Supplier of choice aspirations in strongly competitive market

According to John T Shaddox, Chief Commercial Officer at Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, the glass packaging manufacturer continues to gain market share in highly competitive US markets. The full version of this article appears in the January/February issue *.

Supplier of choice aspirations in strongly competitive market

With 13 strategically located manufacturing facilities throughout the USA, Ardagh Group, Glass – North America designs, develops and produces bottles and jars for the beer, beverage, food, spirits and wine markets. Innovative designs have been created for more than 125 years, supporting the organisation’s status as one of the US market’s leading players.

Chief Commercial Officer, John T Shaddox (pictured with members of the Product Design team) has been associated with the US glass packaging industry for 25 years, honing his management skills with some of the sector’s key players and building long-lasting business relationships with key customers, suppliers and work colleagues. “We are all in this together and I count on those relationships for us all to be successful.”

A successful career in the glass container manufacturing industry began in 1995 with Mexico’s Vitro, occupying various key roles in pricing, sales and supply chain management, before becoming President of the group’s US Division in 2007. In mid-2015, Vitro’s food and beverage business was acquired by Owens-Illinois and John T Shaddox served as General Manager of O-I’s Wine and Distribution business unit.

Having joined Ardagh Group in early 2017, he was promoted to the role of Chief Commercial Officer for Glass – North America two years later. The core responsibilities of this role include managing the sales, customer service, marketing and new product development functions. “Growing the business and providing superior speed-of-response and service to our customer base are essential pillars of the job” Mr Shaddox confirms. “In order to be the preferred packaging partner to the world’s leading brands, we must exceed expectations, improve every day, protect our base and grow. We want to become the supplier of choice for all of our customers.”

While acknowledging that the North American glass packaging industry has faced significant challenges within the past decade, John T Shaddox remains confident of the material’s continued success in the future. “Increased competition from imports, changing consumer preferences and alternative packaging options keep us focused on identifying opportunities to grow market share” he explains. “While there are opportunities for us across all areas of the glass container market, expanding our reach across the entire spectrum of customers within those segments has been a major focus for Ardagh Glass – North America. Historically, we have relied on distribution partners and have seen dramatic increases in competition from imports so recently, we successfully implemented and expanded our Ardagh Direct sales division that offers customers of all sizes the ability to buy US-made glass direct from the manufacturer in less than truckload quantities.”

According to Glass Packaging Institute statistics, the wine and spirits markets have seen growth in domestic glass container shipments in 2019. “While there is no disputing that tariffs on Chinese imports have had a positive impact on this demand, these are also categories that are historically very committed to glass and having success in growing their share of the alcoholic beverage market” Mr Shaddox explains. Furthermore, he confirms that Ardagh Group will continue to be very active across all market sectors, describing 2020 as “a very exciting year.”

Ardagh Group strives constantly to improve its cost competitiveness, in line with all other US glass packaging producers. “Freight sensitivity and other supply chain constraints make it vital for our customers to have manufacturing options close to their facilities, as well as the importance of supporting jobs in the US” says John T Shaddox. “My expectations for 2020 are that Ardagh Group will continue to prove to our customer base that we are the supplier of choice and that we will continue to gain market share in this very competitive market.”

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* The full version of this article appears in the January/February issue alongside a broad cross-section of editorial that assists with all areas of production and processing. Whatever your company's area of glass making expertise, this issue will provide you with balanced coverage of the latest news, technology, profiles, market information and events. Subscribe now to receive the full paper and digital versions (subscribers receive a free copy of the Who’s Who / Annual Review yearbook!).

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