45 years in 10 questions!
24 Jun 2021
Production is at the heart of any factory operation and our production teams are responsible for thousands of boxes passing through their machine portfolio every single day. So that our customers can get to know a little about the people that lead out production teams, we’re going to spend the next few months introducing our production managers and supervisors so you can get a glimpse of what goes on and who looks after the manufacturing of your orders.
First up is the Production Manager at our Doncaster site, Derek Short, who has over 45 years’ experience in the corrugated packaging industry and forms part of the senior management team at the site.
• When did you join the company? – In June 2007, 14 years ago before it was known as Boxes and Packaging (Doncaster)
• What’s your career history? – I’ve worked in packaging all my life and started my career at Lin Pac corrugated cases in Louth. I worked there for 22 years and had an excellent grounding, working in all departments initially on a 4-year training programme. Then I moved to Assidomain in Northampton as a Die-cut Specialist, and then onto Kappa in Yate, as Factory Manager. I came ‘back up North’ for family reasons and I’ve been at Doncaster since then.
• Why did you choose to join B&P? – I was part of the company before we were part of B&P, but since we joined the Logson Group we have had excellent support and investment advancing our capabilities and allowing us to become more efficient whilst growing our customer base. It was a very good decision!
• Talk us through a typical day in production at Boxes and Packaging (Doncaster) – Every day has different challenges. Every job requires different machines, skills and people – but the main thing for me is about encouraging people to succeed and achieve their goals.
• To give us an idea of scale, how many boxes pass through the factory on average each day? – A lot! Anywhere between 65 to 80,000 passes through the four primary machines.
• What would you say are the main elements of your role? – To ensure we meet our customer demands and exceed their expectations, whilst manufacturing to a high level of quality. Also, the management of our team to ensure they are working safely following all our safe systems of work (SSOW) and our own Logson Group ‘Make it Safe’ policies and standards. Managing staffing levels to ensure we always have sufficient skills on site to run an efficient plant and meet production levels.
• What do you like about your job? – Managing people and achieving our goals to be a successful business.
• You’ve been in the industry for 45 years. Why would you say packaging is a good career to have? – I have always believed you can have a lifelong career in packaging. People will always need packaging protection and over the last 18 months or so Covid has shown this in many ways.
• How has the packaging industry changed during your career? – I first started when everything was manufactured by people, sometimes 3 to 4 people working on one machine. Stereos were hand cut and singularly mounted on to the cylinder. Now with technical improvements, two people can run a machine manufacturing over 20,000 cases per hour. Robots can feed board and take off finished product from machines which has massive effects on throughput and transform a plants performance figures.
• What do you think the future of the industry looks like? – The future will have technical advances with faster machines running with less people. Plants will develop and find ways to recycle energy and, as long as we continue to develop ecological ways to produce corrugated packaging, the future is bright.