written by
Claudina Perez

The Joy of Switch: Rewriting the Rules of Work and Fun at Takaro Concept

Testimonial 6 min read , April 16, 2024
Check out the video of the Customer Story

It’s not every day we set out on a day trip for our work at Enfocus. But Pedro Chaves, our Enfocus video expert, and I were out on a mission to try to capture the essence of a unique company we’d heard so much about – Takaro Concept (Rutabaga & Cie).

What we discovered went further than either of us had imagined: from the minute we entered the vibrant world of this extraordinary company in the scenic commune of Oyonnax, France, we knew this was no ordinary business.

Takaro, with their typical unconventionality, is nestled in a refurbished early 1900s shed that was once a factory for animal combs. The entire space has today been transformed into a hub of imagination and cutting-edge production.

Specializing in a wide array of souvenirs, from mugs and magnets to keychains and more, the Takaro team takes real pride in what they produce – and how it’s produced. Recently, for example, they’ve been transitioning away from plastic to local wood where possible – a reflection of their commitment to quality and, equally importantly, sustainability.

A Selection of Takaro’s Souvenir Products

As you enter the one-time “shed”, the company’s charm is immediately on full display in its workspace: it is a blend of delightful historical architecture with walls that narrate engaging stories through art and many inspiring phrases.

But it is the people at Takaro that really set it apart.

A Whimsical Welcome in Oyonnax

Let’s take a step backward now, and I’ll try to convey the type of welcome Pedro and I received the minute we arrived in Oyonnax. If it sounds like nothing short of a fairytale, well, we agree! We were, after all, greeted by a nun and Snow White! Yes, really.

And this was only a first step into a world where humor and creativity are always in evidence, with both often running at full speed. This “Bride of Christ” and her fairytale sidekick weren’t just there to provide entertainment at Takaro; they also doubled as a graphic designer and an order processing talent. And during our time at Takaro, we realized they fulfilled all four of their roles admirably, blending the quirky and fun with the true professional know-how.

A short drive later – no, we didn’t take a magic carpet – we were taken to the main production site to meet the rest of the team, including Anthony (it’s all first-name terms at Takaro), the owner, and Emilien, the prepress expert.

And yes, of course – they were wearing costumes too. One of the first things that Anthony said to us was:

> At Takaro, we say that you don't have to be crazy to work with us, but it helps. The reason is that we are passionate about what we do.

In fact, this message turned out to be such an important part of the work ethos at Takaro that it was even written up on the wall.

Translation: “You don't have to be crazy to work here (but it helps).”

Laughter aside, this warm and humorous reception was testament to the company's culture – at Takaro work really is more than just a job. It is a passion, and clearly one that everyone enjoys.

Transforming Workflows with Creativity

In spite of all the fun, we had come to Oyonnax to learn about how Takaro run their print production business. And so we sat down to talk with Anthony – an absolute epitome of humble leadership – to listen and learn and laugh as he shared his effervescent vision of the business’s evolution and newfound efficiency.

We naturally wanted to learn as much as we could about whether Enfocus products had played a part in the transformation of Takaro in any way. Anthony started by telling the story of how he’d attended a trade show in the hope of finding hardware solutions, and it was there that Takaro had instead discovered Enfocus Switch.

This was the beginning of a major transformation for Takaro. On seeing Switch demoed, Anthony instantly recognized the software's potential to revolutionize their creative and production processes. He immediately involved Emilien, his technically-minded sidekick.

Their creatively collaborative—and more than occasionally comedic—discussion that led to the decision to implement Switch has redefined the company's trajectory, enhancing productivity and fostering an environment where creativity truly thrives.

We are always on the go and always want to do more. But at some point, even humanly speaking, there comes a time when we reach our limit. So we have to find tools that help us not to be alienated. And we found Switch. – Anthony

Happiness and Efficiency Combined

The impact of Switch on Takaro has been profound. Switch’s automation prowess has dramatically streamlined their file and prepress preparation, saving approximately two hours of work on every single order, which translates into very tangible benefits for the team.

Using Switch, we estimated that we would save two hours per order on prepress and file preparation. And we've been able to do just that. We're now able to process more orders and still have time for creativity. – Emilien

Not only have staff been freed up to do more high-value work, but the team as a whole feels a renewed zest for their work. Employees like Estelle, who previously found herself juggling the roles of two graphic designers, now find themselves able to tackle more fulfilling work like focusing on creative tasks, improving customer personalization, and learning new skills. As Estelle told us:

Switch has changed my life, and it's changed the life of my colleague, too. Before, we were both doing the work of four graphic designers. It was intense and stressful. Now, Jessica can handle the orders on her own, and I have more time for creative work and personalization for each customer. – Estelle

Something even more striking during our visit was witnessing the genuine happiness and satisfaction staff at Takaro derived from using Switch. Sounds like another fairy tale? The stories we heard all painted a vivid and content picture ranging from a fast return on investment, considerable time savings and ease of use, to the equally valued opportunity for employees to engage in work that aligns with their core strengths.

Emilien, for example, now has more time to balance his role at Takaro with his passion (and side hustle) for pasta making outside of work– a great example of how Switch has enriched Takaro team members beyond the castle... sorry, workplace.

A Unique Blend of Technology, Creativity, and Joy

Our journey through Takaro was a real eye-opener and something of a delight too. It showcased how a company could blend technology, creativity, and human well-being. It was also very gratifying to see how Enfocus Switch had emerged as a catalyst for happiness and efficiency, enabling the team at Takaro to amplify their already considerable passion and drive.

Even the company branding communicates fun

As we wrapped up our visit, it was clear that Takaro's story with Switch was not just about technological advancement in their graphic and print production, but about creating a work environment where every day is as fulfilling as leisure time – a rare and admirable feat in today’s fast-paced and often stressful world.

And so, while what we found at Takaro was not in the end a fairy story, it was indeed a rare story, one where technology meets humanity, and where, together with a passionate team everyone looks set to continue to do great work and have fun that will, of course, continue happily ever after.

The End