81st Conference Success - Report

15th July 2013

81st SPA Conference

The 81st Conference was held at the Holiday Inn in Stratford upon Avon on the 24th & 25th June. This conference was another record breaker for the Association, as it was the best attended SPA summer event ever held with over ninety delegates registering.

The meetings were held in the traditional ‘tried and tested’ format starting on the Monday evening with departure after lunch on the Tuesday. There was a break with tradition on the Monday evening, instead of a sponsored bar for pre dinner drinks, a Cruise on the River Avon was organised and Swanline Print supplied the on board refreshments.

The business sessions (as ever) were 100% relevant  and were of particular interest to owners, MD’s and Sales Directors looking to grow their businesses.

The Monday evening sessions started with MM Karton, a new member, showcasing their Company and Products. This was followed by the presentation of the macro economic outlook by Tom Hooper economist with KPMG and ably assisted by Raj Bhardwaj who put the large economic picture into the context of box making the UK.

Tuesday’s meetings came fast and furious, Anita Coaster, the SPA’s retained Employment Lawyer, giving her usual update of immediate and impending changes to Employment Law. Later this year there will be a new release of Employment law incorporating the all changes since 2011.

The SPA is now a full member of the CBI and Laura Smith from the CBI gave an informative presentation on alternative funding sources to help grow your business.

This was followed by Neil Osment from NOA Ltd also on the theme of funding informing the meeting on how to access funding via Growth Accelerator. This dovetailed neatly into a second session on Strategic Planning and Lead Generation.

It is important to the SPA that its members have access to up to date Terms & Conditions of Sale and Purchase and these are in the process of being re-issued to all members. Roxburgh Milkins, Lawyers, the SPA’s chosen lawyers in this area, have been tasked with this initiative. The Terms & Conditions of Sale in draft stage were presented to the members by Ian Grimley a Partner with the firm, who has written them. The feedback was that there were now a lot more fixed term contracts in the marketplace and the T & Cs should reflect this. He was asked to draw up some ‘boiler plate’ fixed term contracts, in order that members could pick and choose the criteria most suitable to their situation, knowing that they were working within the law.

Andy Ely of TUV Ltd, the SPA's retained Health &Safety practitioner, kept delegates up to date with the latest from the HSE. Andy is also the SPA's H & S Auditor for Five Star Accreditation.

Members were reminded that FREE Telephone Hotlines exist for all members in the 3 areas of Employment Law, Commercial Law & Health & Safety.

Tim Gray, Chairman, gave details of amendments and additions to the SPA website, which includes a new Raw Material Tracker. He also showed the new SPA promotional video, which was well received.

The final part of the morning’s sessions was the Breakout Meetings for Converters & Suppliers, where members discuss their individual roles within the organisation and what they can collectively do for it. All delegates then re-convened to discuss their findings, which will be tabled at the next Executive Meeting.

One suggestion is being trialed immediately: a change to the timing of Conference.
Please note that the Conference on Nov 4th will start at 1.00pm with departure after breakfast on the 5th. Only those attending the Lean Manufacturing Masterclass will remain for this Tuesday am session.

** Speakers presentations are available to all members – downloadable as PowerPoint presentations from the Members’ Quick Links section of the SPA website. **