Strapping Systems Supplier Market divided into three categories.
The major international Companies that manufacture strapping, strapping tools and machinery selling direct and through distribution networks. There are fewer of them now as the last ten years have seen alot of consolidation.
Independent and privately owned Companies specialising in strapping systems. Independent however should not always be interpreted in the true sense of the word particularly where they act as distributers for a major strapping company and impose the same trading policies. Strapping is drawn from specialist trade extruders in the UK and Europe, operating to international recognised quality standards.
General packaging material merchants, Packaging catalogues whose expertise and depth of knowledge on strapping systems and materials is seldom as comprehensive as you could get from the specialist strapping companies, and who generally offer a smaller range of imported budget type tooling.
Strengths and weaknesses of each sector:
The major International strapping companies obviously have a long and broad based experience of strapping applications across a wide range of Industries and with good product ranges are able to offer safe solutions for most strapping applications. Bear in mind however that the proposal offered will not necessarily be the best available as they are confined to offering solutions available only from their own product range, and particularly where strapping machines are involved can frequently employ various punitive restrictions with regard to servicing, spares pricing etc that have the effect of dissuading users from buying the strap at more competitive prices on the open market. Most of these Companies belong to The British Tensional Strapping Association which is basically a talking shop dominated by overseas owned Companies.
Independent Specialist Companies:
These are few (PSCL included), and in general they will be run by people who previously gained their comprehensive experience with one or more of the major international strapping companies at a senior level. These Companies offer unique benefits, as in addition to wide experience across all sectors of industry they can offer impartial advice on the whole range of branded equipment and materials available, rather than having to promote the equipment of just the one strapping company paying a salary. Typical of these benefits is equipment such as the the Strap-Poka pallet strapping machines, low cost devices that makes manual pallet strapping very fast and easy yet ignored by most of the major strapping Companies who are intent selling their own more expensive automated systems, ignoring the huge swathes of industry that either don’t have the capital, or throughput to justify that type of sophisticated equipment. The ability to draw strapping materials from a number of supply sources does also mean the ’ Independents’ can frequently offer more competive pricing than the major Companies.
General Packaging Companies/ Catalogue Sales:
These are Companies that sell a whole range of packaging materials e.g bubble wrap, stretch film, adhesive tape etc and equipment either via a catalogue or salesforce, and as you would expect, the depth of knowlege on strapping products is ‘shallow’ when compared to that of the specialist strapping Companies.
Equipment offered is commonly manufactured in the Far East because it is low cost and gives them bigger profit margins than the better performing European and American brands. Basic plastic strapping tensioners sealers are fair value but some combination tools are commonly described/mis-sold as suitable for heavy duty applications or for use with heavy duty strap…an indication that risk factors might be increased if buying from these sources, particularly if used for pallet strapping applications..
Quality Brands without doubt offer best value – they perform to the highest international safety standards in terms of safety, durability and reliability, have the lowest after sale costs so for the user represent best value. Increased awareness of Risk and Corporate Manslaughter Legislation in most developed countries is making management aware that it is a false economy not to use the best perfoming strapping equipment.