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GREENPAC: INNOVATION EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER

Going green the smart way

Greenpac has banked on innovation to drive the growth of its packaging business.

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When a packaging assignment is received from a customer, sales managers and engineers of eco-friendly packaging company Greenpac will meet with the customer multiple times to gain a deeper understanding of their requirements. This focus on working with its partners distinguishes Greenpac from competitors.

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"Innovation is a necessity; a requisite for progression, not a luxury. Being in a 'green' field requires us to constantly innovate and transform to make a difference." - CEO Susan Chong, Greenpac

TO help a customer transport live ornamental fish, industrial packaging company Greenpac re-engineered a container in such a way that even if one air pocket gets damaged during shipment, it would not compromise the integrity of the entire packaging.

Another solution that Greenpac developed for a client involved having to pack a metre-high medical instrument itself weighing 12 kg. The firm replaced the original heavy wooden crate that housed the instrument with a box that allowed the total package to weigh less than 30 kg. This meant that it could be checked in as a luggage instead of a cargo shipment.

This solution won the company the Excellence Award at the 3R Packaging Awards by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Established in 2002 by CEO Susan Chong, Greenpac provides eco-friendly packaging solutions to customers, which include Fortune 500 companies and other multinational corporations. These companies come from a range of industries, including aviation, defence, information technology, semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.

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For Ms Chong, focusing on sustainability makes good business sense for companies. "Sustainability is important as it means having the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. From the perspective of a business, it is crucial that our business activities are sustainable to ensure long-term robust growth of the company," she said in an interview with The Business Times earlier this year.

"We need to be socially responsible as well in the acquisition of raw materials used to create our innovative packaging. If we do not look into sustaining resources, we risk running into deficit in future when the resources become limited or scarce."

The firm's suite of services includes kit packing, programme management, warehousing, professional packing, rigging and contract packing. At the heart of Greenpac's success is its ability to craft innovative solutions to meet the needs of its customers.

As such, protecting its intellectual property is critical in maintaining this competitive advantage. Currently, the company has patented two technologies, and to date, the revenue collected from the patents have exceeded the cost of the patent process.

LEVERAGING PARTNERSHIPS

Greenpac drives innovation within the organisation by leveraging partnerships with key customers and suppliers to co-create solutions. This has allowed it to deliver more value and make its product offerings more cost-efficient for customers.

When a packaging assignment is received from a customer, sales managers and engineers of eco-friendly packaging company Greenpac will meet with the customer multiple times to gain a deeper understanding of their requirements.

At the same time, the firm will also work with its various suppliers to develop the most value-added solution that best addresses the customer's needs. This focus on working with its partners distinguishes Greenpac from competitors in the traditional packaging industry.

"We have fostered an innovative culture and instilled in our people to be innovative whenever possible in managing concerns or resolving work issues. Innovation is a necessity; a requisite for progression, not a luxury. Being in a 'green' field requires us to constantly innovate and transform to make a difference," said Ms Chong.

A TOOL FOR INNOVATION

The company has used the Business Excellence framework as a tool to drive the growth of its business, explained Ms Chong.

"The framework is of a holistic nature hence we adopted it and use it to steer the growth of our 'green' business. There are seven areas where the framework focuses on, and in the areas of leadership and planning, gets us to constantly review and re-align our strategies accordingly to meet the market demands and challenges," she said.

She added: "The clear directives will then allow us to streamline our process that leads to higher productivity and efficiency thereby leading us to produce good results. The BE framework has been amalgamated and institutionalised as the DNA of Greenpac which is fused in our training for all staff as well as enthusiastically encouraged in all possible aspects of the work and in our people."

Greenpac was a winner of this year's Innovation Excellence Award, and had previously won the Singapore Quality Award.

The company's contributions to innovation and environmental sustainability have also been recognised with various other honours. It was ranked fourth in the Enterprise 50 Award in 2008, and the company has won the WorldStar Packaging Award, Asia Star Award and Singapore Packaging Star Award in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively, for its innovation and quality in packaging.

Looking ahead, Greenpac has developed three strategic thrusts that will help it navigate a fast-changing business landscape. This includes continuing to develop innovative solutions, establishing a highly innovative workforce and cementing its position as an environmental leader. With initiatives planned all the way to 2020, the organisation will continue to diversify and deepen its capabilities.

Said Ms Chong: "It is a journey in which we are determined to continue and aim to fly the flag of Singapore high, making our marks on the globe."

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