Case Study
James T Blakeman & Co.

Case Study

James T. Blakeman & Co: Streamlining Packaging

Streamlined packaging sourcing and inventory management solution

Industry: Food Manufacturing

Number of employees: 40 +

#print #store #fulfil #packaging #stockmanagement #plastictax #plasticreduction #foodmanufacturing

The client

Operating from its production facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Blakeman’s is a family-run business that was originally set up on a farm near Stoke-on-Trent in 1953. The business has grown over more than 65 years to manufacture and supply supreme and premium cooked sausages and a wide range of meat products to the domestic and export catering and fast-food markets.

The challenge

Following the successful implementation of Blakeman’s new carton sleeve and label range, the business tasked PDS with the challenge of consolidating its plastic packaging supply of films and 6-7 colour food bags for its sausage range.

A variety of films are used for lining trays that afford protection within the factory environment and bags are used to store the sausages within a retail environment.

Prior to this, Blakeman’s had used separate suppliers for different elements. Its plan to consolidate and seek efficiencies was driven by the changes to regulations that

followed Brexit, the rising cost of plastic, and its imperative need to keep its clients adequately supplied, making sure that packaging supplies were always available to meet demand.

Current lead times and price increases on plastic are causing issues throughout the market with four price increases recorded over the last year and shortages being driven by the amount of plastic used in the production of PPE during the global pandemic.

Key challenges

  • Sourcing inconsistencies.

  • Brexit supply bottle-necks.

  • Rising material costs.

  • Lead-time extensions.

The solution

PDS rose to the challenge of sourcing and producing all types of plastic packaging for Blakeman’s. The team works hard to keep Blakeman’s informed about when stock is available ensuring that production quantities are sufficient to meet demand.

PDS accesses plastic film that varies from 30 up to 80 microns in strengths. By working closely with Blakeman’s, PDS is continually seeking ways to reduce the necessary strength of the plastic achieving a greater number of impressions from each roll. All products are sourced and stored in the UK by PDS.

PDS works with several food manufacturers and is well-versed in the labelling requirements of the sector.

With its own in-house design studio, PDS makes any changes to the packaging required by new regulations in a post-Brexit environment. Blakeman’s have already updated the health mark that identifies the processing establishment and is responsible for its hygiene status. Other artwork changes include alterations to the list of ingredients or a brand refresh.

All Blakeman’s packaging products are uploaded onto the PDS+ online stock management system for easy access to the visibility of stock levels.

The project team

Kris Batley (Account Executive), Rob Digby (Senior Artworker), Sarah Parker (Account Executive), Ben Holley (Logistics Manager), Lee Anderson (Stock Manager)

Kris Batley

Kris Batley

Account Executive

Rob Digby

Rob Digby

Senior Artworker

Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker

Account Executive

Ben Holley

Ben Holley

Logistics Manager

Lee Anderson

Lee Anderson

Stock Manager

Interested in how PDS can help you deliver solutions across our service pillars?

Key outcomes

  • A bespoke PDS+ online ordering system has improved control and distribution.

  • Automated alerts prevent stock and material shortages.

  • Cost efficiencies – delivered savings through consolidating packaging materials.

  • Continuous supply – achieved through effective stock management and strong supply channels.

The results

Consolidating the supply of all its plastic food packaging requirements has delivered several benefits to Blakeman including cost efficiencies and the peace of mind that its supply to the market will not be interrupted.

Blakeman’s chose PDS because of its strong working relationship with Booker (one of its biggest clients).
In addition, Blakeman’s benefited from access to PDS’s in-house design studio that can respond to the demands

of the post-Brexit environment making changes to packaging artwork as required. Blakeman’s also benefited from access to the PDS+ online stock management system that enabled them to keep control of materials in real-time. With no minimum order requirement for individual items, Blakeman benefits from keeping stock quantities topped up across all versions.

PDS is now working with Blakeman’s to address changes to its packaging specification to meet the requirements of the plastic packaging tax that is due to be introduced in April 2022 and applies to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK that does not contain at least 30 per cent recycled plastic.

Looking to consolidate your packaging supply for operational efficiencies?

Facing challenges when it comes to efficiently sourcing packaging and creating operational improvements? Are you looking to save money and time in the process?

Our team of packaging experts can conduct a consolidation audit for your business, identifying areas where you can make savings, reduce your consumption, increase your efficiency and align with your environmental agenda. We can also work with you to create custom packaging solutions that meet your unique needs and requirements.