All posts by Jon Bullimore

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

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.