‘It’s quite astonishing to think we started in 2008 with just two machines and three people,’ Leonard reflects. ‘The Flamingo Plastics business in Spartan, purchased from our father in February, covers a total of 9 500m2 incorporating injection moulding, blow moulding and labelling divisions, manned by 420 full-time staff. The entire operation is three times larger than our previous home.’
Growth at T3 has been organic, driven predominantly by customers’ ever-expanding demands for fresh products. And, as these have developed, T3 has been at the forefront of a number of ground-breaking packaging launches.
‘Our loyal customers realise we’re a company that’s focused on quality and innovation and we’ve collaborated on any number of special projects to develop exciting new brands,’ says Leonard.
Investing for the future
It hasn’t all been plain sailing, however, and Leonard is frank about the challenges inherent in growing the business and integrating the cultures of T3 and Flamingo Plastics.
‘T3 is a young and dynamic company, while Flamingo Plastics has been in operation for 20 years with well-embedded processes and procedures – so, naturally, there was some initial resistance to change. However, we’ve ironed out the rough spots and are now phasing out the Flamingo name,’ he explains. ‘In terms of production capacity, we’ve invested in a Swiss-built 420-ton Netstal injection moulder, due for delivery this month, and more new equipment is being commissioned in January 2013. And, as customers want an all-inclusive product proposition, we’ve also established a small self-adhesive labelling department. Direct printing is also part of the package,’ Leonard adds.
T3 has also launched a separate trading division called T3 Retail, producing commodity lines of plastic cups, plates and bowls for local distribution and export to other African countries such as Uganda and the Congo.
‘For this market, we’re providing value and quality with a wide array of locally-produced European-grade plastics. It’s going really well, especially the export lines,’ Leonard notes. ‘We’ve also appointed a sales director, Peter Mulligan, who has 21 years’ experience in plastics. He’ll be steering sales in both divisions.’
Leading the way in packaging innovation is T3’s trademark and, with equipment investments now bedding down, fresh product developments are also afoot.
‘We’ll be growing our existing basket of goods, plus we’ve some exciting projects on the go that will certainly break the mould, so to speak,’ smiles Leonard.
T3 Plastic Packaging
T +27 011 3983800