Analysis of Products and Services Offered by Greif, Inc.
Greif, Inc., emerged from humble beginnings as a small cooperage firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, that sold a handful of wooden storage goods, such as barrels and kegs. However, by the late 1900s, the company had evolved into a full-scale industrial packaging firm with the product line to match.
Currently, Greif manufactures a variety of industrial packaging goods, such as intermediate bulk containers, steel drums, and container liners. The company has also expanded its business to produce other specialty goods that include consumer packaging, construction materials, and adhesives, and it now provides services that include packaging inventory management and industrial packaging recycling programs.
Despite this dramatic transformation, Greif remains focused on providing top-quality goods to its customers, and it has undertaken a variety of initiatives to maintain its reputation as a product-focused company. Additionally, Greif has thoroughly incorporated environmental sustainability into its manufacturing practices with the goal of producing durable goods with minimal environmental impact.
Greif’s Product Offerings and Scope
Greif, Inc., is primarily an industrial packaging firm. Products such as steel drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are the company’s bread and butter.
However, in recent years, the company has expanded its product offerings to include other related industries, and it also offers services related to the goods that it sells.
The following section will discuss the company’s major product offerings, excluding IBC products, which shall be addressed in the next section.
Although Greif left the barrel-making game in the mid-1900s, it still makes products that resemble its roots-drums.
Greif currently manufactures drums made of steel, fiber, and plastic, and customers can buy them in small, medium, and large sizes, depending on their needs. Greif’s drums also offer a variety of industry-specific features, such as lacquered interiors and built-in agitators.
Greif’s jerrycans are designed to hold various types of liquids, and they are typically made of polyethylene plastics. These products come in a variety of sizes to suit customers’ preferences.
Jerrycans are most commonly used as gas cans, but they are also widely used in the agrochemical industry.
Greif’s -œbig bags,- or FIBCs, are industrial-grade bags used for packaging and transporting powder, granular, or flake products.
These products come standard with flat woven fabric, but clients transporting fine goods can opt for a tighter, circular weave. Customers can also customize the loops featured on the bag, and they can include liners when necessary.
Greif also manufactures water jugs for use in both offices and outdoor work environments. These jugs are typically made of a polycarbonate or polyester resin, and they come in sizes that range from 10-“20 liters.
Greif offers container liners as accessories for some of its most popular products as well as custom liners to meet client needs. Container liners are typically used when transporting dry goods in order to maintain the cleanliness of the container and to more easily insert and remove product.
Corrugated Packaging and Specialty Coating
Corrugated packaging and specialty coating are other add-ons that Greif offers for its containers.
When transporting food or other sensitive goods, additional packaging, coating, lamination, or insulation may be necessary to maintain the integrity of the product, so Greif offers these services to customers who need them.
Greif’s Paper Mill Division produces a variety of paper products for industrial use.
Greif produces containerboard in both sheets and rolls. Customers have the option of choosing plain or lightweight containerboard, and they can also opt to add Greif GreenGuard-a synthetic wax that enhances the containerboard’s water resistance and overall durability.
The company also manufactures paper rolls for use in a variety of products, such as rugs, turf rolls, and tape. The majority of the company’s paper products are made from recycled paper.
Greif also produces goods for use in large-scale construction products, such as floor coverings and concrete forming tubes. These products are typically made from the company’s insulated paperboard.
To further enhance its product line, Greif has begun to manufacture and sell the adhesives it uses in its own industrial packaging goods, including pastes, tapes, and winding adhesives. The company also offers clients the opportunity to formulate custom adhesives with its Research and Development Department.
Greif recently began to expand into the realm of consumer packaging. The company currently produces foil treatments, cartons, boxes, and wraps for consumer use.
Specialty Packaging Materials
In addition to its standard packaging offerings, Greif also produces specialty packaging materials for both its industrial and consumer packaging customers. These specialty materials include sleeves, corner protectors, and custom coverings.
Greif has also developed a handful of services related to its product offerings to enhance customers’ experience when using its products. Two of its most notable services are its Vendor Inventory Management service and EarthMinded Life Cycle Services.
Vendor Inventory Management allows clients to outsource some of its packaging needs to Greif. This service is typically customized to suit a client’s needs, and its scope can range from optimizing product reordering to full inventory packaging management.
EarthMinded offers Greif’s customers the opportunity to recycle their industrial containers responsibly. Businesses can schedule a pickup of their containers, and the used containers will be reconditioned, remanufactured, or recycled. If interested, companies can partner with EarthMinded to create a holistic packaging sustainability strategy.
Greif’s IBC Products
Although the company manufactures a variety of products, IBCs remain the company’s most popular product offering.
IBCs, or intermediate bulk containers, are multi-use containers designed to more efficiently facilitate the transport, storage, and use of manufactured products. The majority of IBC containers (and the ones that Greif typically produces) are known as rigid IBCs-IBCs meant to retain their shape even while empty.
Greif’s IBCs, known as GCUBEs, consist of three primary elements-a plastic or polymer container with lids and valves, a metal protective cage, and a pallet. This pallet can be made of wood, plastic, or hybrid material, depending on consumer needs and shipping distances. The GCUBE also comes with custom options that range from color and nameplate changes to specialized pallet features.
Greif also offers specialized IBCs for certain industries and materials, including:
- The GCUBE IBC Shield, which insulates the IBC’s content from gas leakage.
- The GCUBE IBC Elektron, which is designed for use in high-EX environments.
- The GCUBE IBC Food, which meets food-grade cleanliness standards.
These specialized GCUBE models also come with a variety of custom features tailored to customer needs.
Greif’s Commitment to Product Quality and Sustainability
Since its founding in 1877, Greif, Inc., has maintained a reputation for producing high-quality products. In fact, the business first achieved success by selling barrels that could carry heavy railroad-building materials without breaking. Today, Greif continues to uphold its reputation for quality by ensuring each of its products meets rigorous internal standards.
Quality is key in the industrial packaging industry. Many industrial containers hold volatile substances in sensitive environments, so companies must consistently produce high-quality products to ensure that their customers are satisfied and safe. Greif therefore takes numerous steps to ensure that all of its products meet or exceed industry standards.
To maintain the consistency of its products, Greif uses a multi-level quality management system called Greif QS, which targets and utilizes specific control points in the manufacturing process to ensure quality and prevent defective goods from reaching consumers.
Greif QS involves multiple applications and procedures to track production and prevent problems in the manufacturing process across multiple facilities. These include:
- Supplier management systems and audits.
- Internal audits and corrective action.
- Specialized training programs.
- Complaint response procedures.
This system thus allows potential quality problems to be reported and tracked before a defective product reaches a client, and it logs recurring complaints to trigger audits when necessary. Greif QS also includes a scorecard that allows employees to evaluate the quality management system and identify shortcomings.
Overall, Greif QS has proven to be an effective tool to maintain the company’s reputation for product quality. Since its implementation, customer complaints and corrective action incidents have decreased while order reliability rates have increased.
Along with Greif QS, the company also employs targeted programs to eliminate the root causes of complaints or isolate issues that commonly cause defects. For example, Greif implemented a Zero-Leak Program after it found that leaks were the most common source of customer complaints, and after the program took effect, leak complaints fell by 67%.
In recent years, Greif has also incorporated sustainability initiatives into its product quality program, aiming to produce goods that are both high-quality and environmentally friendly.
Historically, manufacturers have struggled with sustainability due to their intense consumption of raw materials and energy. Like all manufacturing businesses, Greif must carefully manage its materials and consumption to avoid adverse environmental impacts.
Greif thus created a department dedicated to improving its sustainability called the Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) team, which has promoted initiatives such as:
- Greenhouse gas emission reduction.
- Sustainable water consumption.
- Responsible waste disposal.
- Ethical sourcing of raw materials.
- Compliance with national and international regulations.
Thus far, many of Greif’s environmental programs have been quite successful. The company managed to reduce its emissions by more than 10% in just four years, and the majority of its facilities now divert more than 90% of their waste from landfills.
Despite these successful initiatives, Greif continues to find ways to make its products and practices more sustainable. The company is currently seeking ways to reduce its energy consumption while promoting its internal recycling programs to clients.
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