Based in Adelaide, Class Packaging (Aust.) Pty Ltd is our partner in distributing Class Plastics products in South Australia.
As Managing Director of Class Packaging, Craig Bubner works closely with Class Plastics to serve the needs of customers in South Australia. Craig oversees all facets of the Class Packaging business including order management, logistics, and customer service.
We asked Craig what his typical day looks like.
What does your typical day look like?
It’s a lot different from other staff members since I work from home. My office is right next to the kitchen so travel time isn’t an issue for me!
The first thing I do is check my email. I then look at our system for any orders that need to be taken care of, maybe even delivered in a hurry and arrange that with the warehouse and local freight to get that done. When I’m happy that I have everything covered, I like to go out and visit some of our regular customers as well as look for new opportunities. This helps me understand their business and keep an eye on their stock levels and any upcoming demands.
Do you have a warehouse in Australia that you manage too?
Well, we do have a warehouse but it’s not ours. In fact, we hold anywhere between 80-180 pallets of stock in a 3rd party serviced warehouse, Middleton Distributors, who takes care of all my stock movements. They do all the loading and unloading of both our interstate goods inwards as well as our local deliveries.
I’ll enter an order into the system and send an email to both them and our local freight people letting them know what needs to go, when I need it delivered, and where to. They’ll then pick the stock, load the trucks and once everything has been delivered, they’ll scan the document and send it back to me so that I’ll know that the job has been completed.
I go there on a weekly basis to grab some samples of our stocks and check if there are any small deliveries that I can deliver myself rather than paying for freight. It also gives me the chance to go out and see some of our customers. I find that customers appreciate the effort when you do the deliveries for them.
How do you stay on top of your job?
I’m a bit old school. I still use pen and paper. I have a diary where I write all of the deliveries and I go through that at the end of each week to make sure that nothing is missed and everything has been invoiced and taken care of.
I also have a very good support system from the team in Melbourne, particularly Yvonne. She’s been my go-to person whenever I am out in the field and I need to check quantities etc. I can call her anytime and she’s always happy to help. She handles all the paperwork with regards to my stocks coming over from VIC, as well as letting Middleton know what is coming and when. Dave is also a vital part of my day to day as he knows most things when it comes to production planning.
What's the relationship between Class Plastics and Class Packaging?
Class Packaging (Aust.) Pty Ltd is a joint venture between Daniel, Mario, and myself. We’ve been business partners for just short of 4 years. Class Plastics run the manufacturing side of the business and Class Packaging runs the distribution side in South Australia and Western Australia.
As a distributor, we also buy from probably other suppliers in Australia. Some of which also do some blow moulding but others are injection moulders. Class Plastics is one of our suppliers but it’s more than just that because of our joint ownership. We use the same system and processes so it’s not just a typical supplier and customer type of relationship.
How do you keep yourself on top of the latest developments in the industry?
To be honest, I’m not a big reader and I don’t get to watch a lot of news or industry talk shows. I rely on good communication with my colleagues and our customers.
This is my 17th year in the packaging industry and I’ve always maintained very good relationships with the people I work with, as well with our customers. They keep me up to date with what’s happening in our industry and the rest of the world through our conversations. Sometimes I think that maybe I should read more and do more research but I prefer having a conversation, especially with our customers.
Customers are a wealth of knowledge. They tell us what they want and need. They help us think about how else we can be more innovative in terms of bringing new products out into the market.
What do you like most about your role?
There’s a lot of things to like. Predominantly, it’s the people I work with.
I also like having the autonomy to make decisions for the business. I like the fact that when things work out well, it is because of hard work, but also being prepared to take responsibility for whenever I make bad decisions. I like doing this job and taking ownership. Most importantly, I like that Daniel and Mario have been very supportive of my decisions. Not once have they told me how to do my business because they trust me enough to make the right decisions. Our business has been exceptionally good for the past 3 years.
What's the best thing about working with Class Plastics?
I think it’s the fact that even though we’re entirely different businesses, I get to be involved in a lot of things especially when it comes to making decisions to improve their business. We have mutual respect for one another. Daniel, Mario, and I, our expertise complement each other really well. Our dynamic leadership and steadfast relationship ensure that our customers’ needs are always top of mind.