Hubs and satellites: a success story
A huge challenge for global corporations around the world is designing a supply chain structure that delivers the best combination of cost, customer service, quality and efficiency. At Constantia Flexibles, we are building a winning, future-proof supply network with clusters of strategically placed Hubs for master reel production and Satellite sites for further processing right where we need them – near our customers.
On December 21, 2018, Constantia Flexibles acquired a majority stake in our long-term partner TT-print in Voskresensk outside Moscow, adding a second Russian site to our Timashyovsk production facility near the Black Sea. This acquisition marks further progress in our efforts to meet the demands of the dynamic pharmaceutical packaging market with an innovative cluster supply chain. Through tactical acquisitions and restructuring efforts, we have concentrated our master reel production at a few international Hubs and distributed printing, slitting, and finishing processes to a growing number of Satellites – like this one in Voskresensk – in close proximity to the customers we serve.
The lifecycle of a Constantia Flexibles package starts at one of our global Hubs: Constantia Patz in Austria, Constantia Pirk in Germany, Constantia Tobepal in Northern Spain, and Constantia Oai Hung in southern Vietnam, where raw materials like foils, films, and paper are lacquered, laminated, and slit in large volumes. According to Rainer Huber, Vice President Pharma Hub Cluster, “It makes sense to manufacture large volumes of semi-finished goods in as few locations as possible and give customers a local partner for all their consulting and finishing needs.”
The vast majority of our customers are located within a 600-kilometer radius of one of our Satellite sites: Constantia Louvain in Belgium, Constantia Sittingbourne in the UK, Constantia Fromm in Germany, and Constantia San Prospero in Italy. That gives us the agility and the flexibility to meet our customers’ demands, no matter how quickly they change. Given predominant trends like smart packaging with serialized data or shrinking lot sizes, concentrating our printing and finishing processes at Satellite sites has been key to generating growth at almost double the rate of the market as a whole. “The Satellite cluster allows us to be not only geographically but also culturally closer to our customers,” says Vice President Pharma Satellite Cluster James Brown. “This proximity combined with ongoing technological developments and superior service, costs, and quality has been a major driver for our growth in recent years.”
With the aim of maintaining this growth over the long term, we intend to pursue the strategy further, both by adding additional Satellites to the cluster and by developing novel ways to add value for our customers through the Satellite concept.