Women in Manufacturing
Spotlight: Marilène and Caroline Fournier, co-presidents, Imprimerie Ste-Julie
May 29, 2023 By PrintAction Staff
Sisters Marilène and Caroline Fournier are the co-presidents of Montreal-based Imprimerie Ste-Julie. Founded in 1975, the company specializes in commercial printing of labels and packaging. Marilène looks after production and Caroline focuses on sales and administration. Together, they are raising the sustainability standards of not only Imprimerie Ste-Julie, but also Canadian printing to ensure the industry is on par with its European counterparts.
What is the state of the print industry today?
MF & CF: The self-adhesive label industry is growing rapidly due to the increasing demand for personalized products and functional labels. Technological advances in digital printing have led to significant improvements in print quality, speed, and durability. Digital printing offers flexibility. Cost is also lower for shorter production runs with multiple SKUs.
The linerless market is also growing, as they are an environmentally friendly alternative to standard self-adhesive labels and consumers as well as companies are looking to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint. Currently, we are the exclusive distributor of linerless labels in Canada.
What attracted both of you to the print industry?
MF & CF: Printing allows us to bring ideas and projects to life and make them tangible. It is rewarding to see our clients’ creations take shape. As an industry, printing is constantly evolving with new technologies and trends, be it ERP systems, prepress advances, printing, or automation. These are all very exciting areas for us as owners. We also have the opportunity to be a driver of change, make sustainable choices and rethink packaging and make it eco-friendly.
How can the industry attract more young people?
MF & CF: Promote sustainable development, seamless customer experiences, and the new technologies and innovative practices used in the printing industry to show youngsters that it is not an obsolete or uninteresting sector. We can also showcase how vibrant our industry is as well as the fascinating jobs and career opportunities that are waiting to be discovered on social media channels.
Invest in continuous training to help employees develop their skills and knowledge, making sure they fulfil their potential. This is very attractive to talented and ambitious young people. The younger generation is interested in companies that invest in training emerging leaders and use a team-centric philosophy.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
MF & CF: It is necessary to have an effective online presence by optimizing networking and developing an effective digital marketing strategy. However, customer experience is the biggest differentiator.
It is important to be present for clients and actively listen to their business, production and staff needs. This increases brand loyalty. Our main values are customer focus and agility. Authenticity in business makes a big difference in creating a win-win relationship with clients.
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?
MF & CF: There are many great opportunities for the industry. Process automation, the growing use of the Internet of Things (loT) and sustainability are, however, the focus areas for Imprimerie Ste-Julie.
Eco-responsible and economical solutions that reduce waste and costs must be integrated into our daily business practices.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?
MF & CF: Our industry can be a part of the circular economy. We must take the steps required to reduce our environmental impact while saving our resources. We’ve been working on this since 2018. We obtained certifications and established partnerships with relevant companies so that our actions are tangible. Several innovative products are entering the market. We need to find a way to develop them in order to bridge the gap with Europe, which is way ahead of us in terms of sustainability.
Marilène and Caroline Fournier’s responses were edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit www.printaction.com/profile.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2023 issue of PrintAction.
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