In an ever-evolving and highly challenging plastics industry, Astrapak believe that their unique sustainable advantage over like competitors will be demonstrated by two prevailing factors; the first being the speed to market from concept to shelf and secondly, by offering the customer a unique creative element in the overall design which allows them to differentiate their product in the market.
Product Development Executive for Astrapak Moulding Division, Douglas Slogrove, has walked a path with the company for 10 years. “I gained good practical grounding whilst working at JJ Precision Plastics, which has always had an advanced technical environment in the factory. The senior technicians mentored me providing a foundation and insight for design methodology in this industry. My all round experience from being Key Account Manager to basic sales, through to product development over the years, and also my link in the relationship to customers and the experienced gained of the Astrapak business, has been quite a natural progression to be where I am now heading up Group Product Development.”
Astrapak’s Moulding division uses injection blow moulding, extrusion blow moulding and injection moulding technologies in their manufacturing processes. It is in the Moulding division where Slogrove bridges the gap between the sales and commercial teams and technical departments within the factories whilst also assisting with all moulding related projects and product development.
“In the past there was often somewhat of a void with sales teams going into the market with no link back to the technical division. Now we have closed that gap with specialised resources that manage the relationship between sales and the final output from production to better satisfy customer needs.”
Meeting the customer’s brief and pushing the design boundaries to just short of the impossible is a highly definitive aspect of what Astrapak delivers. This service offering is all achieved using high quality equipment. To maintain the competitive edge within the dynamic plastics manufacturing industry, the role of high quality equipment and machinery goes hand-in-hand with pure creativity, innovation and design of products. Providing distinctive end-to-end value to the customer goes beyond just having an excellent concept and producing a product, but also involves the process innovation and the correct manufacturing cycle to meet market demands.
With every new innovation, customers are either trying to regain or grow market share or enter a market that they have not participated in before. Based on the success of the customer’s specific product launch – if they launch on time and successfully through every part of the process – achieving and exceeding the customer’s brief is what determines the success of the entire product development cycle.
“We have embarked on a journey where we are focussing on positioning Astrapak in terms of the innovation and design perspective in South Africa.”
Astrapak aspires to lead in most if not all facets within the local plastics industry and have identified that the over-arching element of design remains the backbone to producing the best quality products on time, every time.