"The Rexam European supplier of the year award is a very prestigious award in the packaging industry, and we are very honoured to receive it, especially in the first year of our new company," said Nick Madden, president of Novelis can, litho and recycling (Europe).
"Our relationship with Rexam demonstrates the value of partnership that includes product development, supply chain initiatives and recycling. This award is a tribute to the outstanding service provided by our employees in Goettingen, Norf (both in Germany) and Warrington (UK), and I'd like to congratulate them for this achievement."
The award comes at a crucial time for the business, which was separated from metal giant Alcan as recently as January 2005. John Gardner, vice president for communications at Novelis, told www.foodproductiondaily.com that he believes this has enabled the company to become much more customer focused.
"The main difference is that we are able to really demonstrate that the beverage can is important to us," he said. "We are interested in the long term in developing excellent relationships with companies such as Rexam."
Through this increased focus, Novelis has been able to look at the whole supply chain and identify key strengths and weaknesses. The company has initiated a continuous improvement programme, which involves taking time and working capital out of the system and making the process quicker, leaving less inventory lying around.
Given the current cost of raw materials and the horrendously competitive nature of the industry, such attention to detail can be the difference between establishing strong supplier relationships and going under.
"Novelis' performance and teamwork with Rexam during 2004 has been outstanding, driving a culture of continuous improvement in all areas," said Richard Downes, vice president supply chain, Europe. "They have looked for innovative ways to challenge and change the business processes between the two organisations.
"Novelis has managed to implement a number of cost reduction activities delivering benefits for both parties. In quality, they were the benchmark in supplier quality setting a new standard. The recognition in the award is well deserved."
Novelis supplies high quality aluminium rolled products to Rexam for beverage can production. Much of the aluminium is manufactured by Novelis using recycled cans. Rexam is the world's leading beverage can maker, and Novelis is the global leader in aluminium can sheet.
Novelis is now the global leader in aluminium rolled products and aluminium can recycling, with 37 operating facilities in 12 countries and more than 13,500 dedicated employees. It is also a partner in the Alunorf joint venture, the world's largest aluminium rolling operation in Neuss. The mills produce rolled aluminium sheet, foil and packaging products for a range of packaging markets including beverage, food, tobacco, pharmaceutical and industrial products.
Taken together, Novelis claims to operate the most technologically advanced aluminium rolling facilities in the world. The company also has the capacity to be the world's largest recycler of aluminium beverage cans.