“We’ve managed to save the production of flypapers in Židlochovice. Neither Chinese counterfeits nor a factory fire have stopped us. Instead, we’ve been building new machines and extending production.”
Transforming a humble product into a world-beater
Libor Moudrý was working in the Židlochovice branch of Brněnské papírny even before the Velvet Revolution. As part of the restitutions after 1989, the paper mill was returned to the descendants of the former owners. But seeing no future in the business, they mothballed the plant. Partly spurred on by the threat of unemployment, Moudrý decided to save the mill, since when he’s built a business that supplies most of the world with insect control products.
The glue formula is a secret known to only a few people in the company. It was developed with help from Štěpán Florián, who’d been studying glues in academia his entire life, and who approached the company’s owner on his own initiative in the 1990s. Professor Florián’s role in cooperation that ensued was subsequently taken up by his own son.
Machines from the First Republic still function
In 2014 the company got in contact with JIC and entered the JIC PLATINN programme, intended for well-established companies with a potential for innovation. They were assigned an expert and jointly decided to focus on trade. The expert helped the company to set up systematic customer service, train traders, and establish effective feedback for these traders. This was followed by cooperation with another expert who focused on the company’s HR processes. The benefits were clear: “I’m definitely grateful for help from outside. No-one is born a master. It’s just me who’s lucky to be born Moudrý,” jokes the entrepreneur (“Moudrý” in Czech means “wise”).
By that time the company had already shifted from flypaper production to a broader product range. “We needed to give work to people out of the flypaper production season. Moreover, a broader range of products makes us more attractive to customers,” explains the company’s owner. So the product range has been extended to include pheromone catchers of pantry and clothes moths, glue strips against flies, glue boards for protecting trees and other plants, as well as protection glues and mouse traps. Flypapers continue to be manufactured on absolutely unique machines, some of which are almost 80 years old. In fact, the newer machines are contemporary replicas of the older originals. And the company wants to build four additional machines by the end of the year.
A disaster from which the company quickly recovered
The well-run enterprise was struck by tragedy in 2016. The clumsy handling of a heat gun by one employee resulted in a fire that destroyed the production plant. The damage amounted to fifty million Czech crowns. Libor Moudrý was not downcast, however. As soon as possible, he started building a new production plant to which most of the employees could return and resume production. “I think it bonded us together. Colleagues showed great dedication and for a short while endured working in provisional conditions involving loud noise and high temperatures,” says Moudrý.
The paper mill is a significant employer in Židlochovice. The opportunity to work not far from home is seen as highly convenient by the company’s director. “It takes five minutes to get to work. If I forget something, I can pop back home in a moment. It’s a great advantage,” says the entrepreneur in his office, with a view of the local riverbank. “Moreover, I regard my employees as colleagues and treat them as such. Employees are not work tools, I make efforts to satisfy their needs and they reciprocate the same way,” says Moudrý, adding that he has a great understanding of their lives beyond the factory gates, too. “People often hurry home, because they have work to do on their field or garden, or have to take care of their livestock. This is what life’s all about here.”
The future belongs to mosquito catchers
At present, Papírna Moudrý has approximately eighty employees. Over the years, the company has been abIe to squeeze out competitors from Asia, including China, where the company’s owner found counterfeits of his own products: “fortunately, their quality was not as high as that of our products, and the customers soon cottoned on to that fact.” By contrast, competition for the Židlochovice-based company has been on the increase in Europe, especially in Germany and Poland.
Looking ahead, Libor Moudrý dreams of making a breakthrough – manufacturing a bait that would attract mosquitos with the same effectiveness as flies. It would be the only one of its kind in the world. However, despite over 15 years of development, they haven’t yet managed to discover the formula. “If we ever pull it off, I’ve a plot of land on the outskirts of town where I can build a new factory – one hundred times bigger,” exaggerates Libor Moudrý with a grin.
flypapers is the maximum daily number produced by the Židlochovice plant
is the size of the market supplied with flypapers by Papírna Moudrý
is the year of manufacture of the flypaper machine which the company still uses
Papírna Moudrý is a Czech producer of insect and rodent control products, and one of the leading global producers of flypapers.
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We’re able to make even highly unusual doors and doorframes for our customers. We take pride in offering quality at affordable prices. JIC helped us evaluate production efficiency and encouraged us to build a new workshop.