15 June 2020
From the outset, remaining within the vibrant and attractive area of Mauges Communauté was a decisive consideration. The social dimension naturally played a vital role in our decision.
“We chose the location of the SYMBIOSE factory based on two criteria: retaining our employees –an invaluable asset for our business – and our attachment to the area. So we wanted to remain within Mauges Communauté, favouring a location accessible to our 460 employees.”
The site’s employees were clearly pleased with the new location, as shown by their enthusiastic response to its official announcement. Furthermore, this project, organised with and supported by representatives of Mauges Communauté, is a true asset for the area.
“The SYMBIOSE project, set in the heart of our area, is an expression of our regional development policy. This electronics factory 4.0, which successfully combines high technology and a rural setting, lays the foundations for a new regional architecture.”
As an example of industrial renewal and a showcase for the electronics industry 4.0, the SYMBIOSE project embodies multi-dimensional innovation. Anticipating employees’ needs, social innovation is central to SYMBIOSE, and essential to the dynamic of change.
“The originality of this project lies in promoting well-being in the workplace, a key concern for the SYMBIOSE factory. From a practical point of view, the offices are positioned to maximise natural light throughout the day. And this is just one detail in our overall approach. We opted for green spaces, and placed an emphasis on collaboration and conviviality, creating an environment conducive to tomorrow’s new ways of working.”
Furthermore, the SYMBIOSE project stems from a collaborative effort, making it possible to integrate the initiatives and needs of all employees. A satisfaction survey was therefore proactively conducted among employees on the Saint-Pierre Montlimart site, to identify key aspects of well-being in the workplace. Next, three working groups were set up around different subjects: catering, the design of outdoor spaces and leisure areas.
A new internal organisation was therefore devised, via the SYMBIOSE committee, to promote brainstorming, debate, and new initiatives. At this stage, the committee made up of representatives of the three working groups, approved three types of break rooms (lively, restful and conventional), as well as the inclusion of a pétanque area.
“Among all the options, two struck us as especially important: simplifying the work in support functions, on the one hand, and on the other improving working conditions, in particular through automation.”
The success of the SYMBIOSE project lies in the quality of the partnership between LACROIX Group and Mauges Communauté. This dialogue between political and economic stakeholders has helped to build a shared vision, which seeks to strengthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of our entire area.
“The human dimension, central to the partnership approach, quickly enabled Mauges Communauté to relate to the SYMBIOSE project. This rationale of decompartmentalisation between the private and public sector is essential. This project goes significantly beyond the issue of daily commute between home and the factory in Beaupréau: this is about a shared vision, within a specific area, promoting a common purpose and values. Much more than a workplace, together we are designing a living environment. Our aim is for everyone to invest the area so that, together, we can develop new activities ensuring a bright future.”
These sentiments, expressed before the Covid-19 crisis, are of even greater relevance today, when lockdown is being lifted.
Above all, the health crisis has transformed our relationship to work, particularly as regards how we operate in shared spaces. Social innovation is therefore more necessary than ever for economic recovery. We remain committed to the importance of placing well-being at work at the heart of the dynamic of change, all the more so in the context of this crisis.
From a production perspective, the health crisis has highlighted the vulnerability of the French industrial fabric, with significant supply difficulties due to a growing interdependence of the production model with other globalised economies. Forging close links between rural areas and high technology, as exemplified by the SYMBIOSE project, promotes the relocation of French industry. Our goal: A more resilient production system.
Together, we can steer a true course!