A catering equipment manufacturer is one of 14 UK businesses featured in the new Parliamentary Review, Manufacturing Edition.
The review, which opens with a foreword by Chancellor Philip Hammond, offers a review of 2016 and the opportunities that await business and trade in a post-Brexit economy.
Banbury-based Stewart Plastics is one of the companies highlighted in the publication, which credited the firm for “still connecting with new consumers after more than 70 years” due to its reputation for design, quality and performance.
Stewart manufactures and markets high quality food storage, food preparation, serving and display products for professional kitchens, food retail and hospitality customers. Under the ‘Sealfresh’ brand, it delivers standard airtight containers that are food safe and quality guaranteed for 10 years.
Catering is the second largest part of its business behind contemporary garden lifestyle products. The company’s factory operates 24 hours a day, five days a week.
The business was established in 1945 by Charles Dugan-Chapman, a WWII Spitfire pilot, and moved from Croydon to its 178,000 square foot factory in Oxfordshire three years ago. The relocation, which has subsequently helped it grow sales by 25% in the last year, followed a £17m investor buyout in 2012, supported by ECI Partners.
“At the core of the Stewart strategy is the shift to being a market orientated company where its activities, products and services are now focused on exceeding the wants and needs of its Consumers,” the Parliamentary Review states. “A change in approach that represents a significant step forward, in contrast to previously being a more product-orientated supplier that concentrated on driving loyalty within its trade customer base.”
In its drive for greater manufacturing efficiencies, Stewart recently reduced its energy consumption and cut 926 tonnes of CO2annually from its carbon footprint. And earlier this year it made a significant investment into a new Ferry Roto Speed rS-3000 rotational moulding machine.
Andy Burns, managing director of Stewart Plastics, said that the key to creating better engaged individuals and teams started with ensuring that communication flows and forums were facilitated on a regular basis across a workforce of over 120 people.
“From these forums, the sharing of common goals and the long term strategy helped everyone to understand the importance that they can play in the journey of transformation,” he explained.
“Stewart has now embedded its company communications process, with frequent communication ‘town halls’ to provide recognition and celebrate success, ensuring that people engagement is ranked highly in the overall company agenda. It will only be through a mix of job development training, transparent communication and a recognition culture that Stewart will truly succeed in becoming the best we can be.”