Leader of the pack

Celebrating its 40th year in operation during 2016, Sapin is considered a pioneer in can manufacturing within Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East

Since the business was founded during 1976 in Dammam, Saudi Arabia Sapin has grown from humble beginnings to today represent one of the region’s largest and most acclaimed packaging suppliers. Taking its name from an abbreviation of ‘Saudi Arabian Packing Industry’, the business has amassed four decades of industry experience in the manufacture of packaging products, with a core competency in metal cans within the food, chemical and paint market sectors. Within the food sector for example, Sapin products are used in the packaging and sales of cheese, baby food and powdered milk, while the company’s competence also extends to metal canisters for aerosol sprays. Within the paint market, Sapin is also able to provide both metal and plastic pails according to the needs of its clients.

During its 40-year history, Sapin has operated as a market-leader in the development of packaging solutions and technology. This has allowed the company to become to partner of choice in packaging solutions for globally recognised brands including Nestle, Kraft and Airwick, to name a few. “As a company we adopted a lot of technology early on,’ explains Marketing and Communications Manager, Saurabh Timochin. “For example we were the first to bring computer to plate printing into the Saudi Arabian market. We are also recognised as the highest quality provider of products compared to our competitors within the region, so while we are not the cheapest option we are very quality focused and this has allowed us to supply big-name brands across several industries.”

Sapin currently manages four manufacturing facilities comprised of three plants within Saudi Arabia and a further factory in Dubai, which provides the company with greater logistical flexibility that allows the business to serve the entire Middle Eastern region. To further increase its effectiveness in reaching its customers, Sapin has also recently made a significant investment into the development of its new website with a view to eventually allow clients to interact with the business directly via the webpage. “Our new website has yet to go live at the time of writing because it is that new,” Saurabh exclaims. “However, we intend to go live with it over the coming weeks and our eventual aim is to further serve our clients through the website by making it easier for customers to access purchase orders and bills and so on. The full capability of this development is anticipated to be online within the next year. we recently won an Award for the ‘Best New Manufacturing Website’ during the 15th Pan Arab Awards  or Excellence. The primary criteria for this was how ‘crisp’ the website is and how it is laid out in terms of logic, so it is very easy to navigate. Although we are a manufacturing company we wanted to make the website completely uncomplicated and approachable by clients old and new.”

Throughout all of its operations Sapin is dedicated to acting with both corporate and social responsibility and presently holds ‘Platinum’ membership with the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, as the first private company within the region to do so. “We are proud of this achievement and we believe that environmental regulation is something that should become more important within the industry during the future and we want to be ahead of the curve as this happens,” Saurabh says. “We also maintain a lot of healthcare initiatives and are one of the biggest supporters of ‘Think Pink’, the Saudi Arabian campaign against breast cancer. We also support the Saudi National Guard and the Ministry of Health in their campaign against obesity.”

Although global trading conditions within a number of markets have been affected by the impact of the drop in oil price, Sapin continues to achieve positive performance across each of its key markets. “Market conditions at the moment are a little slow, largely due to the drop in oil prices,” Saurabh elaborates. “However different industries each react slightly differently, so food for example is a little erratic because of the interruption of exports to Iraq and Syria while paint is generally stable with slow but consistent growth. Aerosols are again a little erratic due to the wider market being less stable, but our sales are certainly not bad despite the fact that trading conditions are relatively volatile throughout the Middle Eastern region.”

Sapin has built its success through delivering consistently high levels of quality in products and new designs in collaboration with industry leaders. “We work closely with our clients to develop new packaging products. For example, aluminium is an ‘unsung hero’ within the retail sector because it omnipresent – it really is everywhere,” Saurabh reveals. “But equally it has also been missing in some areas, therefore we worked in collaboration with Kraft to develop the world’s first aluminium cheese can. This might not sound like much but it is actually a very complicated process because all other cheese cans have to be opened with a can opener, but our design has an easy-peel lid and incorporates specially formulated Lycra. This means that once the can is opened the cheese can easily slide out without the need of a further tool such a knife or other object. The design was subsequently recognised by a number of awards.”

Throughout 2016 and beyond, Sapin will work to build on its market-leading position in the face of a challenging market, while expanding its focus on sustainable operation. “Operationally we have already gone paperless, we have migrated all of our administration procedures to electronic means. We have also stopped using disposable cups and our process is focused on using CNG, which is a cleaner fuel than petrol. We aim in the future to also change our lighting to LED so when it comes to environmentally responsible operation we have taken the opening steps and are keen to continue in this direction,” Saurabh concludes. “While the low cost of oil and the political situation in Yemen, Syria and Iraq has created some instability, we are keen to remain market-leaders and to grow by at least ten per cent on 2015.”

Services: Pioneer in can manufacturing