Kite Packaging was founded from scratch in 2001 with a unique vision – to be the premier packaging supplier in the UK with a philosophy of employee-ownership.
At Kite we believe that “customer satisfaction matters so much more when you own the business”, and so, from the moment Kite Packaging was founded, we established it as an employee-owned business so that every single employee could share in the benefits that come from giving great customer service.
What products or services does your company offer?
Kite Packaging is one of the largest suppliers of industrial packaging in the UK. Through our network of 7 distribution centres, we offer a fully stock held, just-in-time delivery service to all mainland UK businesses. Kites unique proposition is all around design and solutions, with our in-house design and engineering teams we are able to design, specify and test the right solution for our customers. Every customer is unique and has their own internal pressures, here at Kite we try to balance these pressures and find the optimal balance between often conflicting needs, like, the environment, product protection, cost, availability, customer experience and many more.
What is unique about Kite Packaging as a business?
Kite is an “employee-owned business.” Over 80% of the people who work at Kite own shares in the business and our strap line is “customer satisfaction matters so much more when you own the business”. What more can I say, it is the people!
Did the Covid-19 outbreak affect your business?
Like all businesses the start of Covid in quarter one 2020, was a worrying time, but we adapted quickly and decisively to the new normal. As it has turned out the macro economic and social changes that have been brought about by the impact of Covid have actually increased global demand for packaging at the same time as putting severe restrictions on the supply of packaging. Because of our strong team ethic and balance sheet, Kite has been able to respond well to these unprecedented events and we have seen good growth on the back of helping our customers to keep going.
What has been the biggest news for Kite Packaging over the last year?
In truth there has not been any big news in the last year. It has been a matter of everyone getting their heads down and working exceptionally hard in often new and stressful ways. I cannot praise the team highly enough for they way they have responded.
What training do you provide for your staff?
We have worked hard on training and re-training over the last year. Despite everything, we decided to keep up with all of our normal training, so we have continued to run our Sales Academies, our Graduate Program and Apprenticeships. On top of this we also did quite a lot of training in the early days of lockdown around using new technologies for communicating with customers and several initiatives that were just aimed at keeping up moral and cutting down on the feelings of isolation.
What is the company’s commitment to social responsibility?
As an employee-owned business CSR is absolutely front and centre for us. We do all of the normal things and we are the only packaging company in the UK to own and run our own Environmental Compliance scheme but are always trying to go that bit further. In 2020 we continued and expanded our work with local charities (every one of our sites adopts a local charity) and we also gave away a very significant quantity of PPE to charities and schools in the early days of 2020 when they were in exceptionally short supply.
How future proof is your business?
Packaging is growing at the global level and so we are optimistic about the future, that is not to say we are complacent, but we have a dynamic and well-trained team supported by a strong balance sheet so we are in a good place to deal with what comes next.
What are you looking forward to as a business in 2021?
Being able to wish members of the team to have a “happy holiday”. It has been a long tough year and people have really earned a proper break so let’s all hope they can get one soon.
How would you sum up your company in three words?
A true Partnership.
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