World leader in packaging, with 30 production sites in France, the British company DS Smith has offered, since Thursday, 100,000 models of cardboard planes and helicopters to peel, assemble and color, which are available in most Carrefour de France hypermarkets. Enough to occupy the little ones in this strange period of school holidays confined in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.
The operation – impressive – took place in the space of ten days. “Even if we already consider a little that we participate in the collective war effort, since we deliver the food industry and pharmacies in particular, we also wanted to put our production tool at the service of a solidarity action”, underlines Armand Chaigne, marketing and production director of DS Smith Packaging France, in charge of the project.
Initially, it is envisaged to build sort of screens for hospital rooms, but the question arises of their routing in establishments. Then emerges the idea of models.
All departments of the Oise factory collaborated
“Schoolchildren go around in circles, and as we had already created for the children of our employees, we had a bit of know-how,” says Armand Chaigne, who wishes to specify that “designers, who created the concept, to salespeople, production and even our suppliers, volunteers flocked, and everyone mobilized. ”
On the Saint-Just-en-Chaussée (Oise) site, and while the machines are already running at full speed – the production of packaging for the food industry is up by 10% to 30% -, the schedule is changed to produce the 100,000 pieces needed for eight hours. Then, for two days, the models are grouped on pallets, before being transported to logistics centers where Carrefour has taken over. “There was a real collective pride in carrying out this mission,” boasts the marketing and production director.
The initiative could be renewed
The models are available at the reception of Carrefour hypermarkets. Each family can ask to recover one or two – “we count on the good citizenship of the customers to be reasonable,” insists Armand Chaigne – while stocks last. A contest was also organized: the photos of the most beautiful creations could be posted on Instagram and Facebook and the one that will garner the most likes will receive as a prize a child’s cardboard house, to be assembled and drawn.
These last days, Ehpad, but also the Secours populaire or even schools welcoming the children of nursing staff have asked in turn to have models delivered. Will DS Smith listen to them kindly? “Yes, it is possible that we may decide to group orders, and launch a new production in the next two weeks,” concludes Armand Chaigne.