Founded in 1987, LABPLAS Inc. specializes in manufacturing sterile sampling solution for transport and laboratory analysis. Under the leadership of its current President, Danielle Lafond, the organization got reoriented from its earliest years towards agri-food and international markets, which eventually allowed Danielle to position the firm to achieve constant growth over the years. Previously LABPLAS served the clinical market, then the agri-food market opened up, offering much more promising business potential. Over the years, Danielle and her team at LABPLAS have gradually developed several other markets in fields where ever sample security is essential.
Danielle Lafond believes, through businesses and targeted shows, she and her team have been able to listen to the users in the laboratory industry, both in Canada and abroad. As an organization, LABPLAS has created a strong partnership with its distributors, focusing on transparency and communication. It has also relied on colorful, playful, and intelligent marketing, which appeals to the human side of LABPLAS’s scientific clientele.
The Steadfast Leader
Described as authentic, approachable, positive, and resilient, Danielle Lafond loves to get an opportunity to question herself and the team to go further and to think differently. At LABPLAS, everyone has a voice, and each person can express himself or herself freely; all of the employees of LABPLAS benefit from one another’s input. Danielle likes people, and she likes to know their stories, share their experiences, to establish genuine and respectful relationships that have an honest, solid, and durable foundation. This is also how she conceives the company, and she promotes this philosophy every day, both with the employees and with the suppliers and customers.
After studying law, Danielle Lafond was in charge of HR and legal affairs in a company for four years, which explains her human approach to business. After discovering a passion for entrepreneurship at the age of 33, Danielle bought back all the shares of the company she had founded with her father in 1987. At that point in time, the company had only one machine developed by its employees. Now with more than 100 employees, LABPLAS sells its products from Quebec, via a network of distributors, to customers in more than 65 countries. LABPLAS Inc. has been manufacturing sterile sampling products for over 35 years to meet the most demanding safety and compositional analysis needs of the food, pharmaceutical, veterinary, chemical, and environmental industries.
According to Danielle, the decision to take 100 percent control of the company in 1993, gave her greater agility and helped her tune into her feelings. Currently, under Danielle’s leadership, LABPLAS is the second-largest company in the world in its respective sector. Danielle Lafond says, “It hasn’t always been easy; it was not obvious how we would find financing and establish our credibility, but we managed to do so and established long-lasting relationships with both our suppliers and our customers – and these relationships have endured for over 30 years.” She also thinks the same is true about LABPLAS’s employees, with many of them now having more than 20 years of seniority with the average length of service being more than 10 years.
Danielle believes, her team is never completely prepared for challenges, and that’s a good thing. She thinks, knowing too much about the dangers that lie ahead, could paralyze the company and it can become too set in its ways or inflexible in its customer offerings. She says, “You have to stay tuned, surround yourself with the best people, not be afraid to be challenged, and, above all, you must be willing to dare. You can’t control the situation; instead, you have to welcome it and remain resilient.” “Who would have thought that we would be facing a pandemic?”– she added.
Achieving Balance Between Heart and Mind
For Danielle, success is first and foremost about achieving a balance between heart and mind, between professional and personal life. She believes, it’s about finding a way to be fully present and active in both spheres. And this applies equally to the company: it must move forward, surpass itself and allow the individuals who compose it to surpass themselves and make a difference in society.
Danielle Lafond always strives to stay ahead of the clients’ needs by maintaining close contact with them; which is illustrated by the sterile biodegradable sampling bag that the company has developed 14 years ago and which to this day is the only one on the market. When Danielle Lafond implemented the first business planning system system in 1995, LABPLAS had only 12 employees. After installing several robots, the company has been working on an new innovation for machine quality control. Thanks to Danielle’s strong leadership, the company continues to develop new products every year and manufacture its production equipment to meet its needs. The company has established a scientific laboratory to ensure the validation of its products and to advance research in microbiological analysis. LABPLAS’s team of engineers and computer technicians ensures that the company benefits from advances in methodology, digital technologies, and artificial intelligence, both on the production floor and in all of its other departments and services.