KB Packaging has been in business for over thirty years as an independent packaging provider, serving customers across a range of industries, supplying pallet wrap stretch films, adhesive tape, strapping and cartons, as well as bespoke packaging and void fill products.

Centrally located in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, KB Packaging is still family-owned and operated and has retained a number of customers from the early days, but in recent years has also attracted a growing roster of big name clients in sectors including food, logistics, retail and automotive.

KB Packaging works to the highest standards. Having been granted ISO 9001 quality management certification, KB Packaging followed this up in July 2016 by receiving the BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution.
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As a business, KB is constantly looking at how they can create new productivity efficiencies and demonstrate how they can save their customers time and money. Customers are buying into KB’s expert advice and product solutions, which continue to innovate. In its latest development, KB Packaging is launching a new pallet wrapping solution system using Nano technology, which it is offering to customers in a consultation process. Chris Birch, Sales Director at KB Packaging, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

Warehouse & Logistics News – First of all, Chris, what does your role as Sales Director involve day to day?

I head up our sales team, who are all experienced industry specialists with the combined knowledge to resolve any packaging problems. I work very closely with the team and get regular feedback on current market trends. I understand that our customers are working in a high-pressure environment and need people and products they can rely on.

WLN – Do you work with individual customers?

Yes, I work with individual customers ranging from distribution and manufacturing through to retail. I continue to look after some key accounts that I’ve had for a number of years.

WLN – Who else is in the management team with you?

We have a management team with representation from each department – Sales, Purchasing, Marketing, Operations and Finance, who meet regularly to consistently fine-tune our processes and procedures, as we are constantly striving for continuous improvement.

WLN – When was KB Packaging set up, and who by? When did you (Chris) join the company?

My father, Keith Birch set up the family business in 1985. I joined KB Packaging in 1989 after studying engineering for three years. I was and still am passionate about learning sales processes and after studying different methods and techniques I decided to put them all into practice at KB Packaging. Over the years this evolved and grew into the business that it is now. The culture of the business has always been “sharing the load” and being a collaborative asset partner to our clients.
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WLN – You operate to ISO 9001 and recently received the BRC Global Standard for Storage and Distribution. What does this certification mean for customers?

Our ethos is to strive for continuous improvement and the accreditations we have achieved will give our customers peace of mind that they are working with a trusted and competent supplier who delivers. Our customers tell us that it gives them the reassurance that we are operating within best practice, providing packaging products that are fit for purpose.

WLN – What sets KB Packaging apart from other packaging suppliers?

We are focused “solution providers,” meaning that we offer the best value for our clients by matching the right product with the right process. We look at streamlining your packaging process to add value to your operation.

WLN – Which are your biggest standard product areas, in sales terms?

Load stability is one of our biggest product focus areas. We supply a wide range of pallet wrap films including next generation multi-layer and prestretched wrap, which increase efficiencies while providing high load security. In addition to this we offer a full range of load retention products such as strapping and lashing. Another key area that we see for growth is in E-commerce. According to the Retail Gazette (2015), Brits are set to spend £60bn online in 2016, as mobile and tablet use fuels an £8.9bn increase in online sales.

As part of our ethos of sharing the load we are able to offer a turnkey package that includes postal packaging, void fill systems and carton sealing solutions.

WLN – Can people buy these items from you online?

Yes, all of our stocked products are available to purchase online at www.kbpackaging.com. We’re just in the process of building a new website which we will be launching in the New Year. The new and improved website will be easy to navigate and will have lots of exciting new features as we give our customers more reasons to buy our stocked products online.

WLN – What tailor-made packaging products do you offer?

Good question…many of our solutions that we offer to our clients include tailor-made products. These can range from a printed carton to a complete and bespoke packing area. We will work with our clients to design a solution to meet their specific need.
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WLN – Which of these product areas are growing the fastest for you?

For us it’s our next generation multi-layer pallet wrap, because many of our clients are finding that products that use less material, but perform more effectively than traditional methods, not only make them savings but help them with their environmental policy and carbon footprint reduction scheme.

WLN – Do you manufacture these products yourselves?

No. We can offer a wider range of innovation through our collaboration with international strategic partners, giving our customers access to cutting edge technology and innovation.

WLN – How quickly can you deliver stocks of these products to UK customers? Do you cover the whole UK?

All of our stocked products can be delivered next day. In March 2016, we took a decision to outsource all of our transport to Bow Distribution who cover the whole of the UK.

WLN – Which industry sectors are your clients in? Can you talk about what you do for them?

We work with a number of clients from lots of different sectors including logistics, automotive, retail and shop fitting to name a few.

We have recently been able to help a leading global freight company by introducing new pallet wrapping techniques using our market leading multi-layer film in conjunction with streamlining their inbound freight operation. Initial savings on one site are predicted to be in excess of 40%.
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WLN – How did the new nano packaging product come about? Can you tell us about it?

Due to the focus of our business being on “sharing the load,” we saw an opportunity within the marketplace for a new generation of films that offer great benefits over conventional pallet wrap.

Whilst this technology is not exclusive to us, we felt that we we’re best placed to offer our clients a product that could match performance with productivity.

WLN – What does the term ‘nano packaging’ mean? What kinds of businesses and operations is the nano packaging aimed at? How is it different from previous pallet wrap? Is it environmentally friendly?

In scientific terms, nano technology deals with dimension and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres. In terms of packaging this is the next generation of production methods, which enables nano technology to be used in pallet wrap films. This concept is used to create multi-layer films which have a high holding force and puncture resistance, leading to increased pallet stability, meaning that less material can be used to achieve a greater end result than traditional pallet wrap.

This product is aimed at companies who are interested in looking at load stability, increased throughput and controlling costs of their individual pallets wrapped. By default, the product is helping clients to reduce their carbon footprint in many ways.

WLN – How do you work with customers to identify their requirements for nano packaging solutions?

We work with our clients on a consultative process to identify whether nano technology is right for them. This is established by a series of onsite trials using electronic testing equipment that measures the load stability and the holding force while a pallet is being wrapped.

The concept of nano is mainly geared towards bigger users of film where the daily throughput of pallets is quite high.
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WLN – How can people reading this decide if they would benefit from your nano packaging? How do they get in touch with you?

If anyone reading this article is looking for consistency of wrap, increased speed of throughput and greater pallet stability, then nano films could well be worth considering. Our team would love to hear from you and would be ready to visit your site to conduct an assessment – contact us at palletwrap@kbpackaging.com

WLN – How are you promoting this new technology to customers?

We are strategically targeting customers that could benefit from a more streamlined dispatch process and significant savings. In effect, we are using this new technology to implement our vision of “sharing the load.”

WLN –Where do you see KB Packaging going from here?

KB Packaging is growing and developing through close affiliation with our clients’ needs and requirements, so that we are their trusted advisor and collaborative asset partner. We understand that innovating is the key to the success of a strong and lasting partnership with our current and future clients.

KB PACKAGING

Tel: 0115 944 1600

www.kbpackaging.com