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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Outsourcing: supply chain saviour

Rodney Steel, CEO of the BCMPA – the Association for Contract Manufacturing, Packing, Fulfilment & Logistics, reports on the essential role of outsourcing in the year ahead.

If 2021 has proven anything it is that the outsourcing industry has consolidated its position in the supply chain beyond all recognition, and without it many companies would simply not have got their products to market.

During the last few years’ disruptions with the pandemic, BCMPA members (numbering almost 200 and growing) had never been busier, with brand owners, retailers, manufacturers, and e-commerce companies all in need of support, from new product development to delivery to customer (D2C) and a whole range of services in between. This support was applied across multiple sectors, including food & drink, personal care & beauty, pharmaceuticals, health supplements, household goods, chemicals and many more.

The desire for trade exhibitions

The post-lockdown period from September 2021 to Christmas, during which time the BCMPA exhibited at four shows, proved that the appetite for live face-to-face exhibitions is stronger than ever. Whether the timing of events this year will change, it is too early to say, but the BCMPA is scheduled to exhibit at seven shows with more in the planning. This will provide plenty of opportunities for companies to see at first-hand the range of services that can be outsourced, as opposed to having to invest in machinery and staff or struggle to cope with production in-house.

The Association’s showcase event is Contract Pack & Fulfilment, part of Easyfairs Packaging Innovations & Empack at the NEC Birmingham, set to attract over 6000 visitors. It features the BCMPA Hospitality Lounge as well as up to 20 exhibiting members.

The demand for white & private label products has grown colossally over recent years and so the BCMPA, once again with member stands, will be at the White Label World Expo in London. Also at London’s Excel is IFE Manufacturing, part of the International Food & Drink Event, where the BCMPA will not only be exhibiting, but also contributing to the speaker programme.

Other shows, aimed at vertical sectors, will include Making Pharmaceuticals, CHEMUK and Internet Retailing. Later in the year sees London Packaging Week at Olympia, featuring PCD for the personal care & beauty industry. Further details on these and other events featuring the BCMPA and their members can be found on the Exhibitions & Events page of the BCMPA website, alongside the Online Events & Webinars page.

How the BCMPA can help your business in 2022

A valuable and much-used feature on the BCMPA website is the free-to-access search facility, enabling companies to shortlist members who can provide the services they require. Another quick route to finding an outsourcing partner is the online enquiry form, where clients can simply outline their project and the BCMPA will circulate it to members free of charge.

Whether through making contacts at exhibitions or by contacting the BCMPA direct, it is evident that a strong, informed outsourcing strategy could be a lifesaver for many companies this year and beyond.

Rodney Steel
Rodney Steel
Rodney Steel has been Chief Executive of the BCMPA since 2003. He previously spent several decades in print and packaging, including running a successful contract filling business in the chemical sector.

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