Former RPC CEO Ron Marsh receives UK Packaging Award for outstanding contribution to industry, including continual growth in turnover and profits for company during his tenure

ATLANTA , November 14, 2013 (press release) – RPC Group’s retired Chief Executive Ron Marsh has received the UK Packaging Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry after guiding the company to become one of the world’s leading rigid plastic packaging manufacturers.

Ron led the management buyout in May 1991 that created RPC Containers, which has since grown from the original five factories in the UK to over 50 operations throughout Europe and the USA.

During his tenure as Chief Executive, the company continually demonstrated excellent growth in turnover and profits, to be acknowledged as one of the best and most consistent performers in the packaging industry as whole. This culminated in 2012 in the company being named Packaging Company of the Year at the UK Packaging Awards.

This year’s awards were presented on Wednesday 13 November at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award recognises individual achievement in the packaging industry and rewards people who have had an impact not only within their own companies but on the wider industry. It is picked by the Packaging News editorial team, who take into consideration achievements across a career or outstanding achievements in the year under review.

The judges said: “Admired across the industry for his commercial and strategic acumen as well as for being constantly approachable and developing great loyalty among those who work for him, Marsh has picked up a raft of honours and awards in recent years for his long service to the industry. One prominent packaging person describes Marsh as ‘one of the great names in UK packaging and, indeed, in UK manufacturing’.”

Ron pioneered RPC’s commercial strategy where its factories operate autonomously, being responsible for their own manufacturing, sales and marketing. This enables the group to offer its customers the widest choice of packaging solutions, tailored to precise product or brand requirements and RPC remains unique today in offering packs manufacturing by injection moulding, blow moulding and thermoforming.

Equally important, this approach also means factories are specialists in particular technologies and market sectors and can develop close working partnerships with each customer. At the same time, individual sites can also work together to provide a one-stop solution to packaging requirements. As the company continued to grow, this strategy was refined with the grouping together of similar business into ‘clusters’.

Ron was also quick to recognise the importance of being able to supply customers on an international basis. In 1997 he secured the acquisition of the much larger Continental Plastics Europe business which gave RPC an important and significant foothold in mainland Europe. Equally important, the various operations of CPE benefitted hugely from becoming part of a business that was totally focused on rigid plastic packaging, and this provided them with the ideal environment in which to grow and develop further.

Ron continued to drive RPC’s growth through a mixture of organic development and strategic acquisition, the most significant recent one being the arrival of the Superfos companies in 2011.
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Another key part of Ron’s growth strategy was to recognise that success lay in focusing on the development of packs for specialist markets. RPC has therefore avoided competing in mass market product sectors which are based solely on cost and instead concentrated on sectors where it can deliver added value to its customers. To date this has generated notable successes in areas such as coffee capsules, long life barrier food packs, high-end cosmetics packaging and pharmaceutical dispensers and inhalers.

His reputation within the packaging industry as a whole was reflected in the fact that he was regularly placed in the top three of the most influential people in packaging by the Packaging News survey and last year was awarded the BPF Gold Medal for distinguished service to the plastics industry.

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