Always on Pont: customer service is crucial to success

PONT Packaging is targeting further growth in the Scottish market with an offering that combines the personal touch of a family business with the strength of an international powerhouse.

Pont, being part of a UK family-owned holding which includes a UK glass manufacturer, has office and warehouse facilities in Glasgow, as well as in Manchester.

In total, Pont operates from 14 strategically located premises across Europe and provides products including glass and plastic bottles, food jars, closures, and containers to local markets in sectors including food & beverage, vitamins & sport nutrition, chemicals, and personal & pet care.

In Scotland, Pont’s strength lies in the thriving food and drink industry, where its products have proved popular with the likes of craft breweries and spirits and whisky brands.

Sharon Clark, Pont’s sales manager in Scotland, told Packaging Scotland that having a dedicated presence in Scotland has proved to be important for the local client base.

“You do find that people within Scotland prefer to deal with a local presence,” Sharon explained. “It is really important for Pont to have a presence in Scotland.Our customer base ranges from cottage industries right up to distillers like William Grant & Sons. We literally are a company for everyone, regardless of size.

“We can supply from a pallet right up to a full load. We’re here to help people get a foothold in their market, and we’re also here to help the bigger players who maybe have limited-edition runs and might only be looking for a couple of thousand bottles.”

Pont’s latest innovation is a 500ml clear flask, made from 30% recycled PET. The product can be placed back into the recycling loop and is suitable for the spirits export market.

Sharon Clark

Sharon explained the solution is a further example of the work of Pont’s ‘green’ team, which is constantly looking out for new initiatives to help customers reduce their carbon footprint, for example bio-based HDPE solutions.

“We are making containers from biodegradable substances,” Sharon added. “Our main focus is glass, which obviously can be put back into closed loop recycling. Sustainability is a strong focus in this company.”

Sharon revealed that sustainability-related conversations are cropping up with increased regularity with customers. In terms of current trends, Pont is seeing strong demand for more traditional-type bottles – particularly in food and drink.

She described the market in Scotland as ‘highly competitive’. Pont attempts to stand out in this environment by having a strong emphasis on customer service.

“We like to really get to know our customers,” Sharon added. “We are a big organisation, but we feel we are still small enough to react quickly and be close to our customers to know what their needs are. We have long-standing employees like myself; and it’s the same right through to the ground team in the warehouse. Because we have an office and warehouse in Scotland, we can offer deliveries in a quick turnaround period.”