5 Minutes With… Sparck Technologies’ Jo Bradley,
Sparck Technologies has a mission to make sustainable packaging the standard in ecommerce. Companies worldwide are now able to benefit from the firm’s smart packaging systems by saving on box volume, packaging material and personnel costs. Jo Bradley (pictured), Sparck Technologies business development manager in the UK, speaks to Supply Chain Briefing…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
Now known as Sparck Technologies, most people in the logistics sector will remember us as Packaging by Quadient and will be familiar with our revolutionary fit-to-size packaging systems. We provide automated solutions for e-commerce operations challenged by increasing order volumes, labour shortages and rising shipping costs. Our CVP Everest and CVP Impack automated packaging solutions have the capability to tailor-make up to 1,100 packages per hour, for multiple or single item orders.
What have been the biggest challenges the Supply Chain industry has faced over the past 12 months?
The eCommerce sector has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years and peak seasons are becoming more pronounced and more frequent. Capacity issues in despatch operations are becoming increasingly acute as volumes increase and labour resources become harder to come by – and adding to the concerns businesses face, consumers are now far more conscious of environmentally poor packaging and oversized boxes filled with void-fill.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Businesses have the opportunity to make packaging as compact and environmentally efficient as possible and that means making packages exactly to the size of the order – waste is no longer acceptable to the consumer.
What is the biggest priority for the Supply Chain industry in 2022?
With labour now a scarce resource in the UK, businesses will need to invest in and embrace automation to keep pace with customer demand. Packaging and despatch operations within the eCommerce sector have been heavily dependent upon freely available labour, but now automation that is able to streamline packaging processes by making individual packages to the optimum size of the order, at tremendous speed, holds the key to increased capacity and business growth.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022?
Automation throughout the warehouse is accepted as the future of logistics. Labour, fuel and materials will all become more expensive. Environmental concerns will continue to feature highly with consumers, so businesses will have to look for ways to minimise wastefulness. Finding available labour will be difficult too, so businesses should apply automation to labour intensive operations, such as packing.
In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?
Hopefully no longer about Covid.
Which person in, or associated with, the Supply Chain industry would you most like to meet?
I have met many people over the years and look forward to meeting many more, everyone has their own part to play in the Supply Chain.
You go to the bar at the Total Supply Chain Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?
Some nice cold Rose – preferably with bubbles.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Unpredictability – every day is different and a challenge. I get to meet some extremely interesting people and have fun at the same time.
And what’s the most challenging?
It can be the long hours – but its worth it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There is no such thing as luck. The key is being prepared to take advantage of any and every opportunity when it arises.
Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?