The award, initiated in 1988, is given only to one vendor each year. Prior to the Supplier of the Year notification, Graham Packaging had won a Miller Brewing Company Partners in Excellence award.
"Our Supplier of the Year award is chosen each spring based on high product quality and service, excellent customer service, and a partnership approach to the business relationship," says Jim Sheehy, v.p. of procurement for Miller. "To determine which company is the best, we review all suppliers who received a Partners in Excellence Award. They are the cream of the crop according to our rating system."
The award was officially announced in early June at the Miller offices in Milwaukee, Wis. The winning supplier receives a traveling trophy called the Frederick J. Miller Award, named after the company's founder. For the coming year, the trophy will reside at the Graham Packaging plant in Rockwell, Texas, the company's main producer of containers for Miller.
"Our people at the Rockwell plant went the extra mile to thoroughly embrace the goals and objectives of Miller Brewing Company," said Ralph Armstrong, Graham Packaging's director of beer, wine, and spirits packaging. "They excelled in every way, particularly in working through the recent conversion to the new 28 millimeter PET bottle we designed."
Making the highest quality beer has been a passion of the Miller Brewing Company since its founder, Frederick J. Miller, began his brewing business in 1855. Since then, Miller has grown from a small local brewer to the second largest brewery in the U.S., with seven major breweries located across America.
Graham Packaging, based in York, is a worldwide, technology-based, customized blow-molded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household, personal care/specialty, and automotive lubricants product categories. The company produces more than 20 billion container units at 87 plants in North America, Europe, and South America, and had sales of $2.5 billion in 2005.
The company is a leading U.S. supplier of plastic containers for hot-fill juice and juice drinks, sports drinks, drinkable yogurt and smoothies, nutritional supplements, wide-mouth food, dressings, condiments, and beers; the leading global supplier of plastic containers for yogurt drinks; the leading supplier of plastic containers for liquid laundry detergent; and the number-one supplier in the U.S., Canada, and Brazil of one-quart/one-liter plastic HDPE (high-density polyethylene) containers for motor oil.