A conversation with Peter Verbist, CEO of Didak Injection

In a comprehensive interview, Peter Verbist, CEO, looks forward to the future of Didak Injection: “There is so much know-how here; I see so many opportunities. And we are very flexible in responding to them with focus, innovation, and sustainability.”

Flexible Response to Market Fluctuations

What's the most important takeaway from the past year for you?

Peter Verbist: “We've learned that we are incredibly flexible. It was a year of important changes. All operational aspects went on smoothly, we worked very efficiently, and we managed to keep our costs under control.”
Besides, we witnessed some nice prospects emerging along with new products, and this year we have many more moulds on order than in other years.

Long-term investment

What are the challenges for the upcoming year?

“Economic slowdown is one. For instance, last year we noticed that the fruit and vegetable sector bore the brunt of the energy crisis. Production shifted southward, but Italy and Spain were dealing with severe droughts. Some products then came even further from the south, from Morocco. There, they still work with cardboard, which is not sustainable at all.
While some sectors are putting projects on hold, we continue to invest for the long term.”

How do you plan to achieve that?

“Through automation and focus. By paying attention in a certain field, you can always be victorious.
Our packaging line is now set up, and we are working on Automatic Guided Vehicles which can deliver significant efficiency improvements. We plan to deploy them in the second half of 2024.”

Will this automation also impact interaction with customers?

“By implementing robotics and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), customers will be able to view live information about our inventory and production. This will be integrated into a portal on our website. These technological advances enable us to give our customers a glimpse into our factory.”

Focus on Sustainability

What makes Didak Injection different from other plastic companies?

“Our focus on sustainability sets us apart. Everyone talks about recycling, but that's not the most important thing. Re-use is the first and most important step: reusability before recycling. We ensure our products are 100% reusable and can last for years, and then they’re also 100% recyclable.
As far as I know, we are the only ones offering products that are 100% recyclable, even our labels are 100% melt-able because everything is made from a single material: HDPE.”

Attention to Human Capital

You've heavily invested in technical profiles and new salespeople?
“Finding technical profiles remains a challenge, but we continue to search for them. The same goes for new salespeople. Two are currently getting up to speed. These are crucial investments for our growth strategy.”

Any other investments planned?

“We are also taking steps in terms of quality. The upcoming investment in 3D imaging will enable us to measure even more precisely, down to a hundredth of a millimeter. This is particularly important in the plastics industry, where precision is critical. Warm plastic shrinks in 3D, which means shrinkage varies depending on wall thickness. That has to be accounted for.”

Knowledge as Power

Finally, what is your view on the future of Didak Injection?

“I see a lot of potential in the market and in our company, but I'm also critical. Innovation is necessary, and we need to draw more from our knowledge. People don’t realise how much knowledge and power are present here.
I believe that with the right course and long-term results in mind, we will achieve success. We have a lot in the pipeline that will manifest sooner or later. We see potential in sectors like material handling and automatic warehousing, and we've even entered the energy market. Niche markets for crates, we definitely see a future there.

We must continue to innovate, sharpen our knowledge, and fully exploit the potential of our market. It takes time, but with the right strategies and a dedicated team, I’m convinced we can maximise our potential.

As the famous saying goes: 'It's not the strongest that survive, but the most adaptable to change.' We strive to continuously adapt and evolve, and I am confident that this will help us to thrive and grow.”