Although the package is not the actual product, it does create a significant impact when it comes to attracting customers’ attention and interests.
And, with businesses competing to gain customers’ attention across the world, they need packaging partners that have large-scale capabilities, maximum safety features, and expertise in creating innovative solutions. In addition to this, entrepreneurs also want their product packaging to be eco-friendly while being cost-effective.
One company that excels in facilitating on-demand innovative packaging solutions is Kite Packaging. It is not only the premier supplier of packaging in the United Kingdom but also offers customers bespoke solutions, 2,500 online products, and environmental expertise.
It is an employee-owned company known in the market for consistently providing the most cost-friendly packaging solutions to its customers. Since its inception, the packaging company has been solving complex challenges for its clients while also helping them to fulfill their environmental responsibility toward the planet.
We had an opportunity to interview Kite Packaging’s dynamic Managing Partner, Gavin Ashe, where he discussed the company’s specialties and missions in detail. Also, he shared with us interesting insights about the packaging industry.
Below are the interview highlights:
Please brief our audience about your company, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as one of the most reliable companies in the packaging industry.
Kite Packaging was set up in 2001 as an employee-owned business with the belief that customer satisfaction matters so much more when you own the business. That’s why every employee to date has been encouraged to take up a part-ownership in the company. Our philosophy on partnership is our true USP: we believe employees, customers, and suppliers are all partners in the business, and what benefits one will benefit the rest.
Kindly enlighten us about the vision and mission of your company.
Here at Kite, we accept that packaging is a necessity when moving a product from A to B, as it protects that product against damage. Our mission is to help our customers achieve this with the minimum impact on the environment at the lowest cost possible, offering design solutions where necessary. From the very beginning, we have focused on the total cost of packaging, both to the business and the environment, especially with our customers becoming increasingly aware of their responsibilities to the planet.
Tell us more about the product offerings and capabilities that make your company stand out from the competition.
In our first year, Kite started its graduate programme, leading to one of our core capabilities: we innovate, and innovation requires smart, well-educated, industry-experienced people. The depth and capabilities of our packaging experts are by far the best in the industry and have allowed us to develop solutions for customers that simply didn’t exist before. We don’t go to customers and say, ‘show us what you’re doing at the moment’. We go to customers and ask, ‘what are your problems?’ and then we help make those problems go away.
Please brief us about your journey in the industry and how you have made the company excel in its competitive market.
With strong roots in our employee-ownership culture, we speak as a collective: Kite is a team sport, everyone has worked hard together to make the company excel and get it to where it is today.
Please elaborate on your customer services practices.
Customer satisfaction matters so much more when you own the business. Everyone at Kite, from our forklift operators and warehouse operatives to our packaging technologists and accounting team, believes that the customer comes first.
Expand on how your company’s packaging solutions are enabling businesses to further their sustainability efforts.
At Kite, we have always used the environment and the environmental impact of our customers as a core metric in our decision-making process. For example, for the last twenty-four months we have been running a plastic reduction initiative, fully auditing all of our key customers and the packaging they have been using. This has allowed us to reduce, reuse, recycle, and replace plastic components, resulting in a 740-tonne reduction in plastic packaging for eighty-two customers.
Please share your opinion on how the adoption of technology has benefited the packaging industry and how your company is adapting to the change.
Packaging is a very low-cost item but a necessity for most businesses, with many spending less than 1% of their turnover on it. Being a crucial component makes it highly price-sensitive, meaning that although nobody actually wants it, everybody needs it and are, therefore, always looking to reduce its cost.
Technology has enabled us to become more efficient and lower costs over the last fifteen years in comparison to our competitors. We have invested heavily in developing our own in-house technologies, especially in the fields of software and analytics, employing over twelve people in our IT and Web Development teams, as well as a team of data analysts. Technology is the key to being able to do it better tomorrow than you did it today.
In your view, what are the existing challenges in the packaging industry? And how are you strategizing your company’s operations to tackle them?
The existing challenges in the packaging industry vary in relation to the macroeconomic climate, with supply being the most preeminent issue. Hopefully, this is a short-term issue measured in months and years rather than decades and generations.
In the longer term, we believe the fundamental issue in our industry is being as environmentally-friendly as possible, really bringing to the fore the recyclability of packaging.
What would your advice be to those budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the packaging industry?
We have three simple criteria for any entrepreneurial initiative: be the first, the only, or the best. My advice to them is, “If you can, ideally, be all three.”
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and outreach in 2022 and beyond?
At Kite, we have always invested heavily in our business, whether that be our graduate programme, sales training academy, geographical footprint, logistics or IT. This year and the next will be no different.
Share with us your major award achievements and recognitions.
We have won many awards, but the biggest is probably from Eaton, who we acquired as our first ever group account in 2005. Out of their seventy-thousand worldwide suppliers, we are one of only thirty-three to be nominated for and win one of their awards at their annual event. That’s quite a prestigious achievement, and we have won nine times to date.