17 Jan Packaging News Feature
GWP Packaging feature in Packaging News
Ruth Cook, Managing director of GWP Packaging, featured in a “Q&A” article focusing on the challenges faced by companies in the corrugated packaging sector.
Covering everything from seeing potential with reusable packs and an increasing trend for online shopping, the environmental agenda, exports not picking up through to the struggle to find skilled staff, Packaging News profiled a number of corrugated specialists for their views.
Learn more about Ruth’s views on the industry by continuing this post.
Questions on GWP Packaging
Originally called the Great Western Packaging Company, GWP Group operates from two Wiltshire sites with a turnover of £10m from clients across sectors including defense, aerospace, automotive and food and drink. We spoke to managing director Ruth Cook about the company.
How has business been in the past year?
We’ve enjoyed 20% growth in sales – a record year – thanks to focusing on niche markets in the manufacturing sector. We’ve maintained existing clients and won new business through working on cost-reduction initiatives.
What challenges are you facing?
The main one is uncertainty in the economy: manufacturing and exports show few signs of picking up, leading us to question where the overall recovery will come from. Meanwhile we struggle to recruit skilled staff.
What new trends are developing?
There are always new, cheaper, lightweight materials, which are continually helping to shape trends and change ways of thinking from clients and manufacturers.
What do you see as the biggest market opportunity for the sector in 2014?
If only the corrugated sector would market itself better there could be huge opportunities to win market share from plastic products, especially by promoting the recyclability of corrugated packaging.
What do you see as the key developments in packaging technology at present?
New materials, better design and smarter machinery are enabling companies to design out cost from their packaging.
How has your client base changed over the years?
We cover such a wide spread of sectors but have seen small web companies and specialist food markets come to the fore. All customers are reducing their stockholding and we can help with supply logistics.
What is the most unusual project GWP Packaging has worked on?
Our biggest challenge was packing a parabolic telescope to be shipped around the world.
If you could change one thing about the business environment in which you work, what would it be?
General regulation is cumbersome and rules on packaging waste amount to a tax on our industry. Business rates are also a huge financial burden to GWP Packaging.
Ruth Cook | Managing Director, GWP Packaging
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