capacity. In total, 9 pallet manufacturers have produced or are producing pallets for our company, continuously or at intervals. Given that we have used most of the collaboration opportunities in the area for subcontractors, that the demand for pallets will tend to grow, the management is already discussing that our pallet factory should work in two or even three shifts in the near future.
In times of recession, when a large part of the pallet companies went bankrupt, our company doubled its turnover from year to year, understanding what factories needed from a pallet supplier in the financial crisis and adapting perfectly for this situation in the economy. Thus, through seriousness, professionalism and a sales tactic adapted to the expectations of pallet buyers during the economic crisis, we had a significant increase in orders, we brought in new clients and we started working in two shifts to cover the existing pallet orders. At this moment, the production staff consists of 30 employees.
Palletised wood waste
Due to the increased production of pallets, the wood waste increased substantially, which became more and more difficult to manage and store. Thus, a decision was taken to palletise wood waste in standard firewood pallets (1x1x1.8 m and a capacity of 1 cubic meter). This gave two new products: palletised beech waste and palletised resin waste. A cubic meter of wood waste will sell about 30% cheaper than a cubic meter of firewood.
Upgrade of the log cutting line
Our company implemented a new state-of-the-art log cutting line. The line is made in Slovenia, by the Mebor brand, it complies with the latest standards in the field, it observes all safety regulations at European level and it performs computerised log cutting to the millimetre and the quality of the cut thus aligns with the requirements of the most demanding clients. The new cutting line includes a 100% automated band saw with 1000 mm flywheels, a multi-blade circular saw and a pneumatic pendulum circular saw. The production capacity of this line is three times higher than that of the old cutting line and will be operated by 50% less employees. The employees from the cutting process (sawing) were thus redirected to pallet assembly (nailing), since the increase in the flow of cut material required a larger number of employees to assemble that material at the same time. Practically, after the log cutting upgrade, the number of employees remained the same and the pallet production capacity tripled. Our company will thus give up most of the subcontracting, as we can manage to cover the demand of the entire client portfolio through our own production capacity. Our products will thus become cheaper and of much better quality.
After the new log cutting line was implemented, the resulted sawdust increased 3 times, too. Thus, our company made a new investment in an exhaust system that will facilitate to manage the resulting sawdust. The new system is in accordance with the current environmental requirements, it provides suction for all the machinery in the production hall, it ensures a clean and favourable working environment in the production hall, it conveys the sawdust through pipes into containers, which are then transported by the collector to the chipboard/MDF factories.
As a result of the increasing demand for dry pallets (below 18%), the management decided to make a new investment in an industrial dryer with a capacity of 250 m3. (two lorries of finished goods per batch - assembled pallets). The dryer will be completed by the beginning of February 2015 and it will be one of the largest dryers owned by a pallet company in the country. The industrial dryer will have two functions: drying and heat treatment (56° minimum for at least half an hour).
After the implementation of the industrial dryer that can also perform heat treatment (phytosanitary), according to the globally recognised standard IPPC - ISPM15, our company was authorised by the “Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development” through the "Caras-Severin Phytosanitary Unit" with the code RO-CS-26-HT-DB. Thus, our company joins a small group of companies in the field equipped with high-capacity dryers capable of heat treating (phytosanitary) wood. We took this step to be able to approach potential clients from the food and pharmaceutical industry, where heat treatment (phytosanitary) is required for pallets in most cases.
Increase in share capital
Following the investments made, the share capital of our company increased from 20,000 RON to 64,500 RON distributed in 6,450 shares held. The shareholding structure is also changed. All 6,450 shares will be owned by a single partner.
Moutardi SRL becomes leader in Caras-Severin for pallet production
Our two most important competitors at county level went bankrupt or reduced their activity and thus Moutardi SRL becomes a leader in the production of pallets at county level (Caras-Severin being one of the most important counties in the country in terms of wood processing). At the same time, our company ranks second in terms of contributions to the local budget of Baile Herculane. After more than 10 years of activity, our company therefore becomes an important economic agent at local and regional level and one of the most well-known and appreciated pallet manufacturers in Romania.
Launch of the new website version.
The company's website was modernised and brought to a web.2B version in line with current trends on the internet. Our site has been updated with new products, it has been “enriched” with content and restructured. According to the principles on which the old version of our website was built, the new version was designed to offer the “user” a simple and pleasant design, well-structured content that is easy to find and access, detailed information about us and about our products and services.
Digitalisation of management and invoicing.
A new IT system is being implemented on two interconnected levels - inputs/outputs - which will allow for a digitalised online management of stocks, including use from mobile terminals. It involves entering the stocks (products) resulting from each production cycle (shift), but also reducing them automatically when invoicing goods. Thus, from this moment on, we will know in real time, for example, how many pallets of a certain size are in stock or how many pallets are in stock for a certain client after the last production cycle. This digitalisation makes human counting errors disappear and it facilitates quick and precise communication with clients regarding the real stocks in our yard.
Improvement of the pallet production process.
Our company has successfully purchased and implemented a new machinery for cutting board ends (lengthwise) to improve pallet overall quality. To improve pallet overall quality, all our other machines have been retrofitted by upgrading them with some state-of-the-art components, updating the software or making adjustments to existing components that lead to an increase in the cutting precision.
Measures related to COVID-19.
In the current coronavirus pandemic, our company has decided to implement certain measures to prevent and reduce its effects on our company. From a health angle, several measures were taken to prevent infection and to improve the protection of employee health, such as:
- employees who worked in one shift were divided and distributed in two shifts, so that the number of employees in the production hall at a time would decrease and the space between them would increase;
- the dining and rest areas were reorganised according to the rules of the authorities to prevent the transmission of the virus;
- measures were implemented to detect possibly infected employees by placing body temperature scanners and a rapid testing area was created;
- hand sanitiser dispensers were installed everywhere in the company.
In addition to health measures, economic and financial measures were also taken so that the company could continue its activity in the current context, namely:
- governmental or European aid programs were accessed where possible;
- it was decided that the production surplus (remaining because some clients stopped their activity completely) should be stored in our stock so that, when the clients restart activity, we can deliver immediately from the stock and, at the same time, we would not have to send employees in temporary paid leave;
- we started prospecting the market to find new market niches such as furniture made from pallets.
Pallet furniture, an online success!
Given the social and economic context created by the coronavirus pandemic and as a result of prospecting the pallet market to find new market niches, our company decided to enter the pallet furniture market niche. This newly approached niche required some adaptations and investments from our company, namely:
- improving the quality of pallet finishing as expected by clients who buy pallets for furniture;
- creating online pallet selling channels;
- implementing the logistics necessary for the online sale of pallets for furniture;
- implementation of the customer relations department;
- ensuring the necessary marketing for this new activity in our company;
In less than a month, we found that this move to enter the pallet furniture market in the current context of the pandemic was a real success, but also a “saviour” for the production capacity left free after some clients had to cease their activity.
2021- a year that doubled our expectations.
A few days before the end of the year, the figures show that our company doubled its turnover compared to the pandemic year, 2020, but also compared to the pre-pandemic year, 2019. If in 2020, when even if the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic created serious difficulties for us, we managed to maintain our turnover at approximately the same level as in 2019; it seems that 2021 was a year when our company successfully managed to double its turnover compared to previous years.
1st place in the county in the top of packaging manufacturers.
We have the honour to receive from the Caras-Severin Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture the diploma for 2021 for the NACE code 1624 “Manufacture of wooden packaging” - our company is the market leader at county level. Becoming the leader at county level (but also in the top 10 at national level) once again validates our capacity and seriousness in front of our clients.