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Growth & Jobs | Jamaica Packaging Industries Limited: An example of growth through collaboration

Published:Tuesday | December 31, 2019 | 12:00 AM

From factory to shelf to fridge, hundreds of bottles of perfectly chilled beer pass through many collaborative hands to get to valued customers each day. No hands are more integral to this process than perhaps, those that package the delicious product. Yet, medium-sized firms like the Jamaica Packaging Industries Limited (JPI) often go unnoticed by the average consumer.

JPI is a family-owned business nestled on Ashenheim Road in Kingston, producing corrugated boxes, trays and other packaging supplies. Recognising the importance of collaboration within the manufacturing industry, the enterprise has been facilitating strong industry partnerships for over 60 years.

Joy Roberts-Williams, managing director of JPI, said, “By forging strategic business partnerships with several established local organisations, we’ve become a household name within the industry despite our size. We pride ourselves on our reputation for providing quality corrugated packaging, generating key industry innovations and superseding the expectations of our business partners.”

JPI is one of the many local manufacturing organisations that form an ongoing chain of industry collaborators for Jamaica’s premier beer company, Red Stripe. By supporting the operations of its suppliers and distributors, each node in Red Stripe’s value chain represents some added benefit to the wider economy through employment or revenue.

With over a hundred employees from their factory’s neighbouring community, JPI actively participates in a value-added culture of their own. Their hiring process espouses an anti-discriminatory approach, taking on both skilled and unskilled labourers. They have developed internal mechanisms to train and develop their staff based on the recognised needs of their various partnerships. Adapting to the demands of the highly competitive environment in which they operate, local partnerships present an opportunity for JPI to live up to its mission of industry-led innovation. Their work with Red Stripe, for example, embodies their propensity for collaboration.

Reaping benefits of accountability

“In order to ensure efficiency, we work closely with the technical team at Red Stripe,” said Roberts-Williams. “We hold ourselves accountable to them, and we’ve reaped the benefits. We have improved our service delivery capacity with better technology and machinery; improved our delivery time and meeting delivery specifications; and we’ve also pursued key preventive maintenance practices to ensure continuous supply of our products.”

Looking forward, Roberts-Williams notes: “Our business will continue to support increased manufacturing within the local market through strong partnership. Though the market can be competitive and the economy can be unpredictable, we’ll push our strategic agenda through our operations, supporting and partnering with other local manufacturers to grow the overall market.”

JPI believes that with greater support for firms of all sizes, whether through investments or industry collaboration, the local market will flourish. While they have undoubtedly carved out a name for themselves, they do stand to benefit from establishing bonds with powerhouses like Red Stripe.

Over 2,400 jobs and J$4.3 billion are generated from Red Stripe’s interaction with its network of suppliers. These interactions spur an innovative mindset and stronger market competition all while supporting mutually beneficial economic opportunities. For this reason, the collaboration between the Jamaica Packaging Industries Limited and Red Stripe epitomises effective private-sector support of the Jamaica economy.