Performance Review

Production and

Continuous quality improvement along the value chain

For Vetropack, the quality of products is the top priority. This applies to all locations in accordance with the “One brand, one quality” motto. However, the understanding of quality goes beyond this and includes optimising all processes along the value chain. This is necessary both to satisfy customers’ more stringent demands and to improve efficiency. Quality improvements also have a positive impact on occupational safety and environmental pollution. Under the heading “Leader in quality”, this ambition is being pursued as a strategic direction of the new Strategy 2030.

One component of Vetropack’s understanding of quality is “lean management”, which aims to avoid waste of any kind through continuous improvement. The rollout of the “Vetropack Production System” (VPPS) project, which was launched in 2020, continued during the year under review. Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID crisis, the focus was placed on creating fundamental structures. “Lean engineers” have already been hired at various plants. In the coming years, VPPS is to be gradually introduced at all locations. At the same time, the exchange of experience at Group level is to be further promoted. In the newly organised Technology and Production division, continuous improvement activities (e.g. Lean, Six Sigma) are coordinated at Group level. For this purpose, a position was created in the Performance division to ensure a uniform approach to performance projects in the Group. This will ensure a stronger exchange of knowledge beyond the boundaries of the organisational units in the future.

Performance Review: Learning organisation

Some measures to increase quality also require the support of partners in the value chain. For example, the standards for reusable transport aids (pallets and layer pads) established in the year under review.

The Performance Division, which is part of the Technology and Production Division, will work closely with the Quality Assurance Division – consisting of the quality assurance experts from all plants – to drive forward the standardisation and unification of the production and production support processes. The goal is to introduce Group-wide process and quality standards in all important production processes that combine high production performance with the highest quality. In addition, these standards form the basis for the rapid integration of new production sites into the Vetropack Group.

Vetropack measures the number of complaints per glass container sold and critical defects identified internally as the main key figures for quality improvement.

Digitalisation and automation

At Vetropack, digitalisation and automation initiatives are key to sustainable business development. The company is using the range of new technologies to develop its processes and endeavours to improve efficiency through automation solutions. As part of the strategy process, digitalisation and automation were defined as one of five strategic directions that will shape the company’s further development in the next ten years.

Digitalisation is taking place in all areas of the company at Vetropack, whether in the simplification of administrative processes or in production. For this reason, Vetropack developed a digitalisation roadmap as early as 2019 and implemented the first measures. Based on the SAP system “SAP4Hana” introduced in 2020, for example, the degree of digitalisation of purchasing processes was further increased. Invoicing (“Vendor Invoice Management VIM”) is now paperless.

After the production planning tool was migrated to the new SAP system in 2020, the second step in the year under review was to merge production planning into a single Group-wide process. This should enable production capacities to be used even more efficiently and flexibly in the future.

In the year under review, Vetropack also made use of the opportunities offered by digitalisation to keep communication going with customers, suppliers and employees under difficult circumstances. Previous investments in mobile working arrangements and a Group-wide conferencing infrastructure paid off during the lockdown due to the pandemic in particular. Vetropack also launched an app for internal communication and published the @vetropack staff magazine online for the first time.

Key areas of Strategy 2030 in which digitalisation and automation play an important role include “Drive innovation and digitalisation”, “Leader in quality” and “Operational excellence”. Digitalisation is a prerequisite for optimising various sales processes, while automation is mainly used in the production process. Vetropack has therefore defined the customer complaint rate, customer satisfaction value, production losses, internal critical defects and the occupational accident rate as relevant performance indicators.

Customer-specific products

Vetropack implements ideas in products and, in doing so, guarantees a high standard of service and quality. The Group is therefore well equipped to supply high-quality and innovative glass packaging that is tailored to customers’ needs. Short communication channels between the production teams and customers allow Vetropack to react to customers’ requirements at any time and develop new products within a short period.

In order to further professionalise its collaboration with customers and thus increase customer satisfaction, Vetropack 2021 has increased its personnel. A Customer Excellence and Strategic Account Manager was recruited to work with a core team of sales experts to develop a strategic programme for key accounts. Furthermore, the team in Italy was strengthened with an additional marketing function to support the Group’s marketing activities and at the local level. And to give additional thematic impetus to quality assurance, the position of Group Quality Assurance Manager was newly filled.

During the year under review, Vetropack further optimised its workflow tool in order to align the entire supply chain even more closely with innovation.

For many of Vetropack‘s customers, the consequences of the COVID-related restrictions were drastic. Accordingly, Vetropack continued to focus on new products and packaging variants in the year under review that provide customers with the best possible support under the changed circumstances.

New designs

An important development topic for Vetropack is its technology for the production of multi-trip bottles made from lightweight glass (“VIP Glass”). Other fields with particular growth opportunities include glass packaging for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as products that address the growing trend towards sustainability. This is not only about more sustainable packaging, but also about reliable statements to satisfy the information needs of various stakeholder groups. This is where Vetropack can support its customers with sound data on the environmental performance of their products.

Vetropack Story: Vetropack Improved Performance Glass entering a new phase

As part of Strategy 2030, Vetropack defined the innovation rate and customer satisfaction as key indicators for measuring progress. The innovation rate is calculated by dividing the number of new glass containers (based on shape, process technology, size and colour) by the total number of units sold. The objective is to increase the innovation rate over time. As in 2020, the innovation rate in 2021 remained at the same level as in 2019 (at 5.7%) due to the COVID crisis and some delayed product launches. Thanks to the establishment of the Innovation Centre, this value should continue to rise in the coming years.