10 April 2013
Quebec bindery toasts 25 years of growth
SHAWINIGAN, QC—Multi Bookbinding held a party for current and past employees as the first round in a year-long series of planned events to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Founded by Suzanne Ferron in 1988, the company was bought five years ago by Yvon Sauvageau, Louis Baribeau, and Ferron's son, Patrick Pâquet, after Ferron's passing.

Left to right: Louis Baribeau, vice-president, sales; Yvon Sauvageau, president; Patrick Paquet vice-president, production; Pierre Paquet (husband of the late Suzanne Ferron, founder)

The company initially focused on yearbooks and school agendas, which president Sauvageau notes still comprises a sizeable chunk of the business even though Multi Bookbinding has expanded greatly over the years. It will produce over 60,000 yearbooks this year.

Multi Bookbinding specializes in case binding and now does around six million books a year. "Business is good for us even with the slowed economy in 2008 and 2009, because we keep getting more and more new clients," Sauvageau said. "We're not just limited to the province of Quebec like we were 8 or 9 years ago." Its clients include some of the largest in the country, like Webcom, St. Joseph Media, TC Transcontinental, and Marquis Book Printing.

The Multi Bookbinding team, past and present, celebrates 25 years

Asked how the company has been able to keep expanding into new markets, as it did into Toronto three years ago, Savageau said, "Getting everything done faster. That's the solution." The company prides itself on quick quotation and turnaround production times, and Savageau mentions that it also handles shipping as well, which clients appreciate.

Adopting enterprise resource planning systems has been a boon. "Everything is computerized at every level. The estimator can tell clients where the job is, what page it's on, what's the weight of the book, the tracking number," Savageau said. "First-time clients always comment on the reaction speed on all of their requests."

Multi Bookbinding operates out of a 56,000 sq. ft. facility. The building was 16,000 sq. ft. when the company moved in 10 years ago and was expanded three times since. Its first location 25 years ago was around 8,000 sq. ft. The company operates with 45 employees, which is down from 65 people 10 years ago even though sales figures have gone up. That's due to more automated equipment, Savageau said.

The staff party was held March 15 at the Cité de l’Énergie de Shawinigan. Around eight other activities are being planned for the year, with festivities slated for clients and suppliers.
— Jef Catapang
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