Fri, 26/10/2018 - 07:55
Current Issue 71
Thinking Outside the Box
For Royal Crown Packaging, business excellence is defined by an innovative culture, sound investment and captivated employees
Writer: Jonathan Dyble
Project Manager: Lewis Bush
Ecommerce is becoming ever-present in the modern day. With shopping baskets literally in the palm of each and every consumer’s hand with mobile applications, the industry has exploded in recent years, now valued at more than $2.3 trillion globally.
With massive market potential at stake, innovation has become synonymous with all aspects and segments of commerce, reflected in things as ubiquitous as packaging.
According to recent forecasts, the global corrugated box market is expected to reach just short of $100 billion by 2025, growing at roughly 4.6 percent a year for the next seven years, with 95 percent of all products in the US shipped using such containers.
And whilst the primary purpose of the corrugated box has remained the same during the 128 years since its invention, the innovative capabilities that are incorporated into their design have advanced dramatically – capabilities reflected by the work of Ghana’s Royal Crown Packaging Limited (RCPL).
“Say you want a box that is shaped like… I don’t know… a bottle, or a person. Our equipment means we can create these things and a whole lot more,” says Sally Osei-Boateng, the Company’s Group HR & Corporate Communications Head.
“We’ve invested in the latest machinery with the future in mind, demonstrated by our latest sample machine that allows us to cut out any unique design that our customers may require.”
Investment is a core part of RCPL’s business strategy, allowing it to not only meet rising industry demands, but also retain an edge over its competitors, with highly innovative, quality products.
“Our corrugator machine has the capacity to produce for all of West Africa and beyond, allowing us to capture both the whole of West Africa and new markets,” Osei-Boateng explains. “We’ve also recently added two converting lines, expanding on what we previously had thereby enabling us to meet our clients’ requests at a much faster rate.”
Combining this expansive productive capacity with a sound recognition of geographic differentiation, the firm has grown to serve a range of different markets, primarily in Ghana, but also with footprints in Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and other Sub-Saharan countries.
“Our strategies are intertwined with a combination of geographic and behavioural factors that affect things like brand loyalty and price sensitivity,” says Osei-Boateng. “We may have customers with a similar demographic makeup but distinctly different selective tendencies, so we need to ensure we are flexible.”
While RCPL’s presence is advancing by the day through this adaptable approach, the Company equally continues to abide by the same overriding philosophies that have been fundamental in allowing it to expand so rapidly to date.
Known as PRIDE, this ethos outlines a cultural commitment to passion for its customers; results orientated operations; integrity; diversity; and excellence.
“Our key philosophy is to never repeat yesterday’s mistakes. We ensure that we learn new and improved ways of working each and every day,” states Osei-Boateng. “Currently we work in just some industry segments, but the long-term goal is to reach a point where we are providing 360-degree packaging solutions.”
One key element of this continual improvement strategy is evident in the major emphasis that RCPL places on its research and development (R&D) practices.
Currently developing a six-storey facility in front of its customer warehouse and factory in Ghana that is set for completion later this year, the firm is planning to dedicate an entire floor to R&D, ensuring that it always remains ahead of the industry curve.
“In addition to our quality boxes which perform in line with international standards and to our clients’ satisfaction, we have improved our R&D capacity and capabilities to offer and deliver world class design and printing services,” explains Osei-Boateng.
Forever placing its customers at the forefront of all its operations, Osei-Boateng understands that the firm’s visionary reputation, largely facilitated by this improvement-centric ethos, has been key in not only maintaining its existing customer base but also attracting new business.
“We understand that our sustainability depends on not only improving on our product quality, but equally on the service excellence we demonstrate towards our clients that reinforces our relationship and ultimately their loyalty,” she adds.
“The industry is gearing towards more sophisticated packaging that offers good performance and outstanding appeal. We have plans far in advance to stay ahead of the competition and offer innovative solutions to our clients that best promotes and adds value to their products.”
In the same way that RCPL’s investment and R&D practices have been fundamental to its success, Osei-Boateng is quick to praise the Company’s staff – an element she considers to be the firm’s greatest asset.
Driven by its ambitious people management objectives, RCPL has implemented a wealth of employee engagement and training plans throughout its structure, from its mentoring activities to its welfare programmes.
Osei-Boateng explains: “We make sure that our staff are happy because we believe that only when the staff are happy will they put in their best. From our cleaners to our drivers, we make sure that we listen to everybody’s concerns, suggestions and queries, as we know that everybody has something to offer and everyone can have a positive impact.
“Currently 91 percent of our staff are Ghanaian nationals,” she adds. “The aim is to create jobs in our country and train local people to be able to deliver services to world class standards.”
Similarly, RCPL readily establishes partnerships with local companies, helping to bolster the economy whilst simultaneously reducing raw materials costs, enhancing its inventory management and transit time.
RCPL has an extensive corporate social responsibility programme, collaborating with orphanages, schools and government initiatives.
“Our strong belief is in giving back to the society within which we operate to enhance the lives of the people in the areas of education, health, sports and more,” says Osei-Boateng.
With some of the most advanced industry equipment and staff, not only across Ghana but the African continent as a whole, RCPL is set to continue to move forward with its PRIDE ethos in mind, differentiating from the competition with its inclusive and creative culture.
Asked what to expect for RCPL in the coming years, Osei-Boateng reveals that the firm “will be pursuing expanded market penetration, expanded market share and expanded product development”.
Further, with an eye to achieving this, RCPL is looking to place substantial emphasis on expanding its horizontal growth programme by bolstering its regional outreach and product development chain.
“Our initial focus is aiming at securing a 50 percent market share in Ghana and West Africa within our first five years of operation,” says Osei-Boateng.
“We’ve come a long way in just three years, but this is still just the beginning.”