It’s that time of year again! After a brief hiatus over 2021, RAJA UK was proud to host our Annual Supplier Day. Suppliers could talk through their current service offering and what new products are on the horizon, run seminars and workshops to demonstrate the key selling points of their current range and last but not least, a round of appreciation for the suppliers. The day was a resounding success once again with both RAJA and suppliers coming away invigorated and ready to succeed together.
The day itself hosted 23 of our suppliers in the Delta Hotel in Milton Keynes for the main exhibition show floor with a room designated to the side for seminars to take place. The suppliers put on an impressive serious of displays that caught the eye and presented their products brilliantly to the attendees. The running theme from the suppliers was sustainability, after the plastic tax went into effect it became a hot button item and our suppliers were both aware of this and had solutions already in progress. The show floor was excellent but one of the major benefits for the attending staff was the seminars – of which we had four.
Our first speakers were from Southgate who gave us a rundown of some of their new marketing leading products. The first major item was tape that is water activated, designed to be eco-friendly and providing a powerful bond as soon as it’s affixed to the cardboard of a box. The tape dispenser and tape itself are cleverly designed to dispense just the correct amount of tape and greatly reduce the danger of RSI for packers. The water activated tape provided a tape that was easily stored, easily recycled and provided a firm bond to keep the box contained.
The other product they had to demonstrate was a void-fill machine, producing air cushions that could be customised easily with the touchpad interface to ensure the cushions had the correct heat and airflow. The efficient customisation options and compact size makes it easy to ensure that whatever is being packaged can be well protected in transit.
Our second and third seminars were by Readycase and Premier Limpet, Readycase provided a quick demonstration of both their boxes and also an insight into software they are currently working on with a major customer focus. In the competitive world of packaging, providing the best value for money is important and the hat they’re throwing into the ring for this competition is a piece of software that can help assess the most effective way to build a box that will provide everything you need without excessive use of corrugated cardboard – thus bringing the cost down and providing the best use of resources for the consumer, the supplier and everyone else along the way.
Premier Limpet offered instead a masterclass on what type of tapes are available and also, crucially, the best ways to identify them even without a sample in front of you. This was of particular use for the sales team as the seminar covered a range of methods to identify the nature of a tape from its tackiness, to the “pen” test and even the differences that can be recognised purely by smell!
The last seminar of the day was from Ranpak who took us through their eco-friendly paper void fill with a focus on their complete paper cold chain solutions. This is used to insulate packaging with eco-conscious paper void-fill instead of plastic to keep products cool in transit. Online purchase of food has dramatically accelerated in recent months, and continued to persist even as restrictions lift – providing a solution that is both sustainable and efficient was a must and that was what Ranpak had on offer for us. We were shown the key features of the product as well as how it could work with other items in the range to provide a complete packaging solution.
In the evening, it was time for the highlight event many of us had been waiting for, the Supplier Awards!
Every year RAJA UK shows our appreciation for the hard-work of our suppliers by holding a dinner and awards celebration. Rewarding those suppliers who’ve done something to especially impress this year. While all of our suppliers are market-leading, we like to acknowledge and address which of our suppliers we feel has given an outstanding service. This year we had five awards, all in fiercely competitive categories but the winners were as follows:
The winner of the Customer Experience Award was Reedbut
The Service Excellence Award was Ready Case
The Extra Mile Award was won by Rachel Dixon of Premier Limpet
Our best New Product Innovation was won by Southgate with their new Paper Rolls
And the winner of the coveted Supplier of the Year Award was Ranpak!
A massive thank you to everyone who attended, the industry insight and product knowledge shared (not to mention extensive networking) guarantees a bright future for RAJA, our suppliers and our customer base!