Werner Kenkel Społka z o.o. has been a success story from the start. With origins during a time of national economic hardship, the people at Werner Kenkel know the adaptability, perseverance and innovation it takes to make a product that keeps customers coming back for more.
“Werner Kenkel founded the company about 40 years ago. He ran the business with his two sons, Adam and Damian, who now run the company. So it’s still a family business. At that time in Poland, there weren’t many private enterprises. Packaging suppliers used to be state owned. We were the first and became successful. Today, we are the leading privately owned supplier in Poland for corrugated board,” says Commercial Director Rafał Grochowczak, who has been with the company since 1998.
Werner Kenkel started manufacturing its own corrugated board 20 years ago. From there, the company increased in size to three facilities. “With our three plants, we have a combined production capacity of 600 million square meters. The main plant, our largest, is very big compared to EU production plants. There aren’t such big plants on one site,” notes Mr. Grochowczak.
The vast size of the company’s production sites enables Werner Kenkel to concentrate its output into several different areas: corrugated board with flexo printing, corrugated board with offset printing and, most recently, digital printing, which was started in 2016 due to customer demand.
“Everybody is talking about digital printing and how fast it will develop. This will be the fastest developing area in packaging. We just follow the market and, indeed, there is a growing market,” Mr. Grochowczak points out.
This range in production capability, combined with willing adaptability, help Werner Kenkel to meet the needs of its clients effectively. “We are proud of having all printing technologies on the market, which allows us to offer the highest quality available. This ability and access is what our customers value most. They can use one technology, then change to another, depending on the market, volume and their customers,” Mr. Grochowczak explains.
Although Werner Kenkel has the ability to serve a wide range of industries, the company chooses to focus most of its production on one area. “There is a broad spectrum of products that needs to be packaged. We focus on high-quality printing and fast-moving consumer goods for food and drinks,” adds Mr. Grochowczak.
With such success and enormous output, it might be easy for environmental factors to be put on the backburner. Werner Kenkel, however, has made eco-friendly practices a priority. The manufacturer maintains several certifications, including the BRC (British Retail Consortium) certification, FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
Additionally, the company has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by installing its own power plant. Safety for customers and employees alike is of the utmost importance at Werner Kenkel. Despite its massive plants and more than 900 customers, Werner Kenkel keeps business on a personal level.
“We are very flexible and work closely with our customers. We try not to be standard. We listen to customers’ demands and personalize all customer relations. It can be challenging because competition is really enormous. Everybody is investing a lot, including Werner Kenkel. We have a large R&D department consisting of more than 40 people who work closely with our customers for input. We maintain a standard of very high-quality products and services,” Mr. Grochowczak highlights. “We do not standardize our business. Instead, we focus on the customer by being more flexible and making relationships more customized.”
This personalized attention has caught the eye of Werner Kenkel’s Polish customers, as well as international customers located in Germany, Scandinavia and Benelux, whose numbers grow year by year.
The company’s management aims to increase exports, particularly to Germany, which is Poland’s neighbour and already accounts for a large portion of Werner Kenkel’s turnover. Mr. Grochowczak is confident that Werner Kenkel’s strong roots and flexibility will help pave the way for the future.
“We constantly follow the technology. We use the latest technology for manufacturing laminated offset printed packaging as well as high-quality flexo and digital printing,” he underlines.