Journey to Excellence Case Study

Smurfit Kappa XXL

Smurfit Kappa XXL based in Abercarn Gwent is part of the Smurfit Kappa Group; a world-leading producer of paper-based packaging with around 46,000 employees across 35 countries.

Smurfit Kappa XXL designs and manufactures large format paper-based packaging, which helps customers to manage risks, reduce costs and promote their products. The business supplies a diverse range of industries, such as protein, plastics and retail, and allows companies to swap unsustainable materials such as plastic and timber for lighter, cheaper and more environmentally-friendly corrugated board.

By using a scientific approach to product innovation, they strive to introduce new products, create higher-performance materials, and reinforce branding to drive sales. Investing in new equipment and techniques, they have increased their market share.

Smurfit Kappa, have used the Business excellence Model over a number of years to track organisational improvement, and have been long-time users of the Business Excellence Model on their Journey to Excellence. In order to compete in an ever-changing marketplace, they have successfully focussed on innovation as a key driver for sustainability and continued success.

They continue to use the Business Excellence Model since 2003, both as a measure of their business success and as a benchmark. They have maintained their focus throughout reorganisation and product rationalisation.

Faced with a changing market, Smurfit Kappa changed its focus and project range to create a new niche market in large format. With a stable long-term workforce, the organisation has worked to upskill, train and engage in order to adapt to new ways of working and production.

Working in partnership with suppliers and customers combined with an innovative and “can-do” attitude, the organisation has successfully developed a new product range and provides exclusive niche market products. the organisation actively encourages its suppliers to join them on the Journey to Excellence, recognising that any organisation is only as good as their weakest link.
From “Manufacturing Quality Award” winner in 2003 to overall “Wales Quality Award” winner in 2014, Smurfit Kappa has maintained some of the highest scores in the 20 year history of the Award process.

With a commitment to excellence, Smurfit Kappa are not resting on their laurels, but are continuing on their Journey to Excellence and have committed to another assessment this year. They have further emphasised their commitment to their workforce and to Wales PLC, as they have recently purchased the premises in Wales they have worked in for the last 40 years.


The Journey to Excellence
Contact WQC
The Waterton Centre, Waterton Estate, Bridgend CF31 3WT
info@walesqualitycentre.org.uk