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Picking a Supply Chain Partner

Picking a Supply Chain Partner

A high-performance supply chain is critical for Transcontinental Packaging, the North American converter noted for world-class direct-food-contact flexible packaging. The company’s industry-leading food safety programs coupled with a continuous improvement mind-set, has led the company to partner with companies that share its values. TC Packaging’s determined goal is to partner with their customers. That same level of involvement defines TC Packaging’s view of supplier relationships. Provident is a key link in the firm’s supply chain.

TC Packaging’s customers know what they want from their chosen packaging converters and are eager to do business with a company that lives its mantra of inspire, prepare, perform and repeat. And because Provident shared that same vision, it was a natural fit when TC Packaging sought an innovative supplier for doctor blades and chamber seals — mission-critical consumables for flexographic presses.

Data driven selection

“Provident was selected after numerous trials,” relates Brian Braymiller, Supply Chain and Logistics Manager in Transcontinental Packaging’s Capri facilities in Clinton, Missouri. “We evaluated numerous suppliers but Provident really stood out.

The process involved a rigorous collection process and study of a wide range of parameters based on specific products. All these are data points that become part of the decision about which suppliers to use—or not use.

“Within our culture, team involvement is critical,” affirms Braymiller. “This means we rely on our partners, our team of internal experts, and our press operators who played an active role in the decision making process by collecting and analyzing the results of the trials to make a data-driven decision.

“As supply chain manager I have a few baseline expectations, qualifiers if you will, I use to help determine if a supplier partnership can be established,” explains Braymiller. “Those qualifiers are simple: The supplier needs to share our vision of growth; they must align with our core values of innovation, teamwork, performance and respect; and they must be willing to challenge the status quo by being willing meet our continuous improvement initiatives.

“In fact,” he continues, “Provident demonstrated this during the onboarding process when they provided customized versions of chamber seals. Even though they had a product that worked right out of box, they took the feedback our press operators collected during the trials and made adjustments, resulting in an improved product.

Going beyond the sale

Once the decision was made Provident worked closely with the press partners to make sure the transition was seamless. “More importantly,” recounts Braymiller, “Provident did not make a sale and walk away: they were here to make sure everything worked as planned.

In the three and a half years since Braymiller brought Provident onboard at TC Packaging–Capri, the company has become an active resource and a vital part of TC Packaging’s team. “They are in our discussions and participate as needed. Provident has become a key partner.

In addition to providing durable doctor blades and chamber seals, Provident has implemented a minimum/maximum inventory system to ensure all supplies are readily available. Provident and Transcontinental continually monitor product performance and improvement as an ongoing initiative.

In addition to the support and physical products they provide, these other programs are critical to me,” says Braymiller. “Provident helps me deliver to our customers.