While innovation may be key to a company’s success – whether in the quest to achieve growth, drive sales, or develop new products – a common challenge for business leaders is how to encourage innovation while managing the demands of daily operations.
In 2017, a Deloitte business confidence survey of 600 senior business leaders found that managers pursuing innovation were unsure of how to make it happen and often undermined their innovation goals.
According to the survey, leadership behaviour contributes between 20 and 67% of a company’s creative climate and concludes that leadership is the most important factor for encouraging innovation and creativity. The report notes that leaders should act in ways that promote and support innovation at individual, team and organisational levels.
Rowan Beattie, Pyrotec’s MD, has always believed that organisations adopt the characteristics of their leaders. He values above-board business dealings, innovative production focus, and constantly questioning the status quo by pushing the boundaries. ‘Our company’s mission – Together, We Grow – percolates through all operational aspects of our business and is reflected in the watchwords – quality, operational efficiency, innovation and communication – we work by,’ Rowan maintains. ‘We are committed to life-long learning and are adamant that Pyrotec remains innovative. We continue to build our reputation and want to be respected as the best – both locally and internationally – based on our competence.’
Rowan believes that if leaders don’t create environments in which employees are encouraged to come up with ideas and execute them, these gems may pass you by altogether. Promoting a culture that sustains innovation and creativity needs the encouragement and support of the company’s leaders.
Remaining agile while embracing change and still effectively managing day-to-day business operations and creating time for innovation requires steadfast commitment. Rowan believes that adding value should always be central to innovation. ‘Knowing what our customers want and understanding industry trends and market conditions help us to add value for our customers and set the benchmark for the products and services we offer,’ he concludes.
To learn more about Pyrotec’s innovated product offering, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
According to Euromonitor International’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2018, this year the emerging forces shaping consumer behaviour see consumers continuing to question their values, priorities and purchasing decisions, and deepening their engagement in the brands and issues that matter to them.
The 10 trends identified by Euromonitor International include:
Clean Lifers – They have strong beliefs and ideals. They are less tolerant, more sceptical. They feel they can make a difference, and this influences their spending choices. This means more saying no – to alcohol, to unhealthy habits, to animal-based products and, increasingly, to unmeasured or uninformed spending. Their need to impress is less about ownership and more about experiences they want to share.
The Borrowers – Cash-strapped consumers want more flexibility and freedom in their lives and less baggage. Rather than aspiring to things, they favour minimalism and living for the moment. This means not being tied to possessions. The Borrowers want access rather than ownership, whether through sharing, swapping, renting or streaming.
Call Out Culture – While not new, hashtag activism is rapidly gaining momentum as internet usage explodes and more people have access to social media. The trend is fuelled by a high degree of social unrest, combined with unprecedented consumer power and the ability to call brands to account.
It’s in the DNA. I’m Special – DNA testing is appealing to consumers who are increasingly more health-obsessed and have self-centric sensibilities. Customers range from those with a genuine concern about their risk of developing certain inherited diseases to those who merely want to discover new relatives or make lifestyle improvements based on the health findings.
Adaptive Entrepreneurs – Consumers are increasingly seeking flexibility in their lifestyles and are prepared to take risks. Millennials especially have an entrepreneurial nature, shifting away from the traditional 9-to-5 career towards one that affords more freedom. Euromonitor’s survey shows that nearly 50% of respondents across all generations aspire to being self-employed. According to the survey, this priority shift is directly linked to changes in values. Consumers will gravitate to lifestyles they can build themselves, and the internet will be key to this.
View in my Roomers – These consumers will be connecting perception with reality and merging digital images with physical space. Consumers will be able to visualise products before they try or buy, both in-store and online. According to a survey conducted by LEK Consulting, 80% of respondents were keen to use AR technology to visualise products digitally in their homes.
Sleuthy Shoppers – Consumers’ crisis of trust is deepening and leading to greater emotional involvement and action. Sleuthy Shoppers are investigative consumers. Sceptical of mass-produced products and the motivations of the companies that create them, they are tired of empty rhetoric and soothing words of assurance – they are acting to find out more. If companies do not provide tangible proof of their practices, Sleuthy Shoppers will turn to independent online sources for information.
I-Designers – The shift in focus from possessions to experiences is changing purchasing patterns and driving buyers to connect with the product creation process. For some, merely to own is unrefined, but I-Designers – participating in creation, design and build – are seen as sophisticated connoisseurs. I-Designers want to exhibit their creativity.
Co-Living – Millennials are much less attached to fixed belongings such as vehicles, houses and clothing than previous generations. They are more flexible, mobile and adventurous. In real estate, this has translated into greater demand for rentals rather than mortgages for this demographic.
The Survivors – A decade after the credit crunch, the frugal mindset of consumers remains entrenched, despite improving global economies. Consumers have responded to austerity by making greater use of the growing number of resale shops, grocery discounters and value-based retailers. The latter keep costs very low by buying in bulk directly from factories and purchasing surplus stock. By catering to the poverty-stricken or price-sensitive, deep discounters are among the few retailers that have proved resilient to the rise of internet retailing and are a disruptive force in retail.
Tell your target market your story about how your products benefit them by using a Fix-a-Form® promotional or information booklet label from Pyrotec. For more information, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
With the imminent separation of TOWER from the Pyrotec brands, Pyrotec assures its stakeholders of it’s steadfast approach to focusing on its strengths and continuing to grow within the markets it serves.
Pyrotec, which includes the TOWER, PackMedia and PackMark brands, has been operating as one company for the past 50 years. In the last two years, the PackVerifi, Pyrotec Finance and PackLink brands have been added to the company’s service offering. ‘These new brands relate to PackMark and PackMedia, both servicing industrial sectors. However, TOWER, which incorporates office and hardware products, kid’s and signage ranges and MyTowerLabels, serves completely different industries – retail and commercial customers,’ says Rowan Beattie, Pyrotec’s Managing Director.
‘As markets and customers continually evolve, and their requirements become more demanding and specialised, we have decided to separate TOWER from the Pyrotec brands to enable each company to focus on its strengths and continue to grow within its markets,’ Rowan adds.
‘Our company’s mission – “Together, We Grow” is reflected in all aspects of our business,’ he maintains. ‘We continue to grow and build our reputation and want to be respected as the best – both locally and internationally – based on our competence and team work.’
‘Together, We Grow’ is a company mantra that governs everything we do. For our staff, this means a company-wide focus on creating a working environment that attracts talented, energetic and motivated personnel, and a company spirit that encourages employees’ self-improvement ideals for increased productivity. We also promote family values among all employees to enrich their lives.
For our community, ‘Together, We Grow’ is reflected in our Skills Development Fund that sponsors some 200 individuals (apprentices, interns and students studying degrees and diplomas) to continue their education and skills development.
For our customers, ‘Together, We Grow’ means that our employees are trained and encouraged to produce products and services of the highest quality, and that our focus on innovation will continue to support our customers’ objectives for growth.
For suppliers, ‘Together, We Grow’ means that, beyond our Level 3 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment rating, Pyrotec’s business ethos is steeped in equality. We value above-board business dealings, an innovative production focus, and constantly questioning the status quo by pushing the boundaries.
To find out more about how we can grow together, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
South Africa contributes a large portion of its national budget to education and skills development. By investing in skills development, training and education – whether in the form of learnerships, apprenticeships, short courses, workplace training, or degrees or diplomas – individuals are better equipped to break the chains of poverty.
The country’s economic growth and development benefits from a more innovative and skilled workforces, while individuals achieve significant personal reward and recognition in terms of their own growth and development. Recipients of training and skills development are able to make more strategic decisions for themselves, they’re more creative, and they’re able to achieve greater levels of personal development and success.
Together, we grow
Pyrotec’s MD, Rowan Beattie, and his team are passionate about education. The company’s Skills Development Fund sponsors some 200 individuals (apprentices, interns and students studying degrees and diplomas) to continue their education and skills development. While Rowan explains that the majority are not employed at Pyrotec, ‘our reward is seeing so many young people, connected to Pyrotec in different ways, growing their knowledge and experience and moving up the business ladder’.
Rowan believes that life-long learning keeps Pyrotec innovative, and that education is vital to placing Africa on a path of sustainable growth and development. It’s education that is central to accelerating empowerment, eradicating poverty and ensuring Africa’s full integration into the global economy.
And for permanent staff within the Pyrotec family, Rowan also believes that ongoing training is vitally important for the business’s growth, as well as for continuing to set benchmarks in terms of service excellence, technological advancements, and delivering industry-leading equipment and products. ‘We promote a feeling of value for our staff and encourage personal growth and recognition as their skills develop. We believe that empowered staff have a good sense of self-worth and are also better placed to look after our customers’ needs,’ says Rowan.
Pyrotec is governed by its mission, which percolates throughout the organisation and the activities of its staff:
- To create a working environment that attracts talented, energetic and motivated personnel.
- To create a company spirit that promotes self-improvement ideals in our employees for increased productivity.
- To train and encourage employees to produce products and services of the highest quality for our customers.
- To be scrupulously ethical in our dealings with suppliers, customers and employees.
- To manage the company in such a way as to provide competitive remuneration to all employees.
- To promote family values among all employees that enrich their lives and that of other families.
To find out more about the team at Pyrotec, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
When talking about business communication we immediately think of verbal communication and how important it is for business leaders and their teams to possess excellent skills.
In a business environment, good verbal communication skills are essential for creating positive team relationships, for resolving and avoiding conflict, for building relationships, and for encouraging creativity and brainstorming, among others.
Another form of communication that shouldn’t be forgotten is a brand’s ability to engage with consumers. Print and digital marketing messaging is effective, but a product’s packaging and shelf appeal is essential for its extraordinary ability to communicate with consumers and drive sales where it matters most – at retail.
On-pack communication helps products to stand out on shelf by increasing their visibility. It forms the meeting point between a brand and consumer and is the first step towards a great customer experience. It’s also the point at which a consumer makes a purchasing decision.
Effective brand communication
When considering your target market, you need to know who it is you’re talking to and how best to do this. Millennials and Gen Z speak and communicate very differently to the Baby Boomer generation. Different tactics and use of language needs to be employed to best engage with the market you want to talk to and build a loyal trusting relationship with.
Pyrotec PackMedia’s Fix-a-Form® booklet labels are a highly-effective channel for getting products to stand out in noisy retail environments. A Fix-a-Form® booklet label can include detailed information, in multiple languages, such as product benefits, background information, competitions or coupons. They can also be used to create brand associations between compatible products.
These versatile booklet labels combine a printed booklet or leaflet with a product label to multiply a label’s real estate without impacting the legibility of label text or interfering with brand identity and can be tailored to specifications.
Benefits of the Fix-a-Form® booklet label
- Increased brand awareness through a product’s enhanced visual appeal
- Space to educate consumers about a product’s features and benefits
- Unlimited space for text and more creative executions
- A cost-effective channel for competitions
- Opportunities for value-adds such as recipes, inserts, coupons and cross-promotions
- Can be used on containers of all shapes, sizes and materials, including glass, plastic, card and foil.
Pyrotec PackMedia offers a complete concept to application service, including best application methods and machinery, and customised competitions with SMS, data management and prize distribution.
Most importantly, on-pack communication devices do what most mediums of communication cannot – drive purchases in store.
Do you want your packaging to communicate with your target market to drive sales and build loyalty? To find out how, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
Industry 4.0 refers to a combination of several key innovations in digital technology that are maturing and are set to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors.
The idea is that these technologies – robotics, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), data capture and analytics, smartphones and mobile devices, to name a few – will connect to become powerful systems that are able to process huge data sets and quickly translate this information into intelligent courses of action.
While these technologies are often considered separately, when combined they integrate the physical and virtual worlds. This change enables a powerful new way of organising global operations.
For the packaging sector, Industry 4.0 can increase packaging speeds, making the manufacture of more individualised products effective, while also enabling scalable production and high variations in control of production processes. Industry 4.0 is basically where information technology, the internet, and the physical world of manufacturing machines align to become one.
Smart equipment will interconnect to communicate and collaborate – independent of human involvement. The advantage is a seamless, automated manufacturing system that significantly increases speed and scale, leading to higher profit margins.
To remain competitive, companies must think like a disruptor and invest in innovations that sustain their businesses and create new revenue streams that can mitigate threats from competitors.
For some companies, this could mean an intrepid new leadership style to avoid the disruption of new technologies. Others may need to minimise costs and adopt lean, integrated manufacturing practices.
However, sustaining innovations and fostering foresight alone may not be enough. While this demands strong leadership and possibly transforming an organisation’s core operations, disruptive product innovations are often cheaper and new business models achieve popularity and rapid market share.
To say ahead of the game, companies need to consider how fast start-ups can get to market. To counter this, organisations need to remain agile and constantly focus on leaner manufacturing processes that speed up production and keep products in line with market needs.
For more information about how Pyrotec can help you achieve operational efficiency, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
Pyrotec’s operations are governed by a handful of watchwords – quality, innovation, communication and operational efficiency – that have been adopted by our staff and underline all our business activities.
When it comes to operational efficiency, two underpinning principles of lean manufacturing – a company’s ability to produce more value through less work – include standardisation and flow. Standardisation removes the possibility of errors while flow ensures speed and optimised output.
Where there’s human involvement on a production line, there’s always a possibility of mistakes being made. Even if production lines boast automated machinery, many manufacturers rely on operators to manually input important data into the system.
By integrating machinery networks, human error can be mitigated, while packaging costs can be reduced, product coding activities can be optimised, and industry regulatory requirements can be met with ease.
Besides its vast portfolio of coders that are exclusively distributed in South Africa by Pyrotec PackMark, Pyrotec’s machinery division, Markem-Imaje’s CoLOS® software applications are engineered to complement its coding equipment.
CoLOS® software enables our customers to integrate equipment networks throughout the production line into one central system. By standardising data input, human error is reduced. This saves time, improves production flow, and drastically reduces long-term costs.
CoLOS® consists of a number of software options to meet every end-of-line production requirement. These include options for packaging coding, message design, the management of complex labels and codes, and the ability to operate multiple printers from one platform.
What’s more, CoLOS® provides real-time data about production processes by linking production plans to individual printers on the line. It also monitors the productivity and efficiency of each machine, and automates the selection of data for printing, reducing the need for human intervention. In turn, this reduces the risk of operator errors and provides accurate performance reports. There are many ways to create an efficient production line and operate a lean manufacturing environment. This seamless integration system from CoLOS® is an ideal option for diverse industries and it supports all production control systems.
For more information about how Pyrotec can help you achieve operational efficiency, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
Maintaining high-quality levels percolates throughout everything that we do at Pyrotec. Quality is not only critical for good business practice and satisfied customers, it also provides a great sense of pride and a happy workplace for our staff.
Quality forms three essential pillars to a company’s success by increasing profitability, productivity, and customer satisfaction. To achieve quality excellence, evaluate every organisational process and determine how to make each more efficient and productive. Reduce production errors, use high-quality materials and deliver an excellent product on time to enhance customer loyalty.
Poor quality will cost your company money. If low-quality equipment or low-cost parts or consumables are used, machines will break down, causing line stoppages and lost production time. This may also lead to delayed time to market.
Without effective quality controls, you may have to scrap defective products, re-run production, or spend valuable time analysing non-conforming products. If customers receive defective products you may be exposed to legal costs and a knock to your brand’s reputation.
Engaged staff and a cohesive team lead to a happy workplace where teams work together to achieve their goals.
However, the only way to achieve profitability is through customer satisfaction. A good quality management programme means that products or services will meet customers’ requirements and expectations.
At every stage, plans need to be established and implemented, and performance must be monitored.
To sustain long-term revenue and profitability, quality is critical for satisfying and retaining customers so that they continue to buy from you. Quality is directly related to how satisfied customers feel, and happy customers will provide better ratings than they will for products or services that don’t live up to their expectations.
It is also important to remember that no matter how good your product or service may be, if customers’ concerns are not adequately addressed after the sale, then satisfaction, trust and loyalty may also suffer.
Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people, but happy customers are only likely to tell about four to six people about their good experience. Quality influences your company’s reputation and social media is an instant tool used to share good reviews and vocalise dissatisfaction. In competitive markets, a solid reputation for quality can be an important differentiator.
To discover how Pyrotec builds its reputation for quality as an accredited ISO 9001:2008 company, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
Cash is the lifeblood of your organisation and it’s proven that running out of money is one of the primary reasons that businesses fold.
Pyrotec has been in business for more than 50 years and managing director, Rowan Beattie, has seen his share of market fluctuations as the country’s economy has risen and fallen, as well as the turn-around of South Africa’s political position, the introduction and explosion of technology, and massive shifts in consumer expectations.
With this experience under his belt, Rowan offers five tips for managing your cashflow:
Keep a firm eye on cashflow management
No matter how good your profit looks, don’t rely on this. Your profit and break-even points are great for setting benchmarks and goals, but if your weekly focus isn’t managing cashflow, you won’t have money in the bank. Cashflow management should be a company-wide effort that extends beyond the finance department to include sales personnel and relationship managers.
Manage spending with an iron fist
Your forecasting model is another important tool and should provide you with a clear outlook of essential expenses coming down the pipeline. For anything that’s not necessary, carefully consider how you can minimise spending that’s non-essential to operations until you’re profitable.
Ask suppliers for better payment terms
Discuss payment terms with vendors to get the best deal. Where possible, apply for accounts rather than paying cash. Payment terms of 30 or 60 days will help you to better align your customer receipts and supplier payments. This will reduce the need for overdraft facilities.
Evaluate invoice payment terms
Try to make invoices ‘due immediately’ and limit the use of terms that extend beyond 15 days. If possible, employ someone to keep a vigilant eye on receivables and to collect money as quickly as possible. If your terms are 30 days, consider offering discounts for early payment. This will help to bridge the cashflow gap and reduce the risk of late payments.
Maintain a cash reserve
Until you’re profitable, there will always be cash shortfalls. If possible, create a cash reserve for the lean periods. This will help to keep your business on an even keel and enable you to remain focused on your core business and delivering service excellence to your customers.
To read about Pyrotec’s success over the last 50 years, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.
One of the many benefits of smart packaging is that it allows brand owners and marketers to add a layer of communication and promotional messaging to their brand packaging.
What is smart packaging?
Smart packaging enhances packaging functionality through two methods – active packaging and intelligent packaging. Active packaging senses or manipulates the packaging environment – in other words, it offers functionality such as moisture control. Intelligent packaging can sense changes in the packaging environment and communicate the packaged content’s status or features.
To do this, the packaging combines specialist materials, science and technology to offer anti-counterfeit measures, supply chain management control, and marketing and branding messaging, for example.
As the use of smartphones continues to increase so does the popularity of QR (quick response) codes. Now commonplace, QR codes can store many thousands of pieces of information for consumers to access using an app on their smartphones to upload information or link to the web and social media sites.
Adding a QR code to a product’s packaging is an ideal way for retailers to extend their reach and interaction with consumers and for brand owners to create emotional connections and grow positive relationships with their customers.
Once consumers engage with a brand, the conversation can then continue through value-added on-pack drivers such as discounts and coupons, or new campaigns based on information previously collected.
Devices such as Pyrotec PackMedia’s Fix-a-Form® booklet labels are a practical way to relay these incentives because they provide vast amounts of space for additional information without compromising the packaging’s aesthetics.
By using smart packaging, campaigns can seamlessly integrate with online media to strengthen relationships and consumer loyalty and create a multi-dimensional marketing strategy.
Where to start?
- Embrace smart packaging technology
- Educate yourself about the options
- Understand the value smart packaging can deliver
To find out how to integrate smart packaging solutions into your brand campaign, visit www.pyrotec.co.za.