Strong Performance in 2017
Plus exciting plans in place for the year ahead
GWP Group are delighted to announce another year of strong performance in 2017, and would like to thank all of our customers, staff and suppliers in helping to achieve ambitious growth and sales.
With a continued focus on investment (across equipment, processes, services and employees), it has allowed GWP to welcome a number of new customers, whilst maintaining strong relationships with a large number of loyal clients.
However, the aim is to maintain this momentum into 2018, with a number of exciting plans already in place for the New Year.
The results are in – performance in 2017
GWP Group is pleased to announce another successful year of trading, with a continuing and strong increase in turnover and new business.
This saw turnover increase 8.9% in the 2016/17 financial year, following on from an 8.4% increase seen in the previous year.
This has also led to a rise in staff numbers at both Cricklade (Swindon) and Salisbury sites, with well over 100 staff now employed across both sites.
Ruth Cook, Managing Director of GWP Packaging said:
Naturally we are really pleased that our year-on-year performance continues to be strong. We are, however, also proud that we have been able to expand during a period of unprecedented economic uncertainty
A focus on Just In Time
During 2017, one of the key drivers of this significant growth is a focus on the Just in Time (JIT) delivery service.
This service effectively means that the GWP Packaging division in particular sees around 80% of its business conducted on a stock holding basis.
As such, GWP will manufacture and deliver specific volumes of packaging required by our customers, allowing them to maintain economies of scale whilst also reducing warehousing space / requirements.
This service is tailored to each individual account, allows for proactive management of seasonal fluctuations, and stock can be called off using a custom developed online ordering portal (again tailored to each user).
One business to benefit from this service is Andover-based Stannah Stairlifts.
Stannah have been working with GWP for 12 months and have been delighted with the service they have received.
Supplier Account Manager Rebecca Crozier explains:
At Stannah we operate from two sites and have daily deliveries of a range of different bespoke cardboard packaging items from GWP. They are able to adapt each delivery exactly to match what we need, and when we need it. What has been especially useful to us is that GWP can deliver in the exact pallet quantities that we specify.
GWP are a responsive and pro-active company who manufacture all their own packaging products. Their design team and prototyping ability are excellent and their innovative approach to design was a significant factor in us awarding them the contract. GWP have shown us that we can rely on them and as a result we have been able to significantly reduce the amount of packaging stock we have to hold.
Material prices & Corrboard
One of the key issues facing the packaging industry in 2017 – and in particular the corrugated segment – is that of material costs.
Rises in raw materials and increased demand (partly attributed to emerging markets and growth in ecommerce sales) has seen the cost of paper and corrugated rise dramatically.
However, GWP has been insulated from this (to a degree) through being members of Corrboard.
In 2014 GWP were one of several companies who were instrumental in setting up CorrBoard, a UK-based corrugated board manufacturer who supply a consistent pipeline of quality board to its shareholders (one of which is GWP).
Corrboard also saw significant investment in 2017, with VPK Packaging Group acquiring a 30% stake by capital increase and acquisition of Corrugated Synergies International’s (CSI) stake in the consortium.
VPK explained that CorrBoard UK would be supported by Rigid Containers Ltd, a company that converts approximately 340 Million m² of corrugated material per annum in the UK and Ireland.
CorrBoard expects its operational success to be enhanced with VPK’s involvement and as a result is planning to grow the current volume of 130 million m² of sheets produced.
Ruth Cook said:
The success of CorrBoard is one of a number of reasons we’ve been able to continue the growth in our JIT contracts. CorrBoard means that we are able to access a consistent supply of UK-produced quality board and this is fundamental to us being able to achieve the quality, reliability and consistency of price that our customers are looking for.
A lot of hard work
Another important reason for GWP’s impressive performance is the dedicated workforce.
Over a third of GWP’s people have worked for the company for more than five years with a significant number having more than 20 years’ service.
GWP has a reputation for delivering a first-class and reliable service. This has only come about because of the continued dedication and reliability of our staff. On behalf of the Directors of GWP, I would like to thank them all for their hard work and their continued loyalty. We are currently in the process of recruiting more staff so that we can continue to grow.
She also added:
Three quarters of all manufacturing companies are reporting that finding good quality and reliable staff is a challenge so retaining our excellent workforce is very important to us.
2017 Awards and recognition
2017 has also seen GWP receive recognition for an ongoing commitment to innovation and design excellence, in being shortlisted for two Starpack Awards.
The overall winners of prestigious awards – widely regarded as the pre-eminent packaging accolade – will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in London on February 22nd 2018.
With GWP entering packs for Dyson and Haberdashery, the shortlisted designs are guaranteed at least a bronze award (although the hope is obviously they will achieve a first place, gold accolade).
Beyond the packaging
2017 has also seen GWP get involved with a number of other projects and community initiatives.
Earlier in the year, GWP were delighted to sponsor local Moto3 Rookie Star Max Cook.
Max stormed to the title, being crowned 2017 Hel Performance British Motostar Moto3 Standard class champion with four races left in the season (winning more than a third of the races he competed in).
This also meant that he emerged from this year’s Red Bull Rookies Cup trials as one of the 10 riders who will take on the famous championship next season. He is the only British rider that made the cut.
Besides this, GWP once again worked with the Swindon Foodbank.
Having a long partnership with the charity, GWP understood the challenges they faced, even before the increased workload caused by the introduction of Universal Credit.
In order to help with this increased demand, GWP Manufactured and supplied a number of handling boxes that the charity can use to improve the logistics of their warehouse, in turn boosting their productivity and efficiency.
Please click here if you are interested in further information.
Plans for 2018
With 2018 almost upon us, there are already plans in place for the New Year in order to continue growth whilst maintaining the highest levels of service, quality and customer support.
In order to facilitate this (and partly as a result of the successes in 2017), an additional 3000 sq. ft. of warehouse space at Chelworth Industrial Estate in Cricklade, Wiltshire has been secured.
Besides this, a further expansion of 10,000 sq. ft. of warehousing, new manufacturing technologies and computer systems are all planned for 2018.
Finally, from everyone here at GWP, we would like to thank all of our customers, suppliers, service providers, staff and friends for all of your help in achieving another successful year.
We look forward to working with you in 2018 and beyond.