CICLAD STORIES – Our entrepreneurs’ testimonials
Read all the interviews of our managers in our “Ciclad Stories” videos; they are the ones who speak best about our business “Support SMEs growth in France and abroad”
Read all the interviews of our managers in our “Ciclad Stories” videos; they are the ones who speak best about our business “Support SMEs growth in France and abroad”
« EIF group is a consulting firm of about fifty employees, which operates in the fields of optimization, control and valuation of local taxation, urban planning taxation and, beyond that, in R&D.
Our fifty collaborators, who apply their professional expertise all over France, are based in Paris, Place de la Madeleine, on the Docks in Marseilles as well as in Lyon’s Monts d’Or. These wonderful people serve the group’s five hundred clients. »
As Benjamin was explaining earlier, EIF’s core business is consulting. Together with Benjamin, who has been my associate since 2017, we provide consulting expertise in three fields.
The first field is the optimization of property tax, and more broadly, local taxation of private sector property owners. Historically, our main clients have overwhelmingly been institutional real estate actors. More recently, we’ve expanded to social housing.
Our second business is the funding of innovation. We assist these same players in obtaining grants, subsidies and even fiscal tools such as the Research Tax Credit, which we set up for their benefit. Another type of client that we address in this field are start-ups, industries.
Our last field of expertise is the valuation of energy savings toward optimizing property taxation, especially for social landlords, but also the valuation of energy efficiency certificates for all of the group’s customers.
At EIF, we have a strong attachment to sharing value. Our only real assets are our employees. In addition to profit-sharing, employee shareholding was set up in 2021. About eighty percent of eligible employees stepped up to become shareholders of the group, and that’s something we are quite proud of.
We are currently integrating a company, ATAX, which we bought toward the end of 2022. In the fields I mentioned earlier, notably the valuation of energy savings toward optimizing property taxation for social landlords, we are currently extending our expertise to the entire group. Another big topic we’re involved with at the moment consists of the international acquisition of a company. We’re hoping to get it done before the summer. This is near international, the company being in Belgium.
Our relationship with Ciclad is excellent. Beyond being our investor, which is important, we have found a true partner who accompanies us in areas we are less familiar with internally, such as financing, debt management and also in external growth, as Christophe was mentioning earlier. This is quite valuable for us. And beyond that, they are rather friendly, which is nice.
“In a few words, cold heading is the transformation of materials, within a fraction of second, from a wire into complex parts of constant volume”
Since 1956, we have been manufacturing engineered parts through cold heading technology. This is the most widely used technology in fastener production. We use high-speed horizontal presses. Our staff require in-depth training, which is generally provided internally through apprenticeships.
Bonioni Group currently has 120 people on staff, divided into two sites: our headquarters here in Haute-Savoie and in Poland. We currently transform 5000 metric tons of materials per year for different business sectors: construction, mainly through electrical equipment and mobility, automotive, railway industries but also cycling as well as more atypical sectors such as sports and leisure, or even cosmetics.
Bonioni is strongly committed to CSR. First on a technology level given that cold head stamping is economical in terms of raw materials, and secondly as relates to its CRS commitment. We have been an EcoVadis adherent for a few years and this year we even won the gold medal. We expect to continue to develop this commitment and in particular to reduce our carbon footprint. For instance, we are currently at work on a photovoltaic cell installation project.
There is a lot going on in the Bonioni Group. We are currently finalizing the installation of our machines in our new 1300 square meter building in the Haute-Savoie site, as well as a second major project: Bonioni 4.0, with a change ERP which will allow us to continue increasing our performance.
Ciclad has been accompanying Bonioni Group for 3 years. They are present without interfering in the company’s day-to-day operations. However, they do accompany us in strategic decision making as well as helping us through more difficult times, as was the case during the covid epidemic 2 years ago. They provide financial expertise as well as guiding us in our investment strategy, which makes them a very positive partner for the group.
“Our purpose is to optimize man-machine interactions within our clients’ systems, to boost the competitiveness of their innovations.”
Welcome to Human Design Group. I am Dominique Soler, the president and founder of Human Design Group. Our company is both young and seasoned. The Human Design Group journey started within Bertin Technologies group. We are pioneers in ergonomics consulting. Thanks to the one hundred and thirty consultants that make up our team, human science experts as well as engineers, today Human Design Group has positioned itself as a key player in human-centered design. Human Design Group’s vocation is to support our clients, down to the very last mile, in their successful transformation through the conception of positive user experiences, i.e. providing human-machine system designs that maximize performance, comfort and safety.
CSR policy is essential to Human Design Group. As such, we have applied for EcoVadis certification and today we are quite happy to have achieved the silver level, in particular through an exemplary showing in terms of workplace parity and gender equity. Our second commitment is to recruit in France, with fifty new hires planned this year, to reach a target of one hundred and fifty people, and probably over two hundred people within the next two or three years. Finally, we are also committed to supporting the best engineering schools in our fields. Notably, we are currently in partnership with the École Nationale Supérieure de Cognitique, an engineering school in which I also serve as Chairman, and also with Strate Design, a wonderful design school of which we are also members of the scientific committee.
First, the successful establishment of new contracts with new clients. A great French start-up named Flying Whales comes to mind, which is developing an innovative airship solution and for which we have had the good fortune of designing the cockpit. We are also quite proud to have been awarded within the nuclear sector recovery plan, notably to carry out design and studies for the latest generation of SMR nuclear reactors’ new control room. And finally, we are happy to welcome new clients who entrust us, through immersive environment test benches, with the assessment of their products and design, particularly in the automotive industry for whom we replicate cockpits. Our solution, ProuVR, allows our clients to evaluate the performance of their solutions and in turn to effectively demonstrate their innovations’ performance to their own customers.
I would describe our relationship with Ciclad in three words: human, confidence and competence. Human first, as I feel the relationship is based on true mutual respect. They show real interest in the leadership role but, beyond the work done by Human Design Group’s teams, they are genuinely interested in our expertise. Confidence: especially in the wake of the Covid crisis, during which we looked for rebound strategies together. And finally competence: with over thirty years of experience, Ciclad and its teams allow us to move forward confidently on development issues, for instance in external growth.
“To sum up Pozeo’s unique collection of expertise: we create moments of high emotion.”
I am Benoit Chauveau, the president of Pozeo. My son Nicolas is CEO. We are an independent family business that emits gift certificates: either for recreational purposes such as moviegoing, or as vouchers that we then sell to works councils and companies. Pozeo group also offers associated services in these markets: social and economic committee management software for works councils as well as a full-scale operational marketing agency that promotes sales for brands and large groups through incentivization or customer loyalty strategies.
Pozeo group issues gift certificates. From the very start, we tackled the issue of the origin of the paper and ink that we use, to lighten our environmental footprint as much as possible. We also set up a whole stack of measures within our teams toward recycling in both of our head offices. Our strong social commitment is further embodied in our support of a variety of associations such as Emmaüs, Solidarité Sida or Petit Coeur de Beurre, an association that provides support to paediatric cardiology services. Last but not least, we are also committed to job growth, as our group tripled its number of permanent-contract employees in 3 years.
We have quite a few ongoing projects. Having been hit hard by the Covid crisis, we couldn’t run our business activities in the usual manner. We were therefore able to focus on new solutions and we have come out of the crisis with a very wide range of new offers for our clients. First, the new Poz’cadeau gift certificate, a face-value gift certificate designed with and for our clients, that places the user and the Poz’cadeau’s great potential at the core of our project. Our second solution is our new Nouvelle Lune store. This straightforward tool allows any works council to manage subsidies and ticketing in just a few clicks. Finally, two new major solutions for our operational marketing agency, client incentivization and sponsorship programs, which we have notably implemented in the banking and insurance field.
Our relationship with Ciclad is very good. It is based on trust. We have achieved the two main objectives of our partnership: an external growth operation over 2019 and handing off the day-to-day operational management to Nicolas.
“There are two main things to know about Inovelec. First, our work covers all business sectors. Second, we have many clients, over 200 active clients in all. Our main client represents 5% of our turnover, and that helps me sleep at night.”
Inovelec designs and manufactures electronics. Among them, you have electronic cards, which look like this, then all kinds of electronic cables – this one is rather large, though we also design and manufacture smaller ones. And finally, we integrate all of this in units, which yields this kind of product: here you have a case, with electronic cards and cables. You can see it even better on this product: the different cards, the wires and the mechanics.
I am the company founder. I created Inovelec 21 years ago, based on a concept of responsiveness and customer service. Today, our turnover is around 30 M€ and we employ a little over 300 people. We have several design and production sites in France, as well as a large site in Casablanca, Morocco.
Inovelec has many types of clients: not only do we work with corporate groups and start-ups, but also SMEs and intermediate-sized enterprises.
Clients are our main commitment, it’s in the company DNA. Our second commitment is to continue our development while creating jobs, particularly in France given that our commitment is based on French-made products. This year we are creating 50 new jobs, which will significantly contribute to the group’s continued organic growth. We are also pursuing external growth opportunities, with a clear objective of doubling our turnover within the next 2 years.
At the moment, we are focused on structuring our business to prepare for Inovelec’s future expansion. Beyond that, given that we used to fly under the radar, we are now joining various hubs, such as Nuclear Valley and GIFEN in the nuclear field, but also the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region’s Club des ETI. This helps us build our network and exchange with our peers.
We started working with Ciclad in 2012. Beyond having a great team, they know our business well, or in any case the industrial segment. When we talk, we’re speaking the same language, and that is extremely important. They have a highly dynamic team that really helps us in our strategic planning, both in global strategy and industrial strategy. They have seen us through crises, because Inovelec has weathered crises and Ciclad always stood by us, never yielding to panic, seeking out solutions, which we found together. And I’m quite certain there’s nothing better that I could ask for than to have this kind of relationship with an investment fund.
“We often say that, through our products, we are present in one out of every two local communities.”
BH Technologies offers local communities solutions to optimize waste management and public lighting so as to meet the challenges of the energy and environmental transition.
Specifically: what is a solution? It is a sensor or device that uses radio connectivity to transmit information from these sensors to our servers for processing, before presenting it to our customers through a web platform, helping them save on money, energy and logistics, to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Our SME was founded in Grenoble, in 1998.
Though we are mainly present in France, we also have a small international presence, in particular in Switzerland and Portugal, and we’re looking to expand internationally in the upcoming years.
Every year, we put 20,000 to 30,000 electronic products on the market. Notably, these products have a long lifespan: over 10 years. Where planned obsolescence is commonplace in the field of electronics, our products show strong durability. When they inevitably reach their end of life, we make sure they are processed and recycled through best-in-class channels. To accomplish this, for instance, we work with the Ecosystem eco-organization, a standard in the field.
First of all, after last year’s municipal elections, municipal councils are now much greener, so in this context we’re currently involved in supporting and accompanying our customers as they launch and implement these projects.
We recently published a white paper highlighting our vision on the energy transition in the field of public lighting.
Another current topic: we recently won the recovery plan in its 5G dimension, which will allow us to accelerate our technological roadmap through new products that embed 5G technology to develop highly innovative uses that will address, in an even more focused and relevant way, the challenges of transition, whether it be energy or environmental.
When I joined BH Technologies, a relationship of trust was established which fostered an operational style that is neither too intrusive nor too passive. I know that when I call on Ciclad, I can count on availability, competence, and a constructive work spirit, allowing me to move forward both serenely and in line with Ciclad’s interests.
As we enter into a new growth cycle I am quite confident and convinced that Ciclad is the ideal partner to support us in this growth, in the long term and efficiently.
“Vitrinemedia’s signature is ‘Be remarkable’. To be remarkable is to be noticed. This is what drives us on a daily basis to develop new products for our clients, to accomplish our ambition of constantly providing our clients with new services, to make them remarkable.”
The core of Vitrinemedia’s business is real estate agencies and their visibility. We realized back in 2007 that real estate agencies needed to be more visible. We launched our first product, the LED display, that enabled an agency to highlight its mandate through its shop window. Then, we did it with TV screens, energizing their agency communications and taking them to the next level. A great agency should be noticed by pedestrians, by the cars that pass by. Highlighting and enhancing these mandates is essential today, because that’s what the agency is really selling, and that’s our job. Currently, three out of every four estate agencies in France use our solutions, which gives their business a solid boost. We are the leading window media for agencies in France today. Our distribution extends to about 40 countries. The big networks have placed their trust in us, which is a big opportunity, and it’s working.
Clients are our first commitment. When they come to us, they know that no matter what, we’ll go all the way with our services, and this cannot be overstated. Our clients also know that our products are constantly evolving and adapting, and that’s important for them, because they know that when you’re with us, you’re with us for life, so they can rely on us to improve our products and offer the key solutions that they truly need. We’ll get back to this, specifically in regard to digital technology. Finally, they know that with us, their return on investment is guaranteed. This is essential and it’s the very core of Vitrinemedia’s commitment. Of course, our staff are important to us. We are committed to job creation. In Montpellier in particular, where we’ve developed our digital business. 3 or 4 years ago, we had three employees, and since then we’ve grown to thirty employees. Staff training matters, and training managers plays a key role in that. Last but not least, we have to think of our planet. For all of our products, and especially our historical products, we use less plastic and we’re careful about power usage. As you know, we’re shifting to digital and that will enable us to consume less, to consume more efficiently, and to provide our clients with greener solutions.
Of the two main projects driving our momentum in 2021, the first is digital. In 2020, we experienced this as a necessity, so this year, we’re launching a new service, the online version of the physical window, which we’ve named “Visible”. This is very important, it’s an essential activity and it marks a real turning point for Vitrinemedia. Our other key project, which has always been at the heart of our real estate activity, is Vitrinemedia’s communication agency: VM agency. Here in Boulogne-Billancourt is where we welcome our clients and work with them on their communication through a host of tools and services they can use to boost their agency. As often happens, and this is the case for many of our projects, our clients want to go even further, they want to expand their network or their company. That’s what we’re here for. We work, not only with the big networks, but also with great agencies who want more, who want to expand.
We started working with Ciclad in 2018 and that marked a defining moment for us. Back then, Vitrinemedia was an industrial player, we’d known our first success thanks to our historical business and of course our international development. But with Ciclad we were able to go much further, through two acquisitions, notably in digital and our communication agency. Secondly, Ciclad showed us how to structure our gouvernance. We held meetings, we worked together, and this successful relationship allowed us to expand Vitrinmedia’s activity. What is vital today is that we know we can go much further, because now we can see ourselves branching into new activities. We set highly ambitious goals and we know we have the right partner to help us move in that direction. Ciclad is a real growth accelerator, and thanks to their expertise we’ve been able to carry out our development projects.
One of our booklet’s pages expresses how people are at the heart of the project and I think that, first and foremost, we make work buildings for the people who will work there and housing for those who will live there. That’s what being a real estate developer is all about.
Our job is to make business real estate, housing, hotel real estate, in every aspect and on every real estate market segment that make up a city, according to our motto: “actors of the city of tomorrow”.
Alsei was founded around SME real estate, and more specifically the real estate of process buildings. Our buildings were driven by industrial projects, our process focused on sustainable development, the epitome of sustainable development being buildings that can have a 2nd or 3rd life. The concept of reversibility was quite central and was quickly followed by the notion of sustainable development, of how territorial planning limits impact.
Increasingly, we are working on complex projects, buildings not designed to be either 100% work buildings or 100% housing, but rather much more hybrid buildings that incorporate all of the ingredients that make up a city.
An example we deeply care about at Alsei is Lab21. Being a think tank, we called it The Lab. We won this project in the “Réinventer la métropole” (Rethinking the metropolis) contest, and it will be located in Romainville, in the Seine Saint Denis department. For this building, we presented a program that mixes offices with housing. The housing part will be allocated to young professionals, and the office space reserved to SMEs, which is a typical segment of the Seine Saint Denis economy and one we know well. It will be a wood-based building, built with bio-sourced materials, exemplary in terms of energy consumption and waste management. In line with the renaturation of the city, the roof will hold a farm, a vegetable farm producing crops for local consumption. We truly stand at the heart of the neighborhood economy.
When we met with Ciclad in 2015, our project portfolio spanned 4 to 5 years of development. We were looking for a partner to work alongside us in this development, to support our growth and help us write the next phase of our story, during which our group was expected to double in size. In the end, we actually tripled in size. Ciclad supports SMEs and Alsei is the real estate of SMEs. From that aspect, we shared a common culture.