Created in 1977 in Vagos by José Creoulo Prior, the firm J.Prior- Fábrica de Plásticos, Lda was engaged in the design and production of plastic products for agriculture. Now it is much more than that, divided into two well-defined and autonomous sectors: the development and production of irrigation system by the brand 'marlux' and plastic injection services for the industry in general.
The success of the company was fundamentally due to the inventiveness of its founder, who was also an agricultural producer. Keeping a common management between a group of companies, Carlos Neves, one of the company’s managers, explains that "takes advantage of group synergies and seeks the advantages of complementarity between them, with the ultimate goal to be in the market with global response in the areas the group operates.” This SME Leader in the industry sector has been growing in the last five years between 10% and 15% per year, having in 2014 exceeded a turnover of 9.5 million euros.
And if the national market remains the most important, last year the company exported directly more than 20%. Carlos Neves explains that" in plastic injection we strongly supply to exporting companies and this indirect exportation represents about 50% of our production".
In the intra-community market, J.Prior exports to Spain, France and Poland. Outside Europe it exports recently to the United States. The manager admits that exporting to USA is the beginning of a "new phase" of internationalization, and that is the reason why the company felt the need to invest significantly in human and technical resources.
In the future, the strategy is to continue betting on the two business areas, and in plastic injection "the growth focus will be the external market", in particular the extension to other markets. The company is also committed to "strength the innovation and develop components, with the clear goal of having an important presence along the value chain. "For this, the manager reveals having ongoing R&D projects, with the universities collaboration, aiming to "develop products and gain competencies". Regarding the importance of the distinction of SME Leader, Carlos Neves has no doubt that it has a great impact on the positive image of the company. Coupled with the Excellence status, it "conveys confidence to business partners." But the manager points out that being a PME Leader or Excellence "is not a goal, but the result of an effort by all employees of the company".in Diário Económico