Sustainability Report

Production and

Continuous quality improvement along the value chain

Management approach

The continual improvement of the quality of all processes along the value chain is a core element of Vetropack’s corporate philosophy and one of five strategic directions of Strategy 2030. In line with the “Leader in quality” motto, the company meets rising customer expectations, increases the efficiency of production processes and remains competitive over the long term.

The entire management team at Vetropack holds ultimate responsibility for the continual improvement of quality, although continual improvement processes in the sense of “lean management” as defined by Six Sigma are well established at all plants, where they are actively supported by the respective workforces. For example, internal specialist groups at various facilities work on projects to improve occupational safety, environmental protection and quality assurance. Improving quality and thus product quality is the responsibility of the cross-sectoral “Technical Performance, Technology and Quality” specialist group as part of the “Leader in Quality” strategic focus.

Progress is assessed by means of various quality indicators, such as the number of customer complaints per glass container sold and the number of internal critical defects. Clear annual targets have been set for all indicators.

Digitalisation and automation

Management approach

Vetropack considers digitalisation and automation to be key drivers of the company’s further development and defined the topic as a key element of the “Leader in Quality” strategic direction when developing Strategy 2030. The company endeavours to systematically make use of the opportunities offered by digitalisation and automation in order to boost its quality and productivity and reduce costs. Digitalisation and automation also offer additional benefits in that they relieve employees from performing routine tasks, help increase occupational safety, and ensure the efficient exchange of data with suppliers and customers.

The Head of Finance, Controlling, Procurement and Sales, and the Head of Engineering and Production, are responsible for developing and implementing digitalisation and automation projects together with Information Technology. Potential for process optimisation is exploited through investment projects, provided the solution in question is expected to lead to an adequate return on investment (ROI). Successful implementation of digitalisation and automation solutions requires Group-wide harmonisation of work and process flows and the continual training and professional development of employees whose job profiles are significantly affected by digitalisation.

Management approach: Innovation strategy and portfolio, process innovation with suppliersVetropack Story: New labelling machine at Kyjov plant

Customer-specific products

Management approach

Vetropack aims to create added value and firmly establish its brands by offering its customers innovative, distinctive and sustainable glass packaging. Ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction is crucial if the leading position in its European core markets is to be maintained and steady profitable growth is to be achieved.

New designs

Vetropack’s sales team is responsible for a customer-oriented sales and marketing strategy. The information required for this comes from daily interactions with customers and a customer satisfaction survey conducted periodically. The most recent customer survey was carried out in 2019, the next one is planned for 2023. Vetropack was rated “good” or “very good”, which puts the company above the competitive average. Order processing, customer orientation, reliability and the proximity of production plants were cited as the company’s most important strengths. Knowledge gained from the survey will help Vetropack implement targeted improvement measures designed to increase customer satisfaction even further. A new “Commercial Excellence” function was created in 2021, which led to the introduction of specific training and development measures for “Strategic Account Managers”.

Trade fairs and other events are a key instrument for Vetropack to cultivate relationships with customers among other things. However, because of the – in some cases severe – limitations on travel and meeting other people that were still ongoing in the attempt to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Vetropack has also developed virtual alternatives for cultivating its relationships with customers. These shall continue to be used in addition to face-to-face meetings and, as a result, strengthen Vetropack’s customer orientation.

Performance Review: Production and products

For Vetropack, developing new products together with customers is the key to success, as it makes it possible to tailor products to customers’ specific needs and also improves its skills and expertise. In 2020, the overall level of new product launches fell considerably. However, one positive example is the introduction of different bottle sizes for the launch of new whiskey brand “The Busker”. The successful product launch was the outcome of a long-standing connection with the brand owner in Italy, with whom Vetropack worked to develop the designs and various product samples. However, the systematic approach to customer-specific innovations has yet to be fully established. To harmonise the Group-wide product development process, Vetropack had launched a new workflow tool in 2020 and subsequently implemented enhancements in the period under review.

In 2020, Vetropack developed a new indicator to measure the number of product innovations sold in the current year, which the company intends to use to track the progress of innovation. Products that have been on the market for up to a year are to account for a growing share of total sales in future. The company also aligns its market strategy so that it can improve the product mix. For this reason, low-margin products are redeveloped with the aim of making them more profitable. If this does not succeed, they are removed from the portfolio altogether. Once every six months, Vetropack reviews profitability as it relates to segments, customers and the countries in which the company operates in order to monitor price levels and the suitability of products on an ongoing basis.