By: Bogdan Putko, Plant Manager at Swedbrand
You may have seen our press releases about our new Premium Rigid Box factory in Gdansk, Poland, which I have the pleasure of managing. First, I want to thank SWEDBRAND for giving me this terrific opportunity. I have been in the packaging industry for 35 years, and I have seen a great deal of change during that time.
What is most exciting about this new opportunity, though, is the ability to help with a clean sheet design of a modern, state-of-the-art, highly automated factory with the backup of a company that is not bound by the traditions of the past.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this engagement, apart from working with such a great team, is the cooperation with our customers. We tune their box designs in order to meet their specific individual needs and to make them fit into our automated workflow here in Gdansk as much as possible. At the same time, we encourage them to take advantage of the newest materials. This way, not only can their premium rigid boxes achieve the highest quality, but they are also recyclable and, in many cases, compostable. Sustainability is important to me and to our team and, increasingly, to our customers as well.
I think what has been most surprising is our ability to restructure the manufacturing process so that we are extremely competitive compared to the Asian manufacturing currently used by many of our brands. Once we understand the customers’ requirements and apply our expertise to make the necessary changes without affecting the brand image – and in many cases, to improve it – our customers are usually quite surprised. The total cost of the project, including the transportation to European destinations, is actually less compared to their prices from Asia. Certainly, labor costs are higher than in Asia. But the real difference lies in our ability to reduce the amount of labor required, and to dramatically reduce shipping costs and shipping time. This way we get the product to our brands weeks faster, giving them more time in the marketplace, and thus speeding up the turnover rate.
On a personal note, I’m not even thinking about retiring at this point. Forty years sound like a long time, and had this opportunity not come along, I might have chosen to retire. But working with this team, in this modern state-of-the-art factory, as the end of my working career approaches, is a gift I plan to take advantage of for some time to come!
As we exit the pandemic, I hope we can invite more visitors to our factory so they can see first-hand all of the amazing practices we have implemented
, as well as the sustainability of the overall plant. But meanwhile, I hope people will take the time to view our virtual tour – or schedule a personal virtual tour – so they can see why I am so excited about this operation!
Contact us to schedule your personal virtual or in-person tour!