Positive Trading, Recruitment Opportunities and Corporate Sustainability in Times of Global Uncertainty
As a leading UK manufacturer and contract packer, Xyfil Ltd was asked to feature in the September edition of our industry’s most well-respected magazine – Packaging News.
Published by the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association, the BCMPA approached us to discuss recent trading in these challenging times, recruitment opportunities and corporate sustainability in the face of many global uncertainties such as Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic.
Please describe your business in 50 words
Xyfil is a leading UK manufacturer specialising in e-liquid, CBD and hand sanitiser products. We offer a range of manufacturing services including design and development, production, compliance, co-packing and distribution. Our Preston facility is equipped to produce 3.5 million bottles per month, delivering for local businesses and global partners.
How was business in the last 12 months?
Xyfil business has grown over the last 12 months. Our ability to pivot quickly has proved a key strength and provided resilience in the face of global and local uncertainties such as Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic.
What markets do you operate in and are you targeting any new ones?
We operate primarily in the E-liquid market in the UK and Europe. However, we have diversified over the last six months into more generic filling and co-packaging markets. We are opening operations in the Middle East market and have been expanding on fulfilment for US clients looking to move into the UK and European markets.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we began manufacturing hand sanitiser and supplying PPE to businesses, key workers and customers. Our existing infrastructure means we are able to produce and distribute hand sanitiser bottles in large quantities.2020
In your sector, how practical is it to offer alternatives to plastic packaging?
It is a little difficult as some of our plastic packaging requirements are driven by legislation. For example, Child Resistant and Tamperproof alternatives to small fill liquid packaging that can scale up are difficult to procure.
However, our long-term aim is to be more environmentally sustainable and we actively look for alternatives to plastic packaging where possible. Many of our bottle types are already made from recyclable polypropylene (PP5) and we are working with our suppliers to ensure more of our products can be recycled.
How did lockdown immediately impact your business?
Most of Xyfil’s systems are cloud-based as our teams are globally located. We were fortunate that our infrastructure was already set up to allow us to transition rapidly ahead of lockdown to home working. Homeworking has proved more productive for some of our teams. The challenge has been around mental health and wellbeing as the uncertainties elevate anxiety levels.
What impact has the pandemic had on trading?
Xyfil has been fortunate that we were able to pivot the capacity created by the slowdown in our core lines to support the fulfilment of frontline requirements such as hand sanitisers. The impact on trading has been minimal.
With rising unemployment, do you think it may be easier to recruit good staff in 2021?
Yes, without a doubt.
If you could change one thing in the industry, what would it be?
We would love to see the British Government support manufacturing and engineering in the UK more heavily. Like many filling and packaging industries, we have a heavy reliance on our machinery – much of which is produced outside of the UK. The talent and capacity in the UK to design and rapidly deliver cost-effective manufacturing equipment would help businesses like Xyfil to grow and become globally competitive.
Xyfil is a proactive purchaser of raw components from the UK but we consistently hit capacity issues with our UK manufacturing supply chain which means we have to backfill from abroad. These capacity issues indicate a lack of investment and development of the UK manufacturing sector.
Article features Anisha Hansrod (Operations Director), Zain Patel (Business Development Manager), and Daniel Hollyman (Copywriter).
To read the full September edition of Packaging News Magazine and the online version of this article, please visit https://www.packagingnews.co.uk/digital-editions