28 June 2024


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Article by Nampak 19 June 2013

Nampak Glass’s third furnace is part of a much bigger story

“While the investment of nearly R1-billion in a third furnace is big news, it’s part of a much bigger story that includes laying the groundwork for growth, without losing sight of the customer,” says Stoney Steenkamp, the Divisional Managing Director of Nampak Glass. 

This is a fine balance, which has been achieved by means of a carefully orchestrated strategy that has required time and patience. The Nampak group executive has played a key role in guiding the process, providing leadership and support every step of the way. “As a result, Nampak Glass is stronger now than it’s ever been,” says Steenkamp. “This is largely due to a number of significant investments, as well as a clear focus on the needs of the customer.”

In line with the Nampak group’s commitment of investing in core businesses, the 50% shareholding of German’s Wiegand-Glas was acquired for R938-million, placing full ownership in the hands of Nampak, Africa’s largest packaging company. A further R160-million was invested in a state-of-the-art cullet (waste glass, [Status]) plant, providing a dynamic platform for improved recycling. According to The Glass Recycling Company, of which Nampak Glass is a founding member, all glass made in South Africa has a recycled content of at least 40%. This is the highest recycled content of all the packaging produced in the country!

In order to give effect to the underlying growth strategy, a highly qualified and experienced senior management team has been put in place. Key people are:

• Paul Coombe | Sales Director
• David Ungerer | Customer Services Manager
• Alida van Bruggen | Supply Chain Director
• Gerda Janse van Vurren | Finance Director
• Fanie Vermeulen | Operations Director

A well-known figure in the FMCG industry, Fanie has over 30 years of experience in bottling and filling. At the same time, Paul Coombe has held a wide range of leadership and management roles during his 23-year career at Nampak. They offer a broad perspective and knowledge base, infused with passion, pride and purpose.

For the first time in the history of Nampak Glass, two women take centre stage. Previously, Gerda was the Finance Manager at Nampak’s group head office and Alida was a strategic role player elsewhere. Together, they bring a fresh perspective to the company.

To support the rapidly evolving needs of customers in the space, Nampak Glass is continuously investing in the latest technologies. For example, a pressure sensitive label (PSL, [Status]) machine from Krones is now available as a value-adding service. The company has also achieved FSSC 22000 with PAS 223, which is a prerequisite for the packaging industry. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’re one of the first companies in South Africa to be implementing ISO 22301, the International Business Continuity Standard, and ISO 50001, the International Energy Standard,” adds Stoney.

For food and wine customers in the Western Cape, there are warehouse facilities in Paarl and Wellington, which help improve flexibility and reduce risk. A regional manager and service technicians provide guidance regarding any bottling challenges and needs, with further support from the factory coming from Customer Services Manager, David Ungerer.

In-house designers use advanced modelling software to develop and evolve glass packaging, while finite element analysis and 3D printing of sample bottles are available from the Nampak group’s world-class research and development centre in Cape Town. They’re a quick and easy way to review designs before engaging in the costly and time-consuming process of mould manufacture. They also afford marketers the opportunity and tools for thorough evaluation in the trade.

Although Nampak Glass is continuing to grow, it remains deeply committed to giving its customers personal attention and service. The concept of ‘The Personal Touch’ is – and always has been – a defining feature of the Nampak Glass experience.

“Our hands-on approach to doing business has huge appeal and value, particularly in a transaction-driven economy, where price and volume are the overriding objectives. At Nampak Glass, we have a fairly unique culture in so far that the lines of communication are open from top to bottom, and our leadership team is visibly active and responsible,” explains Stoney.

“In the future, we’re looking forward to growing from where we are, without losing sight of what’s really important, namely our customers!”
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