28 August 2019

IMPACK PACKAGING, or the story of Dominic Thériault in the land of giants

Dominic Thériault is the founder and president of IMPACK PACKAGING. He completed his engineering studies at the École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) in the early 2000s. During an internship, he came up with an idea for a new machine. In order to further develop his innovative packing concept, he decided to launch his business plan with the help of ÉTS’s Technological Entrepreneurship Centre (Centech).

Daring to create

Starting out in this field takes more than just good ideas and the ability to identify a need. This is a market with big players, so it’s very difficult for a single individual to break into it. We’re talking about giants here, multinational corporations with a turnover of more than a billion dollars!

I was only 24 years old when I launched Impack Packaging. I was naive“, recalls Dominic Thériault. “I was especially pleased that I had invented something! Nevertheless, it takes more than that to launch an operating company. Not only does it take customers who have enough confidence in your business to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy your machine, you also have to ensure that you’ll still be in business if they have subsequent needs related to their purchase.”

Exports, the heart of the company’s business strategy

In 2005, Dominic Thériault signed an agreement with his first sales agent in the United States, opening the door to the American market. 90% of his products are exports. Over the course of three years, Impack Packaging experienced accelerated growth with all the challenges that this entails. But the recession hit hard in 2008, requiring the company to restructure.

The National Research Council (NRC) of Canada was ready to assist the company, but it had to aim higher. In 2012, the company signed a partnership agreement with a world-class European player. From 2014 to 2018, it grew at an annual rate of more than 30% a year! Not really being present in Europe, Impack Packaging developed its exports all over the world, moving from business representation in 6 countries to 50 in just 4 years!

A shared success

Asked about his success, Dominic Thériault remarked: “We manufacture excellent, innovative and rather high-end products that enable us to stand out and ensure growth while maintaining a healthy level of R&D in a very specialised market. The company’s tight cash management has allowed us to expand the plant four times while doubling its staff, all in just three years!”

The company has established an employee shareholder cooperative, a formula that actively involves staff members and fosters shared success. “Everyone believes that this is the time to go for it, to develop new products and forge ahead. Dividends can wait!” proudly states Dominic Thériault.

Planned actions

We’ve spent six years making ourselves known around the globe. We are now one step ahead because we have 400 machines installed in more than 30 countries, testifying to the quality of our production. Our customers no longer have any doubts. Our challenge is to maintain our position and continue to address performance and environmental issues in the packaging industry!”

Impack Packaging must also meet the elevated demands of important customers who are ready to buy several machines to package their products. Such customers require a local presence, i.e. a nearby after-sales service office that can provide service in less than 12 hours. Consequently, we plan to open service centres in Europe and the United States.

Now that we have achieved a certain degree of stability, we are looking to diversify by investing in startups, marketing our machines and selling complementary products. In short, we are open to new business opportunities”, concludes Dominic Thériault.

Dominic Thériault’s highly inspiring entrepreneurial personality earned his company the 2019 Successful Business Inc. award, presented by the OSEntreprendre Challenge, an annual competition that recognises excellence in entrepreneurship on the national scene.

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