Written by Bartosz Sowiński
The Seeds of Success
Pregis corporate headquarters are situated in Deerfield, IL, USA. It is from there that the global network of more than 40 plants in 16 countries in North America, Europe and Africa is managed. Such an empire could come into being only due to hard daily work and dedication of the management and workers alike. The company’s commitment to protective packaging manufacturing can be proved even further by its name which was invented as a blend of the English “protection” and Greek “aegis” (shield). Such label was chosen deliberately as a token of Pregis’s striving for perfection in terms of protective products and services. In Poland the corporation has been operating under this brand name since 2005. Originally, it conducted business as Airpack Poland and Pactiv, turning out and retailing air bubble film, polyethylene foam and protective mailers between the years 1996 and 2005. Last year the Pregis corporate headquarters in Poland moved to a new manufacturing centre in Gliwice, where two factory floors of overall space of 16,000 sqm are located under the same roof within a modern machine park called “Tulipan”. The new plant allowed the firm to increase the scale and range of trade in the Central and Eastern European region. At the same time the Polish clientele enjoyed the reduction in shipping times of ordered commodities. Moreover, the state of the art European Packaging Design center in Prague has given a boost to Pregis’s ability to cater for the various packaging needs of customers. The experts employed there as well as innovations utilised can guarantee that the company’s clients will be delivered a product suitable to their most excessive wishes and expectations. European Product Director, Mr. Jakub Stańczyk presents how the Polish branch envisages its growth in the near future: “We would like to be recognised as a producer focused on steady development of our brand and our Customers. We have just completed a new factory, and created new centres for distribution and service of packaging systems. At the moment we are launching a renovation centre. Step by step we want to establish ourselves as a leader of protective packaging solutions.” Mr. Stańczyk also briefly characterises the employment policy implemented by the Polish branch: “Pregis relies heavily on its experienced staff, many of whom have been working for us since the inception, that is around 1997-1998. The company takes advantage of those who have created the business and who boast expertise in technology, production and marketing.”
Different Branches of a Corporate Tree
In 2007 the corporation launched uniform procedures of business management in Europe, which has made its partners acquire access to the entire and wider than before array of products. The quality of these has been substantially improved, too. The standardized decision making system has also accelerated the pace of investment in groundbreaking technologies as well as contributed to the increase in expenditure on research and development. In order to maintain the position of a comprehensive provider for the protective packaging market Pregis keeps expanding the business under the specialized brand names, from among which Pregis Food Packaging deals in the foodstuffs segment, Hexacomb® secures solutions for transportation, Protective Packaging Europe and Protective Packaging North America offer a wide assortment of protective wares on both continents and, last but not least, Sengewald dedicates itself to hospital supplies. All Pregis brands are guided by similar fundamental principles according to which the staff combines creativity, experience and cutting edge technologies for the sake of the clients. These future-oriented solutions contribute to cost reduction while comprehensive and individual advisory services take extreme care to prepare custom-made and flexible projects suitable for the individual demands of particular buyers. After their completion consistent advice is carried on until the product is ready for its introduction to the market. Pregis brands also arrange additional services like product training and shows at the facilities.
Pregis in Poland – Products and Technologies
The specifics of the Polish protective packaging market are further described by Mr. Stańczyk: “Western markets are for the most part dominated by distributors. In the Polish market it is the final consumer that prevails. This means that our Customers use our products and these are not sold or resold any further. Such policy can be implemented owing to a nexus of outlets serving regional markets in Gdynia, Szczecin, Poznań, Wrocław, Warszawa and Gliwice, where our main plant is located. Moreover, we can boast a network of warehouses in Olsztyn, Łódź, Rzeszów i Zielona Góra.” For Polish clientele Pregis Corporation offers a wide assortment of protective packaging, in fabricating of which it uses such materials as: AstroBubble air bubble film, including a trend setting novelty – Co-ex technology (Astro SupraBubble barrier film), AstroFoam polyethylene foam and Polylam and Nopaplank technical foams. Furthermore, the company has gained a good reputation in Poland due to Jiffy high quality protective mailers and such applications as AirSpeed air cushion and Lantech strech film wrapping machines. Fabricated of mono-layer polyethylene AstroBubble air bubble film serves as an ideal example of how both ecological and economical can solve the problem of void filling, transferring, wrapping and cushioning of products. In addition, AstroBubble became a point of departure for multi-layer Co-ex technology, that is barrier film with an additional, thin layer of coextruded polyethylene. This combination maximises the retention of air in a bubble, which makes it possible for better cushioning, longer protection and reduction of packaging costs. The AstroBubble category of products is perfectly complemented by antistatic AstroFoam characterised by the separate compartments structure and density of 35 kg/m3. For those who wish to protect fragile and shake sensitive items, including electronic gears and high quality tools, Pregis turns out and retails Polylam and Nopaplank technical foams. These materials, by virtue of their flexibility and suppleness, prove to be a comprehensive shield against shakes and strikes. Employed in tailor and custom-made designs, they stand out as efficient and convenient in use. As regards Pregis ready products among Polish clientele, it is Jiffy protective mailers that have earned particular recognition. Equally popular, AirSpeed air and paper cushioning systems have drawn the attention of customers with their compact size, durability and ergonomics. They take advantage of the brand new inflatable environment firendly film, EP Flex Renew which besides its perfect protection characteristics is the first in the industry to be biodegradable. Bio-additive accelerates biodegradation, while the process of breaking down the film into biomass, CO2 and methane is performed by microbes, which digest not only bio-additive, but plastic, too. Complete biodegradation typically occurs in one to five years. The innovative Airspeed appliances operate in high efficiency centrally controlled packaging systems processing vast amounts of goods, as well as in the smaller decentralized systems. Apart from that, the Pregis offer also includes Lantech wrapping machines allowing for efficient and economical replacement of manual packaging. Currently Pregis is launching Airspeed 5000 appliances in Europe, which can boast a proven track record among American clientele deploying it in centralized packaging systems. Ergonomic, easy to operate and reliable, these machines use eco-friendly EP-Flex Renew film, which produced cushions filled with air at speed of 23 metres per minute. Pregis offers comprehensive solutions including delivery, packaging system and accessories such as stands, feeders and start and stop detection circuits, which facilitate the wrapping process and contribute to the ergonomics of a workstation.
Pregis Vision – Responsible for the Environment
Mr. Stańczyk tells us more about the vision of the business: “We are determined to achieve recognition in the field of production of advanced protective packaging solutions. It has always been our ultimate goal and the key element of our strategy. We would also like to be identified with technologies that help to protect the goods of our clientele.” Customer care, state of the art technologies and extension of the offer are not the only fields in which Pregis proves supremacy over its competitors. The company pays likewise attention to responsible running of the trade. Thus, it takes action which logically stems from the principles established by the management and formulated in “The Statement of Business Principles”. This reads: “Pregis holds ethics, integrity, and lawful conduct among its topmost priorities. Ethical and lawful conduct is essential to protecting Pregis’s worldwide business and reputation.” Consequently, the firm has achieved its status due to lean management, protection of fair labour practices and respect for free market competition. It is the commitment to the issues of natural environment and responsible ecological policy that play a prominent role in the company’s set of guiding principles. That is why Pregis invests in eco-friendly technologies, which result in effective use of material in the production process, prevention of pollution, utilizing higher percentage of reclaimed and recycled materials in products. Likewise, Pregis has taken a series of initiatives such as: reduction of waste in production, efficient use of energy resources, enhancement of transportation facilities as well as promoting of environmental knowledge and awareness to employees and customers. That is exactly why the company has launched new brands such as Jiffy Green and EP FLEX Renew. Nevertheless, Pregis management knows how to convert environmental concern into profitable investment that pays off not only in terms of actual increase in profits but also has positive impact on nature and standards of health and living of the people. In doing so, Pregis fulfils basic tenets of its philosophy which include striving to minimize environmental impact of the products, investigating sustainable packaging solutions and alternatives as well as combining economic success with environmental protection. This vision also provides strategy and direction based on research testing and development of new technologies and building partnerships and engaging with like-minded customers and suppliers who, like Pregis, care for the society they live in.