Issue Issue 2 2008
Encase is thinking outside the box
Encase has thrived in times past from meeting customers’ specifications for corrugated board packaging.
Today Encase offers much more than that, it works with clients to write the best solutions for the customers and the environment. Encase is the UK arm of Canadian Overseas Packaging Industries, (COPI) which has factories in East Africa and the Caribbean as well as the UK business, which itself was founded on a green-field site in 1969. Having the financial strength of COPI is a great support for new managing director John Lowe and his team because COPI has long-term aspirations in the packaging industry and has a wealth of international experience to contribute to the development of Encase.
With global warming and carbon emissions a concern of everyone nowadays Encase is proud to leave a lighter footprint by offering environmentally friendly packaging solutions. The corrugated board manufactured by the company is at least 70 per cent virgin fibre pulp that is produced under FSC certification meaning that it is made from forest thinnings and sawmill waste. The remaining 30 per cent consists of raw pulp material from recycled paper, making Encase packaging fully recyclable and biodegradable. Indeed the corrugated board industry’s recycling rate now stands at 84 per cent, the highest in the UK packaging industry. To put this percentage in perspective, this means that every four months corrugated board with an area of the Greater London is saved from landfill.
The business has three sites across the UK – at Banbury, East Kilbride and Leeds – each is well invested with specialised equipment to serve local and national markets working as a team to meet individual customer’s total needs.
Encase’s highly experienced staff work around the clock to develop solutions. They know that their customers secure their orders through rapid response to demand. A concept on Monday can become a fully specified solution the same day and be on the supermarket shelf by the weekend. Over the past two years the organisation has invested in specialist CAD/CAM technology and is opening Test Drive Centres on all sites to speed the product innovation process. At the same time over £800,000 has been invested in hardware and business management software from Abaca. This impressive system allows Encase to manage its production and commercial processes in real-time greatly improving the customer service level the company can offer. Encase wants to be renowned for its speed of response.
Customer perception of supplier quality is more than perfectly meeting a product specification, it encompasses the total service. Encase does more than live up to being accredited to ISO 9001 and meeting the standards of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health’s BRC/IOP Global standard for Food Packaging. An increasing part of the company’s output is of products it has designed to meet customer’s needs rather than slavishly meeting standard specifications which are so often wasteful of resources and unnecessarily expensive.
At the company’s Test Drive Centres customers can witness accurate simulation of innovative designs that meet their needs. The latest in CAD/CAM software and prototyping equipment allows the customers to take away tried and tested versions of the solutions developed by them in conjunction with skilled Encase engineers. The Test Drive Centres simulate the working environments of the packaging by replicating the supermarket display area, warehouse and assembly industry each with its peculiar demands. The company showcases the latest in retail ready packaging. It all helps the customer to develop strategies for the manufacture, storage, shipping and display of their products. Improved efficiencies right through the supply chain, best appearance, brand promotion and easy recycling are all part of the best packaging solutions.
Encase believes that matching the competition is not enough. The company has to innovate and this is illustrated by its recent release of a new range of substrates branded EcoWall. These offer equal performance to industry standard substrates for lower first cost, lighter weight and less cube. The savings to the users are highly
significant saving cube and weight in storage, transport, shelf space and recycling.
Many of Encase’s staff have been with the company for 30 years and their knowledge is the bedrock of the company. Their relationships with customers, suppliers and the whole manufacturing process are invaluable. However, managing director, John Lowe was tasked with not just making more of Encase today but adding the additional professionalism to allow the company to grow significantly. He has had 40 years experience of the corrugated board industry, latterly as operations director of the seven UK DSS sites and prior that a similar role with LINPAC. John has recruited 23 new managers in the past 12 months to prepare for and take part in the expansion of the business.
As Encase develops its competence in the UK it is looking at expansion in other parts of Europe. It is fortunate to be owned by the powerful COPI organisation which has had a long term passion for the industry. Encase’s aim is to provide better packaging solutions and accept its responsibility for our common environment.
Products: Corrugated Board
Packaging Solutions Sites: Banbury, East Kilbride, Leeds (UK)