Interview with Marcus Clarke, Sales Director

Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, Allpack has seen a seismic and lasting behavioural change in consumers buying habits, resulting in stratospheric growth in the ecommerce sector.

Marcus Clarke, Sales Director at Allpack, gives an overview of the company and its exciting plans for the future.

What products or services does your company offer?

Allpack supplies process-intelligent, environmentally focused, single-sourced packaging contracts, typically into high volume, fast paced distribution centres. Packaging products that secure your product safely through a courier and distribution network.

We focus on maximising efficiencies, reducing downtime and wastage in the packing process, whilst maximising design to ensure great customer experience.

What sectors do your customers operate in?

Our focus is e-commerce/retail and 3PL fulfilment, followed by transport and courier providers.

What is unique about your company as a business?

Our vertically integrated supply chain gives our clients the greatest cost benefit combined with lean operational efficiency.

By taking control of our supply chain, we can deliver lower prices, faster lead times, and inventory optimisation – less space required for packaging. We deliver reliable and consistent service, compliance and visibility levels – offering full tracea bility and quality control within a shorter supply chain.

Do you have any examples of a project you have recently completed?

Allpack have recently had a tender awarded from the UK’s fastest growing book retailer with their e-commerce sales gaining 300% growth over 12 months.

We introduced stock holding for all lines on next day delivery, then streamlined product requirements by analysing the fulfilment process, increasing efficiency in packing operations. We introduced daily deliveries during peak periods, ensuring their continued growth could handle increased throughput.

Allpack then introduced online ordering for next day delivery. Our unique Oxbox™ board was introduced to consolidate double and single wall carton use, streamlining corrugated requirements, and simplifying ordering. Branded cartons were set with multi-height creases, allowing for more accurate pack sizing, and reducing void fill use.

Allpack then worked closely with the integrations team to develop a bespoke pack bench system to reduce fulfilment times and simplify workflows for station operatives. Hoppers were installed atop conveyors to dispense void fill quickly and conveniently, this improved packing productivity.  

Following successful installation of the pack bench system, Allpack then headed up an inventory management project with the introduction of a consignment stock management system which enabled a ‘pay as you use’ plan which enabled invoicing information on a bi-weekly basis— again driving efficiencies through reduction in administration. Allpack is committed to ensuring we continue to add value through consistent, on-time goods deliveries and regular assessment of system requirements throughout 2021 and beyond.

How has your company reacted to the Covid-19 outbreak? What have been the biggest challenges faced by the company?

Quite simply we reacted quickly. We created a plan, brainstormed potential problems, engaged immediately with all major customers and suppliers and most importantly we created a plan to review every 48 hours.

The situation at the beginning of 2020 was changing so fast, we made it our priority to make small but critical changes in our business quickly to ensure seamless supply to our clients. The greatest challenge was the global corrugated shortage.

Have you been able to turn any of these challenges into opportunities?

Our vertically integrated supply chain combined with a very powerful and reliable MRP system enabled us to react quickly to secure volume production of raw material which not only gave all our existing customers consistent supply, but enabled us to help some of the UK’s largest retailers when other producers couldn’t keep up with demand. As a result, we have secured three large multimillion-pound contracts.

What has been the biggest news for your company over the last year?

Our new purpose-built HQ! We’re excited to be heading to a centrally located (just off the M6 Toll) distribution centre which will be the ultimate ‘go to’ place for our clients to get creative with their packaging designs, working with our cardboard engineers in our new state-of-the-art Innovation Centre .

Our process-intelligent pack stations and semi-automatic machinery systems will all be on display to give our clients the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.

Do you have any recent examples where you have provided innovation for your clients?

Innovation is part of our DNA. Every business partner, product, or service we have to do with we look to apply innovation to improve or reduce to bring about a win win for all parties.

A great example of product innovation is our Gripfilm® hand applied stretch wrapping system. This simple system which we have recently introduced into two of the UK’s largest budget retailers has been, in their own words, a ‘game changer’, massively increasing output and reducing costs, whilst minimising operator fatigue and sickness absences.

What training do you provide for your staff?

At every level. We invest and believe in staff investment and engagement. From First Aid through to ABM (Advanced Business Management), our key focus is ensuring our people feel valued and able to realise their own potential.

We have a dedicated programme – the Allpack Academy - which all staff enrol into. Our passion for our people drives our training goals and builds deeper resources of team talent, creativity, and endeavour than anyone in the business.

What is the company’s commitment to social responsibility?

We are a SEDEX registered company, ISO 14001 and FSC certified, and have detailed and stringent Anti-bribery and Modern Slavery Policies in place. We see CSR as critical for sustainability of the business for generations to come.

At the core of our CSR values are our passion for education and mental health issues, and we donate six figure sums to these causes every single year.

What improvements have you made to your customer service recently?

OTIF levels drive our customer service. We have recently implemented a whole new level of scoring and has been one of the IT departments biggest projects in 2021. This was to deliver and publish throughout the business accurate and highly detailed OTIF scores, now on 2 levels: order level and line level. We are merciless on our reporting which in turn delivers great customer satisfaction.

How future proof is your business?

The demand for packaging is increasing due to online sales continuing to soar, so the future is bright. However, any market is getting squeezed constantly and the packaging market is no different, so we are not resting on our laurels!

Allpack will continue its innovation drive and the streamlining of our supply chain, which will continue to deliver lower prices, faster lead times and inventory optimisation.

What are you looking forward to as a business over the next year?

It’s got to be our new HQ! We’re so looking forward to more engagement with our clients as we come out of lockdown and this will be a great way to do it!

Will you be exhibiting at any trade shows in the near future?

Yes definitely, we were hoping to last year, but most have been cancelled. We’re looking forward to Intralogistex 2021 in July!

How would you sum up your company in three words?

Its got to be ‘A Better Package’!