The whole package
A robust supply chain and optimised performance puts Rexam’s Europe & Asia Beverage Can business at the forefront of consumer targeted beverage packaging solutions
Rexam is a leading global consumer packaging company, particularly within the field of beverage can production, which represents 81 per cent of Rexam’s total underlying operating profit. As such, Rexam is the leading manufacturer of such products within Europe, partnering with some of the most famous and successful consumer brands, as well as young entrepreneurial start-ups.
Globally, Rexam has a presence in 25 countries, allowing it to not only provide a global service, but also to cater locally to its markets. In Europe and Asia Rexam’s Beverage Can business consists of 22 plants in 12 countries, including a beverage can plant in Egypt and India, and a joint venture in South Korea. Establishing facilities across a greater global area not only facilitates logistics but ensures that the plants are closer to both the filling sites and retail outlets ensuring optimised efficiency in the transportation of the cans between each part of the supply chain.
In fact at some of the company’s beverage can plants, namely Milton Keynes and Wakefield in the UK, and Ludesch in Austria, an innovative supply chain solution has been implemented which takes this efficiency even further. The can plants are situated next door to the customers’ fillers, and as such, the cans are delivered by a conveyor belt between the two factories. This wall-towall solution means that there are no transport costs or emissions between can production and filling.
As the leading beverage can manufacturer in Europe, Rexam is committed to delivering what it calls ‘The Total Package’ – bespoke packaging solutions for its customers, supported by a best-in-class approach to partnering and services. This package focuses around five key elements – Partner, Passion, Product, Pioneer, and Planet, with each aspect representing a key component of the service Rexam provides. An innovative approach to customer service allows Rexam to work closely with its customers to produce the perfect packaging solution to differentiate their product in the market. This in turn helps to progress business performance for the client in a variety of areas, from improved and unique products through to streamlining process and services.
In order to achieve this, Rexam places great importance on the end consumer and by designing products with them in mind, provides brands with a product that truly suits the needs of its consumers. The company has the largest range of can sizes in the industry and works tirelessly to ensure that its products are amongst the best offered by the market. Through a wide variety of printing techniques, sizes and closures, its attractive and eye-catching cans allow customers to maximise their brand impact as well as carefully targeting consumer segments and drinking occasions. Innovations are not always in the form of products or services, but equally in the way that Rexam applies IM and other technologies. Currently the company is working to create new and pioneering solutions such as the multiaward winning FUSION aluminium bottle.
Rexam is proud of its record on customer partnerships and its commitment to supporting customers and their brands throughout the whole supply chain. In order to achieve its ambition to create the best supply chain in the consumer packaging industry, Rexam and its suppliers strive for continuous improvement in all aspects such as cost, quality, delivery and innovation. The company strives to forge and maintain strong relationships with suppliers, and in return for high levels of performance and service, suppliers can expect a long-term, sustainable and mutually successfully business relationship built upon the four core values of ‘The Rexam Way’ – Trust, Teamwork, Continuous Improvement and Recognition. This is at the heart of everything the company does and forms an essential part of its Supplier Excellence programme, which was created to strengthen Rexam’s relationship with suppliers and provide direction for future improvement.
Elaborating upon this collaborative approach to its supply base, Richard Downes, vice president of Supply Chain and IM at Rexam Beverage Can Europe and Asia says: “Rexam segments its supply base to ensure appropriate resource and investment is committed by both parties. A strong framework ensures clear points of contact between key people, building relationships that foster discussion across all topics including mutual business strategy and performance. It is not appropriate to drive every initiative with every supplier, so Rexam tailors its approach to ensure a good fit for all parties.”
A key component of the Supplier Excellence programme is Rexam’s annual Supplier Awards, which are now in their ninth year and serve to acknowledge those suppliers who deliver exceptional value. In particular, a ‘Rexam Way’ award is given to recognise the supplier that has worked most proactively with Rexamto improve performance and strengthen the business relationship. “It’s always great to see so many of our suppliers at the awards. Each supplier works hard to achieve operational excellence in their area of the supply chain and it is extremely important to Rexam to publicly extend our thanks and appreciation for their efforts throughout the year,” notes Richard.
Whilst the economic outlook for Europe has been challenging in recent years, the beverage can appears to be outperforming the market. Indeed, the full year figures released by the Beverage Can Makers of Europe point to another good performance for beverage cans in 2001, with cans shipped up by as much as five per cent. Yet, the latest forecast from Beverage research agency Canadean suggest that European beer and soft drinks volumes edged forward by just two per cent last year. Of particular note in Europe is the marked rise in soft drink cans shipped, which rose by seven per cent on last year’s figures. One driver of this is the success of energy drinks. In only a few markets did cans shipped fail to rise, whilst in the Netherlands soft drink can shipments expanded by up to as much as a fifth, and sales rose by nearly six per cent in the UK.
Going forward, whilst the global economy continues to require a more cautious and sustained approach, the volumes of beverage cans remains robust. Therefore as part of the overall Rexam group strategy, 2012 is expected to be another year of progress.