While the company was known as Lapack at its inception,when brothers Eric and Bob Smith started producing bottles in a small shop in Cleveland, it subsequently operated under a couple of other names – notably Ultrapack and Crystal Power. Earlier this year, however, the entire operation reverted to the name Lapack.
It really is a family business. By the time Lapack was two years old, Eric and Bob’s sons were involved in the business – Eric’s son Mark (today’s MD) started life in the toolroom, while Bob’s sons Grant and Gary (today, both assistant MDs) started in production and logistics respectively. Although Bob died a few years ago, Eric remains the company’s CEO.
Within its purpose-built premises in Germiston, Gauteng, where the company moved in 1994, there’s immense activity,with some 450 employees working three shifts a day, seven days a week. Using the latest technology in blow moulding, injection moulding and injection stretch blow moulding, they’re busy manufacturing top-quality containers and
J&J Supplier of the Year
Lapack has established itself in the plastics packaging industry as a company dedicated to understanding its customers’ needs and providing them with a perfect packaging solution on time, every time. According to Mark Smith, the key to Lapack’s longevity is retaining customer loyalty and working as a team to get the job done.
A tough year for most, Lapack finishes 2009 with a prestigious industry award under its belt as Johnson & Johnson’s Packaging Supplier of the Year. Over a six-year period, Lapack has built a solid business partnership with Johnson & Johnson, offering exceptional customer service every step of the way – from pack design to final product.
Its service delivery record is more than impressive – the award was won after achieving a 99% delivery success rate and zero product defects.
Lapack produces a range of bottles and caps for baby care products for J&J, East London. Bottles are produced on Lapack’s blow moulding and injection stretch blow moulding machines; then silkscreened on its state-of-theart UV printing machines. Labels are applied by J&J during the filling process.
First female director
The Smith family members are proud of their achievements and pride themselves on the reliable people who surround them, especially the support they provide to one another in getting the job done. They also believe in looking after those who make a difference and are happy to announce Cheryl Tiley’s appointment to the board of directors.
A long-standing member of Lapack’s impressive sales team, Cheryl has contributed enormously to the growth of this family-run business.
Cheryl’s packaging career with Lapack started in 1994. Although she had no experience of plastics moulding or decoration, Eric Smith was confident enough of her abilities to lay down the gauntlet, and Cheryl hasn’t looked back.
After a comprehensive technical training period she was ‘let loose’ on packaging customers. ‘There’s no better way to learn than to be asked what then seemed incredibly complicated questions and to return to an information base of huge experience at Lapack to get the answers for customers,‘ explains Cheryl.
Caption: Cheryl Tiley has been appointed to Lapack’s board of directors.
‘On two occasions I had the opportunity to visit a PET manufacturing facility in Holland and to visit a packaging show in Germany. Having members of the Smith family and a staff complement always more than willing to assist has made my packaging experience very worthwhile,’ she adds.
Cheryl’s appointment to the board of directors at Lapack took her completely by surprise but it’s a challenge she’s willing to accept, and intends making a huge success. A female board member is a sure sign of positive change at Lapack, and the award from Johnson & Johnson brings a revitalised sense of excitement. With its feet firmly planted in the plastics packaging industry and a motivated team that’s dedicated to making quality and customer satisfaction a shared goal, the future certainly looks bright at Lapack.
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