Bulk packaging specialist Fenton Packaging has relocated to a 65,000 sq.ft. site in Leeds and rebranded as Fenton Packaging Solutions. The company has invested over £1 million in the past year to streamline its operations, put a new fleet on the road, and prepare for its next stage of growth, bringing more innovative, sustainable packaging solutions to the market.
“Leeds has a thriving business community and is the perfect location for our business as a third of our clients are currently in the North of England,” says Fenton Packaging Solutions Managing Director Bob Clarke. “We have effectively put everything under one roof at Kinetic 45 in East Leeds, but we are maintaining our distribution depots in Hemel Hempstead and Bristol to ensure national distribution.
“We tried to move in 2007 but the sale of the old sites in Morley, Leeds fell through during the recession, so we can say this has been a long time in the planning! In reality, a combination of changes including the expiry of the lease on a Southern site dictated a complete relook at our national distribution plan and the Kinetic 45 site was selected from many possible alternatives. It enables us to continue to offer an all-round competitive package to our existing and new customer base.
“The move also enabled us to re-brand which has worked exceptionally well with everyone being complimentary about the new look. Look out for our new trucks and trailers on the motorways across the country.”
“To coincide with the move, we’ve taken the opportunity to refresh our brand,” says Purchasing and Operations Director David Wilson. “Repositioning as Fenton Packaging Solutions better matches our style of operation and future plans, while the new logo and colour scheme reflects our sustainability credentials and goals. We are not just a packaging supplier, but a solutions provider for our diverse range of customers. While we stock many well-established and popular ranges, we offer a consultative approach and, through innovation, help to steer our customers towards using the most sustainable packaging options for their businesses.
“As leaders in innovation in our sector, we constantly encourage our dozens of manufacturing partners to develop new and better packaging solutions. We listen to our customers and ensure that their current and future needs are met through innovation and continuous product development. Our top 20 suppliers in the UK and overseas produce around 80% of our product ranges, and we work closely with them, reviewing existing and new product development three times a year.”
For many years, Fenton Packaging Solutions has offered the most sustainable packaging solutions available, but beyond that, the business is actively pursuing a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. The new fleet of 10 trucks meets all government standards in terms of emissions and electric charging points have been installed at the new premises. In another move, Fenton’s whole operations are now paperless. Around half of the company’s product lines are made from highly-recyclable metal, and it is actively migrating customers to PCR Plastic Containers which is in line with new legislation in relation to the Plastic Packaging Tax and contains a minimum of 30% recycled content.
“We are putting a lot of emphasis on bag-in-box packaging solutions,” says David Wilson. “The weight- and space-saving is an obvious advantage, but the fact that the whole packaging can be recycled where facilities exist is also hugely important.”
Investing in people
“Fenton Packaging Solutions’ relocation was aided by Leeds City Council’s Enterprise Zone Gateway project and one of the conditions was to create local jobs,” says Finance Director Sharon Dakin. “It’s great that as part of our expansion, we have taken on four more employees, with more appointments to be announced in due course. We are currently employing around 50 full time staff members, and we are looking to introduce a graduate programme. We have also begun the process of becoming an accredited Investors in People organisation.”
“Fenton Packaging Solutions began over 75 years ago, so the relocation and rebranding represents a very exciting step in our long history,” concludes Bob Clarke. “We are undoubted category leaders and proud to be members of industry organisations such as Campden BRI, the British Coatings Federation and have recently renewed our membership of the Chemical Businesses Association, which helps our visibility.
“As we further invest in innovation and more sustainable packaging solutions, we are also planning to expand our exports to international markets.”