There’s much more to Antalis Packaging, the packaging business of Antalis UK, besides just being a leading packaging supplier to warehouse and logistics operations, e-commerce businesses and other organisations of different kinds. As well as providing an extensive packaging product range backed by an outstanding delivery service, Antalis Packaging’s highly experienced team of experts carries out free audits and consultations to help existing and potential customers review their packaging arrangements and achieve cost savings and output efficiency improvements, while maintaining maximum protection of goods, reducing damages and returns.
Antalis Packaging works in partnership with clients to formulate and implement tailored packaging solutions which add value and deliver return on investment. This process may involve the introduction of new or bespoke protective packaging solutions, automated systems or a complete rethink of the customer’s packaging and warehouse setup.
Richard Champion, Packaging Business Director – Antalis, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
Warehouse & Logistics News – First of all, Richard, what does your job entail day to day?
I’m responsible for the four packaging companies within Antalis’ UK operation, so I’m involved in the strategic direction of the business, organisational decisions and overall business performance.
WLN – Do you get personally involved with developing packaging solutions for customers? Who else is in the senior management team?
I don’t tend to get involved directly, as all our packaging businesses have a dedicated team of experts working to review our customer’s operations and deliver packaging solutions that improve efficiencies and add real value to their businesses. I also have the support of an excellent and experienced management team, which includes senior executives from all of the four packaging businesses within Antalis.
WLN – How long have you been in this role? What were you doing before that?
I’ve been in this role for one year, having previously worked as Marketing Director of Antalis UK & Ireland for six years.
WLN – For the uninitiated, how big is Antalis here and around the world?
The Antalis Group is the number one packaging, paper and visual communications merchant in Europe, and the leading supplier in the UK and Ireland where we distribute our market leading range of over 13,000 products from 16 logistics centres situated across the country. Globally, Antalis is number two in the world, employing 5,585 people and serving 120,000 customers in 44 countries across the world generating a turnover of €2.6 billion in 2015.
WLN – When did Antalis Packaging come into being?
The packaging business of Antalis UK has been selling protective packaging since the mid-80’s. The company grew organically to become a £21m business prior to the acquisition of Ambassador Packaging at the end of 2011, which more than doubled its turnover. The business traded under the name Ambassador Antalis for three years until January 2015 when it rebranded to Antalis Packaging, consolidating its corporate identity under the single Antalis brand.
WLN – Getting down to business, what different types of packaging products do you offer?
We offer a wide range of products from leading brands such as 3M, Jiffy and Sealed Air. This allows customers to source their packaging materials from one place, whether they are looking for simple products such as boxes and tape, or fully automated solutions designed to increase operational efficiency. We also provide consultancy, flexible delivery options and bespoke packaging design.
WLN – What kinds of cost savings and output efficiency improvements can customers hope to achieve with your help, over what kind of time period?
While our product offering is extensive, we are more than just a supplier. We have a wealth of experience and our expert teams work in partnership with our customers to introduce new products and solutions to increase efficiencies, streamline operations, speed up processes as well as deliver significant cost savings.
We work with customers to pinpoint problem areas and identify where improvements can be made. This might be in the form of materials cost savings through the introduction of a new carton, more effective protective solutions to reduce product damage and returns, as well as looking at helping to optimise space within the warehouse through the use of products or working on just-intime delivery and stock management. We also offer a range of semi-automated and fullyautomated solutions that can speed up operational throughput as well as reduce costs.
WLN – Which of these different industry sectors do you see as being most likely to benefit from your solutions?
Given our extensive product range, expertise and service offering, almost any business in any industry sector can benefit. Our client portfolio includes companies operating in retail, ecommerce and logistics, a vast range of manufacturing companies from the food, automotive, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics sectors through to smaller regional merchants.
WLN – Talking of e-commerce, what kind of e-commerce solutions do you provide?
We offer a complete e-commerce packaging solution to help clients get their products to their customers on time and in perfect condition, in turn maintaining reputation and customer loyalty. With ecommerce in the UK expected to grow by 85% between 2015 and 2020, our goal is to help our customers in this sector develop a cost effective and efficient operation that future proofs their business to deal with this increase in demand. In addition, all of our packaging materials are available through a transactional website where B2B customers can place orders online and review purchases.
WLN – Can you name any existing Antalis Packaging customers and tell us about what you do for them?
We work with a huge range of customers, from small start-ups to worldwide brand leaders, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate, many of our customers prefer not to discuss their internal packaging operations publically. Occasionally, we are able to discuss the work we have done with some of our customers. We’ve had a long standing working relationship with Seabrook Crisps where we were able to specify and recommend the introduction of a Lantech pallet wrapper into the tertiary packaging operations which improved palletised load integrity and delivered the company material cost savings in excess of 40%.
WLN – How do you go about the process of evaluating customers’ packaging operations and how long does it take to report back?
Every situation and customer visit is different, so how long the process takes is very much determined by what the customer wants from us. If our client wants us to review their operations, we’ll take what time we need to understand all aspects of their packaging operations, from product and order data, size of cartons and product selection, through to efficiency, environmental requirements as well as package integrity. We also get our packaging technologist involved to help address pain points, test new or bespoke products, identify suitable solutions and provide comprehensive feedback. Where a simple, tried and tested solution is required, this can take as little as a few days as we offer next day UK delivery for orders placed before 6pm. However for a complete solution that requires new bespoke designs, prototypes, testing and production, this can take up to several weeks.
WLN – What online management information do you offer?
We offer a number of online tools to help customers manage the procurement of inventory and storage of its stock. Our tools provide management information including order history over a period of time as well as inventory management for bespoke products.
WLN – Who should potential customers contact to find out more?
In the first instance, they can chat to one of our packaging specialists on 0870 241 1466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can then follow up with the appropriate expert depending on their requirements.
WLN – Do you offer your audit and consultancy service to UK customers’ overseas operations?
We are part of the worldwide Antalis Group and therefore have sales teams that specialise in providing solutions for customers with international operations.
WLN – Are you planning to offer similar specialist packaging services in other countries?
The Antalis Group already operates in 44 countries across the world!
WLN – What external factors do you see as driving demand for your solutions going forward?
There are a number of factors but the most influential are the growth of ecommerce and the need for businesses to be more cost effective and environmentally responsible.
WLN – Businesses these days are very conscious of their CSR. How do you help customers to reduce their carbon footprint while protecting their products?
We are dedicated to finding solutions that help our customers address their environmental responsibility while maintaining maximum product protection. Take our new 100% carbon neutral Eco-box range where each box is enhanced with a heavy duty, single wall, corrugate offering the same protective qualities as a double wall. The box is made from FSC Certified Board, is 40% lighter than a double wall and allows for 40% more on a pallet.
Antalis has also introduced our Green Star System to help consumers select the most environmentally friendly products from our range which includes products that are made from recycled materials and are recyclable.
WLN – How are you promoting your services to potential clients?
We use all the communications channels to promote our services but it’s more important to us that we deliver a service that speaks for itself. We also have a dedicated solutions website www.antalispackagingsolutions.co.uk where companies can go to seek advice, inspiration and solutions to problems that are commonly faced by our customers.
WLN – Finally, where do you see Antalis Packaging going from here?
To continue to grow by putting customers at the centre of what we do; providing them with reliable solutions that reduce cost, minimise downtime, eliminate returns and improve efficiency.
Tel: 0370 241 1466