September 10th, 2021
A fascinating first year at MCC Verstraete
September 1st 2020, right in the middle of a challenging year, Peter Grugeon walked into MCC Verstraete's offices as new Managing Director. Today, one year later, we sat down with him to talk about the past 12 months and the vision he has for the future of the company.
There have been many highlights this year. As a company and as a team, we have delivered a lot and we have shown the true essence of team spirit.
Peter Grugeon, Managing Director
Watch the video or read the interview below.
Can you describe your first year at MCC Verstraete in 3 words?
If I would have to discribe my first year at MCC Verstraete in three words I would say, first of all, teamwork. Teamwork has been a specific context of course, with COVID. We learned to work together and to deliver results in a very specific new way of working all together.
Secondly, we have worked a lot on solutions in terms of products and services that we offer. All with the end goal for our customers to be successful in their markets. So that would be my second word.
And third of all, with that came a lot of opportunities - opportunities for future growth in our business driving by the solutions and great teamwork that we offer.
What sets MCC Verstraete apart from other companies?
What really sets us apart as a company is our culture, I would say. We take care of our employees because ultimately we believe that happy employees make happy customers. And so with this very strong and passionate team, our renewed focus on innovation and quality, we believe we are ready for successful growth in the coming years as an independent business unit within MCC.
What have been the highlights of this past year?
Their have been many highlights this year. To name a few:
- Our company rebranding came with a new, state-of-the-art website. It really has become a unique platform for customers and stakeholders where we share a lot of information. It serves as a center of knowledge where customers can find everything they need to know about IML.
- We also developed our new sustainability strategy and roadmap. We became carbon dioxide neutral in our Belgian production sites, which has been a major and important step and we are not at the end of what we can achieve there.
- In line with our strategy we acquired Australian based Herrods IML, so we now have 4 production sites: 2 in Belgium, 1 in North America and 1 in Australia. We plan on supplying the Australian market but also the Asian market out of our Australian facility.
- We invested heavily in new capacity, both in printing and in finishing, in order to reduce our lead times step by step.
- We also invested in our organization by hiring a General Manager to head our North American activities, which are growing fast.
- Next to this, we strengthened our R&D-team and smoothened the R&D-process because we need to deliver faster on the innovations in our innovation pipeline.
- We have launched a new customer portal which is a unique tool for customers, where we also added recently an artwork management tool.
I really would like to take the opportunity to thank our employees for their flexibility and hard work over the last 12 months. We have delivered a lot and we have shown the true essence of team spirit.
How does MCC Verstraete's sustainability strategy benefit its customers and stakeholders?
Sustainability is on top of the agenda of our customers and stakeholders. If it’s not their primary concern yet, it soon will be.
What we can and need to do, is to develop solutions that help our stakeholders give an answer to the challenges they face. It will also become more and more important for our customers that their suppliers take responsibility and reduce their own carbon footprint.
What challenges do you see for MCC Verstraete on the short term?
Obviously one of the challenges we face on the short term is the recent sharp increase in raw material prices. Together with overloaded supply chains worldwide and general inflation, this really creates a lot of pressure on our customers.
... and on the long term?
On the longer term we need to turn the negative perception of plastics. Plastics are not the problem, they can be part of the solution. One of the major problems the world is facing is that in some areas of the world collection and recycling of plastic is not well organized. But solutions do exist, or are being established.
Nowadays waste shouldn't exist anymore - used plastic has become a raw material. Recycling is key and we, as an industry, have to take our responsibility by developing products that are either reusable, recyclable or compostable. The amount of time and money spent on development is unprecedented, so I’m really convinced that we are on the right track!