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Jean-Pierre Sauterel

OPS Plastique

Jean-Pierre Sauterel, Managing Director

How French company OPS Plastique uses the Internet

OPS Plastique is an SME based in France’s Isère department, specialized in the injection of technical parts using plastic and elastomer materials, for niche markets. It uses the Internet to promote itself to potential customers as well as to find suppliers. Managing Director Jean-Pierre Sauterel provides more details.

Manufacturer of plastic parts by injection

Created in the 1950s by the father of the company’s present Managing Director, Jean-Pierre Sauterel, OPS Plastique manufactures small- and medium-sized series of plastic parts by injection. Initially, nothing about this aeronautics engineer suggested that he would someday take over the company from his father. And yet, that’s exactly what happened in 1990. In the words of Jean-Pierre Sauterel, “We work on a niche market, since we develop made-to-measure parts in line with the customer’s stated requirements. As an SME, our level of responsiveness differentiates us from other groups in this sector such as Nief plastic, Faiveley Plast or ERE Plastique PVL”. The company’s main fields of activity are for electrical and electronic equipment (60%), medical, security and building equipment. With a staff of 15, the company generates an annual revenue of €1.5 million, 5% of which are achieved from exports.

An Internet site for establishing initial contact for exports

OPS Plastique overhauled its website two years ago, including an English version and the purchase of 1,000 keywords. “That gave us greater visibility and credibility for establishing initial contact overseas. But from there on, nothing can replace direct contact to finalise operations”, points out Jean-Pierre Sauterel. He goes on: “Our website has brought a host of new customers, more and more of whom are start-ups. The downside is that many of them want to create new products without necessarily having the requisite financing or references, unlike confirmed, structured industrial companies…”

“Thanks to the Internet, we can now establish contact with new customers overseas. We don’t need a dedicated sales force”, underscores Jean-Pierre Sauterel. “We thus develop products in the medical field for Switzerland, and in the world of design for Belgium. Meanwhile, Europages brings us a steady flow of traffic and requests from the Maghreb and Asia. In fact, thanks to Europages, we have found a number of qualified European suppliers of plastic granules: in Germany, Italy and Portugal. In addition, Europages helps us to target the industry’s players. For all that, OPS Plastique does not have an advanced digital policy: the company’s does not manage its own e-mailings, and is not present on the social networks”.

Continuing to attend trade fairs and shows

Among his advice for exports, Jean-Pierre Sauterel believes that while the Internet serves to establish initial contact, continuing to attend trade fairs to make direct contact is still key. “This is essential in terms of technical dialogue and know-how”, he considers.

This no doubt explains why OPS Plastique attended the Midest global subcontracting show in Paris from 17-20 November, and why it will be present at the RIST inter-regional subcontracting event in Valence, France next March. The company also takes part in the Forum International de la Plasturgie (FIP), an event held every two years, alternating between Lyon and Düsseldorf.

E*Page: OPS Plastique

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