One Year on at Staeger

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and all at Staeger would like to wish you all a very Happy and prosperous New Year.

The first anniversary of joining Staeger approaches at the end of January for me, and I am loving every minute. The team and our customers have made me feel so welcome and every day brings a fresh challenge. So, to celebrate my first year here, I thought I’d share 3 things that I think set Staeger apart and make it the great company it is.

1.Manufacturing at its core

It feels like I have come back to my roots of working in a manufacturing company, where access to production is just a case of walking down a set of stairs and I am there, being able to discuss any new design ideas directly with the machine operators to ensure the best most efficient way of producing the packaging. This approach to problem solving works really well for me, and allows me to draw on the wealth of experience in the manufacturing team.

2.Investment and innovation

The business is always looking to the future, to innovate, and deliver the latest possibilities to customers. It makes for a very positive and proactive environment. As part of a multinational organisation, the investment in people and equipment is fantastic to see. For example, we have recently invested in an on-line labelling machine which means that we can now apply stickers to our RPET cartons whist they are running down our gluing machine – offering greater capabilities to our customers that offer more choice and save time.

3.A Strong Voice in the Industry

The team I joined at Staeger has been in the industry for many years, and seen the changing needs of the customer and the trade. Our MD, Ian Jamie, has a clear and pragmatic view and as the industry changes, he is a strong voice for our business and the wider industry.

Ian was recently interviewed on Radio 4 defending plastics, if you would like to have a listen please click on the link below (the piece starts at 1:31, Ian’s interview starts at 1:34)

I have had a fantastic first year here at Staeger, and I am sure the next 12 months will bring more challenges and opportunities.

2017 Round up

2017 is almost done and all our efforts are focussing on the challenges the lie ahead for 2018

Looking back on 2017, our margins have been affected by higher raw material costs caused by the fall in the value of Sterling. These costs are difficult to pass on to our clients, who are under pressure to reduce prices from their retail customers who are also seeing higher costs for imported goods as well as the continued competition from the discounters. Unfortunately, some of our customers have moved to other packaging formats

However, we do have a lean and robust business that is ready and able to take advantage of the inevitable opportunities waiting to be found in this ever changing commercial climate

For example, in 2016 we decided to exhibit at Luxe Pack New York and already the contacts made are placing orders and are indicating a desire to do more business with us

Furthermore, we have targeted UK businesses who, some time ago, moved their packaging to the Far East. Our efforts have now been rewarded with a number of supply agreements from some prestigious Brand Owners

Overall, our New Business Development strategy has resulted in our best year for new customer acquisitions for some time which has led to a significant increase in the number of folding cartons produced in the last 12 months

As stated earlier, 2018 will be another challenging year but there is encouraging evidence that a good year lies ahead

The Drinks Packaging Summit – A Packaging News Event

Jon Bullimore, Sales Director, and Ian Jamie, MD, of Staeger Clear Packaging are heading off to Edinburgh on November 16th to attend the Drinks Packaging Summit . The Summit will be visited by many from the Drinks Industry, looking for creative ideas with which to package their products. Some big names are expected to be there!

In the past, PET packaging has not universally and consistently found a place within the Drinks world, with sometimes the look and ease of packaging letting it down. However Staeger Clear has come up with a new gift box with some exciting designs in Scodix. A lot of thought has gone into this process and hopefully lessons have been learnt from the past. We travel hopefully!!

Pop Music; Packaging, and Pro-active Innovation

How is it that from just a few music notes; scales and chords, a seemingly endless variety of tunes and music can be achieved, and with the exception of a few new substrates, innovative packaging still continues to surprise us.

You would have thought that after all this time and the number of packaging companies involved, every conceivable pack had been developed and created, but even if you take the most basic rectangular box, new tunes are still being played on it.

Take the new fold flat rigid box with integral PET hinged lid, which offers numerous advantages over conventional rigid boxes in Price; Design & Print, Logistics, and Environment.

You can’t ask for much more than that, so we will continue to keep thinking outside the box and surprise our customers.

Now where did I put my guitar?

Why M&S Prefer Staeger Clear – Ian Jamie

The reason why M&S like Staeger’s transparent packaging for their Easter egg range is because it gives 360 degree viewing of their heavily decorated artisan eggs. Normally the PET would be left unprinted to aid recyclability and the board base would be made out of metpol, printed, to tie in with collection range colours. Staeger have become very experienced in combining PET outer sleeves with PET vac forms and cardboard and are considered the No 1 choice for developments of this nature. Most of the M&S easter products are produced by Staeger

M&S Easter eggs are not ordinary, they are carefully crafted and exquisite to look at. Hiding their eggs behind cardboard would waste the huge marketing opportunity the eggs themselves give

Staeger ‘s PET (Recyclear) ties in with plan A, it is recyclable and is recycled from London closed loop’s bottle waste. All in all a great result.

7 Years At Staeger – Jon Bullimore

Over the last few days I received a number of messages via Linked –In, congratulating me on my work anniversary. It had never occurred to me that it was 7 years ago on 1 Sept 2007 that I joined Staeger Clear Packaging

I cannot believe how quickly those years have flown and how much we have achieved in that time

2007 was also a milestone for our Coventry based business, originally known as Clear Packaging Ltd, as it became part of the Staeger & Co AG Group based in Switzerland

Following an initial re-branding and integration into the Staeger philosophy, we embarked upon a new strategy of fast and sustainable profitable growth, which was quite a challenge as the UK was about to plunge into the deepest and longest recession for 30years

Well, I’d say the team has successfully met those challenges, by doubling turnover to end of 2013 and consistently increasing profitability to provide funds for new investment, such as:

Range of machines for ultrasonically welding the corners of Lids & Bases
Machines to produce cylinders from Ø40mm up to Ø160mm
Heidelberg Varimatrix die cutter
New premises, customised for production to BRC standards for food packaging

Complementary to above, our owners have provided us with invaluable expertise and “know how” to strengthen our proposition in the UK Marketplace

All sounds good so far, however as the UK begins to recover from the recession, the marketplace and its demands on packaging manufacturers is very different to what it was 7 years ago. Major retailers who consume most of what we make are losing market share to the discounters (Aldi & Lidl in particular) and some have responded by cutting prices and increasing the number & frequency of promotions. These initiatives have to be supported by their suppliers and eventually companies like us who supply their suppliers. What we are now experiencing is pressure to lower prices and shorten lead-times which are likely to affect our margins

The company is in a strong position to deal with these challenges as it continues to focus on innovation, supply chain solutions, customer service, inroads into new markets and importantly, the development of our people.

Sales Director’s Case Study – Plastic Cake Collars

Subject: Plastic Collars for Christmas Cakes

When one of the UK’s leading retailers began receiving consumer complaints about their packaging, Staeger Clear was invited to provide a sustainable and cost effective solution

The issue was that oils and fat within the cakes were staining the printed surface on the traditional folding boxboard collars even though they had a poly coating to provide a barrier. On investigation the issue was the raw edge on carton board which in this case allowed oil or fat to be drawn into the board, commonly known as wicking, and then migrate to the outside of the printed surface, to be seen by consumers

After a series of trials, the agreed solution was a collar lithoprinted, one side on to opaque white rPet (re-cycled pet) which forms a complete barrier against any wicking

The white rpet is made from a minimum of 50% post consumer waste(old bottles), the standard for most retailers and brand owners, which is also approved for direct food contact.

Rpet can be re-cycled where facilities exist

The retailer and their manufacturing partner were delighted with the result and will use more plastic collars for other items in their range for Christmas 2014.

Other supermarkets are following suit to help reduce complaints,food waste and improve their environmental responsibility.