About APL Cartons (Pty) Ltd
APL Cartons (Pty) Ltd is a successful, profitable, privately owned company. Our shareholders are the following major export fruit pack houses: Two a Day, Kromco, Ceres Fruit Growers, Sundays River Citrus Company and Good Hope Citrus. For well over the past quarter of a century, APL Cartons has successfully grown their business to exceed the power and impact of the major players. We have, however, maintained the success and energy enjoyed through a "hands on” approach of a smaller company. We believe in long term, mutually beneficial relationships and as a result many clients have been with us since our early years of operating. We believe this is a result of a strong value system which is built on openness, trust and high levels of service to our clients. This guides our business.
APL Cartons has developed a quality assurance system to the extent where all products produced in our facility undergo extensive attribute and statistical process control (SPC) variable testing. SPC trend analysis has become a key tool in APL’s day-to-day management of material, people and machines: The Infinity QS software is used to generate 6-Sigma control charts, X & R Bar charts, pareto charts, box plots, standard distribution charts, etc. With 6-Sigma knowledge as a base these tools can be used to analyze and evaluate process trends with proactive decision-making.
The goal of this measurement is to quantify the quality of any machine or operator as possible defects per million opportunities. APL currently has a system in place where the quality inspectors audit the process (random sampling method) in order to document any attribute quality defects. The variable data checks are captured on the SPC system.
Traceability procedure (internal procedure only) Non-conformance Procedure:
By using the batch number on the bottom of any carton, we are able to trace back to the batch of the boards that have been converted. The board batch records list the paper reel number. Traceability is an important protocol required by our export fruit pack houses that make up a major part of our client base. This is audited from time to time in order to make the process secure.
Distribution infrastructure and capacity
APL Cartons operates from a MEGA plant in Worcester.
We use Pool Transport as our main contractor for transport. They are situated in Worcester, close to our plant and over the years, have demonstrated their ability to deliver a high level of service. From time to time, we use other subcontractors to deliver cartons where Pool Transport are unable to meet our demands. This is occurs in less than 1% of occasions.
Employment practices/black economic empowerment
The company has an excellent relationship with its union of which we are very proud of. We see them as an important stakeholder and together we add value to all stakeholders of the business.
The Company has union representation for the weekly paid staff. The union which is recognized since the beginning twenty years ago is SATU. SATU, with the help of the company, created a trust which purchased a truck and helped with the delivery of finished products to customers. We believe that our relationship with the unions is one of our competitive advantages.
Black Economic Empowerment:
It is important for us to achieve sustainable empowerment. Every empowerment intervention is measured against the criteria that it must add value to all stakeholders. Our shareholders are owned by fruit growers. People who own farming land and produce export fruit. For our shareholding to change the farmland of our shareholders must change. For this reason we engaged the government to ensure the necessary funds are available for farmland transformation. APL Cartons received agency status from the department of land affairs. Some time ago we appointed a farm land transformation manager to assist us in this process. This has assisted us in ensuring that the necessary farmland transformations have taken place at a shareholder level. This has increased our black shareholding. APL Cartons has a unique and sincere approach to BEE. As a group owned by farmers, we are focusing on doing many unusual and beneficial things in our industry. We will gladly share further details with clients should there be further interest. Our primary focus on our scorecard is currently skills development and employment equity. A copy of our present accreditation certificate received from EMEX trust is attached showing our level 4 accreditation. This assures you of procurement recognition of 100%, buying from APL Cartons.
APL Cartons has installed an electrical generator that is able to keep our plant functioning in case of power supply interruptions. During power outages we are able to work on a "business as usual” basis.
APL Cartons has a 2nd corrugator to use in case of any unforeseen emergencies. Our capacity on our corrugators is only at 68% utilization. There is synergy between our various converting machines - if one machine is down for planned maintenance we are able to switch the order to another machine. Here our plant utilization is only at 63%.
Our shareholders demand high levels of spare capacity so that we can deal with changes in demand in the fruit industry without affecting any other areas of our business.
APL Cartons uses a modern MRP system to manage our raw material stocks. We stock around 3 months’ worth of paper. This may sound like a considerable amount, but paper is our "life’s blood”.
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