D S Smith install Tensor

DS Smith is an international group focused on two major activities, packaging and office products; a leading manufacturer of corrugated packaging in the UK and France, a leading producer of recycled paper board, a worldwide supplier of bag-in-box, the largest UK manufacturer of envelopes, books and pads and a European wholesaler of office supplies. DS Smith employ 12,000 people of whom 7,600 work in the UK.

In 1996 Factory Manager, Chris Stearne, and HR Manager, Maggie Harris were in search of a comprehensive Time & Attendance system that would be a lot easier to use than their existing manual Blick punch card system and could provide an automated Fire Roll Call facility. They naturally considered upgrading their Blick system but decided to purchase a WinTA system from Tensor because The system was much easier to use than the Blick system and the price was competitive.

A WinTA Time & Attendance system was installed in November 1998 with no problems during the installation of the hardware or software. Both Chris and Maggie were trained at Tensor’s Training Centre at Hail Weston. The training was very good, remarked Chris.

The WinTA system was extended in 2001 to include Access Control and the latest Tensor Fire Roll Call system. The current installation is used for Time and Attendance, Access Control & Fire Roll Call.

When asked what he likes most about the system, Chris said It’s very easy to maintain and the backup from Tensor is superb. Essentially, the system is simple to use – especially the Tensor Smart Cards.

The Fire Roll Call system is tested once a month, but fortunately they have never had to use it!

We have used the Tensor Help Desk on a number of occasions explained Chris to the Tensor reporter. He went on to say he found the service Very helpful indeed.

Apart from a visit about one month ago from Tensor engineers to replace a motherboard, the clocking stations and Access Control hardware has had no failures, Very good, with a very quick response was Chris’s observations of the service from Tensor.

When asked if he would recommend Tensor to other companies, Chris said Yes, I have done so on several occasions, and summing up Tensor in a few words he concluded Fulfilled all the promises – Tensor did exactly what we wanted and system does exactly what Tensor said it would do.

About D S Smith Packaging

Early years

The Company began in 1940, as David S. Smith, manufacturing folding cartons at Neath, Wales. The business was incorporated in 1960 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange on 3 March 1986.


The Group grew rapidly during the 1980s with the acquisitions of St Regis Paper Company in 1986 for £83 million and Kemsley Paper Mill in 1988 for £11 million. The initial diversification into plastic packaging occurred with the purchase of a liquid packaging operation as part of the £12 million acquisition of Corrugated Products. The plastic tap business, Waddington & Duval was subsequently acquired for £2 million.


Growth continued during the 1990s through a combination of organic development and acquisitions. The Group’s largest paper mill, Kemsley, was upgraded between 1993 and 1996 at a cost of £110 million. The £170 million acquisition of Kaysersberg Packaging in 1991 added a continental European presence particularly in heavy duty corrugated packaging. In addition, the Kaysersberg purchase provided a continental position in the plastic packaging market. The Group acquired a leading UK position in the wholesaling of office products in 1993 when it acquired Spicers for £93 million. John Dickinson, a leading UK manufacturer of envelopes, books and pads, was acquired for £17 million in 1996.

Recent developments

Paper and Corrugated Packaging:

There has been ongoing investment in the paper mills and corrugated operations in the UK and continental Europe. In the UK, a new conventional corrugated plant was opened at Fordham in 1998 and there has been substantial investment at the heavy duty Tri-Wall plant in Monmouth and the Lockerbie speciality facility. On the continent, the Polish corrugated factory was modernised and a new second factory was opened in 2002 at the Italian corrugated business. In 2001, a number of corrugated packaging operations, previously owned by Danisco, were acquired for £21 million, providing a substantial presence in the growing lightweight speciality sheetboard market and strengthening the sheet plant network. In March 2004, the UK corrugated packaging business, LINPAC Containers, was acquired for £170 million.

Plastic Packaging

The Group’s plastic packaging activities were consolidated in 1999 into a separate division, which is focused on two markets: liquid packaging and dispensing, and industrial returnable transit packaging (RTP). A leading global position in liquid packaging and dispensing has been built through the acquisitions of Packaging Systems LLC (trading under the name Rapak) for £17 million in 2000 and Zewathener GmbH for £17.5 million in 2002. The Group has also established a leading European presence in RTP through organic development and some small acquisitions.

Office Products

In addition to its strong businesses in the UK and Ireland, Spicers built a leading position in the French office products wholesaling market, which was developed further with the acquisition of Plein Ciel in 2001. Spicers’ continental presence was extended into Germany with the opening of distribution centres at Hanover in 1998 and at Nuremberg in 2001. Spicers launched its Spanish business in 2002 with a distribution centre at Barcelona.

In 2001 the company changed its name from David S. Smith (Holdings) PLC to DS Smith Plc.

The Group today has a total turnover of about £1.5 billion and employs approximately 12,000 people, of whom 7,600 are in the UK. It also has operations in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, the Czech Republic, USA and New Zealand.

D S Smith Plc

4-16 Artillery Row

London SW1P 1RZ

Tel: +44 (0) 207 932 5000

Fax: +44 (0) 207 932 5003

Email: ir@dssmith.co.uk

Website: http://www.dssmith.uk.com/

Cant find what you're looking for?

Enter a search term below (e.g. "Time and Attendance") and we'll find all of our relevant content for you.

Tensor plc accreditations