Exclusive Factory Spotlight: Phoenicia

Israel’s sole flat glass producer Phoenicia Ltd is committed to creating leadership in its target markets, while striving for excellence via its innovative products, their quality and in terms of customer service. The company’s history and present-day activities are highlighted in this exclusive report.

Phoenicia Ltd has experienced some extreme changes since its establishment in 1934 and accumulated numerous achievements throughout its history. As well as expanding production capacity, Israel’s flat glass specialist was responsible for the development of many significant technological solutions in its early years.

In 1941, the original, state-owned factory in Haifa was purchased by Solel Boneh, one of Israel’s leading construction and civil engineering companies. A newly completed furnace at that time allowed for the production of 35 tons/day of sheet glass. Four years later, ownership transferred to Koor Industries, who had added a separate glassworks for the production of bottles and tableware within 12 months. A specialist fabrication line was introduced to the original flat glass business in 1951 and a year later, capacity was increased to 60 tons/day via the adoption of the latest manufacturing technology from the USA.

The construction of a new factory in 1972 allowed Phoenicia to increase manufacturing capacity to 130 tons/day, before the company was sold in 1989 to the American businessman William Davidson, former President, Chairman and CEO of Guardian Industries. In 1994, the company’s relocation to a newly built factory at Zipporit, near Nazareth allowed for the introduction of float technology. Over the decades, the company has successfully adopted the latest manufacturing technologies and developed a series of key products, including defence solutions and low iron glasses, sold under the True-Color trademark.

Creating the perfect envelope

Today, Phoenicia is 100% owned by Fortissimo Capital, the local private equity fund having acquired the business in 2012. It remains a successful and profitable enterprise, with some 290 employees. Because the plant’s production capacity of 550 tons/day is well in excess of local demand, the development of export markets has been prioritised, involving sales to more than 30 different destinations globally.

Phoenicia’s vision is to create the ‘perfect envelope’ for quality of life. According to the company, glass quality is the most influential factor in the way reality is experienced. Phoenicia is committed to improving quality of life by supplying the highest quality, state-of-the-art flat glass.

The glassmaker recognises that its key assets are its employees. Some employees are second and third generation family members, further illustrating the company’s heritage and tradition. In addition, Phoenicia is led by a seasoned management team, led by Eyal Zagagi (Chairman and CEO), Shani Moscoviz (CFO), Rino Chakour (VP of Marketing and Business Development), Rafi Sarig (VP of Operations), Meir Perez (VP of Sales), Tamar Schleyer (VP of Human Resources and Organisational Development), Sylvia Chubinsky (Human Resources Manager) and Shay Peretz (VP of Defense and HLS).

Effective sales strategy

Phoenicia is Israel’s sole flat glass manufacturer, selling approximately 50% of production locally. With two lamination lines supplying safety glass and other solutions, the company successfully develops tailor-made processed defence products for the architectural and armoured vehicle markets.

Float glass is offered in thicknesses from 1.8mm to 12mm, with clear and low iron materials available. The factory’s two laminating lines offer all lamination solutions, notably regular safety glass, acoustic glass, coloured laminated glass and Hurricane-resistant glass. Specialist defence solutions include forced entry-resistant, bullet-resistant and blast-resistant materials.

The glassmaker’s next expected investment will be the placement of an MSVD coating line next to the float line to offer customers a low-E, energy efficient glass. It will continue to develop premium products such as low iron glass (True Color) and invest in innovation, both internally and through joint ventures to create quality glass for life quality and to fulfil its vision.

In the belief that customers come first, Phoenicia’s team invests in the best customer service possible, paired with high quality products. The company has hundreds of active customers around the world, many of whom have been working with Phoenicia for decades. Considerable pride is taken from the fact that some of the world’s largest glass manufacturers (competitors) are also customers.

As an experienced developer of low iron glass, the company is constantly searching for further market opportunities. In India, for example, where customers prefer a blueish tint in the glass, a specially developed low iron glass was made available. This True Color brand has been well received by Indian customers and is a recognised market leader.

Teamwork culture

As mentioned previously, Phoenicia acknowledges that its employees are its most important asset. “We believe that in order to produce quality glass, we must invest in our teams by training and teaching them constantly” a company spokesperson confirmed. “The fact that Phoenicia is a sole producer causes a challenge in finding qualified employees and training them, so we have to invest in this subject all the time.”

A culture of reciprocal commitment has been created, both personal and professional. “As a team, we respect each other’s abilities and support one another. Phoenicia is committed to organisational excellence, recruiting outstanding employees, nurturing and empowering them, while maintaining an interesting, challenging and enjoyable workplace that provides job security and protecting the knowledge and experience accumulated in the process.”

Recognised as the source of glass knowledge in Israel, the company’s employees are committed to continually learning and enhancing their capabilities.

Positive prospects

Because Israel is a particularly progressive country, it is quick to adopt and develop the latest trends. “We see the trends of high rise and ‘green’ buildings being implemented in big cities and the entry of new products through import such as low-E and solar glasses” commented the Phoenicia spokesperson. “We are happy to see that there are some Israeli companies developing smart glass solutions as well.”

Reportedly, the main challenges currently facing Phoenicia are associated with finding consistent, high quality raw materials and doing everything possible to keep its customers happy, without missing any new opportunities.

In recent years, Phoenicia has emerged as a stable, profitable and successful enterprise. The implementation of a revised business strategy is helping to ensure growth, as the company explores opportunities to move up the value chain. This approach has also resulted in a redefined marketing strategy, including a relaunched website and the introduction of a specially created company video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw0BEzzTOyw).

True Color is a registered brand of Phoenicia Ltd.

Further Information: 

Phoenicia Ltd, Nazareth Illit, Israel
tel: +972 4 6410200
email: sales@phoenicia.co.il
web: www.phoenicia-ltd.com