A BITTER OBSERVATION
This article starts with a simple but distressing observation: if we look at the consumer goods around us, it is very difficult to find some that are made in France or in Europe. The van world is not an exception to the rule, most of the products are made at the other end of the planet.
We both come from engineering studies by apprenticeship, in French schools, with French companies. If we want to find work in industry and if future generations are to do the same, we must reverse the trend of relocation. That's why, as soon as we started developing the gear carrier, we wanted to manufacture it in France.
However, when we talked about it with the people who are working with us on the project, the reactions were negative: "If the others are subcontracting abroad, there must be a reason", "You will end up with a product that is twice as expensive and your principles will not carry much weight". And it is true that the made in France, has a high cost.
Since we both have a technical background, we had to train ourselves to learn how to create a company. During a strategy class, a professor told us about a principle that stuck with us: when you create a company, if you want to have a chance to succeed, you have to find the DNA of the founders in the values of the company. We understood this principle and realized that it would be impossible for us to wake up every morning and work on a project that was not in line with our values.
THE VALUES OF SKEP
We want to be part of the companies that relocate production in France or in Europe, we believe that the model that consists in subcontracting the least production effort, for a question of cost, is no longer viable. And this for several reasons: the crisis of the covid-19 showed us the limits of a totally globalized economy, the climatic problems do not cease to increase and the consumers are more and more sensitive to the subject of the relocation.
For a company, it is difficult to talk about these subjects without falling into parody or being accused of greenwashing. So we decided to start from a very simple principle: if you want to see the world change, then start by doing it at your scale. This scale is called the SKEP and we decided to have the gear carrier produced in France. From the design, to the calculation, through cutting, bending, lasertube, welding, machining, treatments, painting, assembly... all French.
A GREAT COMMUNITY
When we announced it to you, it was a real relief to see your reactions and to understand that we had made the right choice: "You're right to do made in France", "It's good to do it in the area...", "You have to do what you have to do, it's good guys!" In the end, what we thought was a compromise to stay in line with our values has become one of our major assets.
Today, we can visit our suppliers quickly, reach them easily. Every time I call, I get a "Hi Pascal... Yes, no problem... I may have an idea to improve your module...". And there is no risk of our parts getting stuck in the Suez Canal or at the border of Europe. This reduces the carbon footprint, of course, but it also cuts down on lead times and we are not ashamed of the quality of the gear carrier or its origin.
We thought we had to make a choice between the pragmatism of numbers by relocating, or the idealism of the heart by manufacturing in France. But in the end, for us, making French is not just a choice of the heart. No, making in France is a choice of reason, it is the best decision to make to allow the gear carrier to keep all its promises!