Twenty years and counting at Swindon
24 Nov 2021
This months’ Meet the Production Manager’ saw us catch up with Graham Thompson at our Swindon site. A proud Swindonian (born and bred in the town) he gave us five minutes of his time to talk all things packaging production.
When did you join the company? – Twenty years ago. I’d worked for a company that made car seats for Honda in Swindon and after redundancy joined the company as Deputy Production Manager at the original Boxes and Packaging. The owner then, Shearer Sellars, was very passionate about packaging and I liked that, and that it was a family run business at the time.
Talk us through a typical day in production at Boxes and Packaging Swindon – It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle, making sure the right people are allocated to the right jobs, that the raw material is available and accessible, and that everything is running smoothly, both people and machines! In addition, I get involved in the strategic future of the business which is great to be involved in. Every day really is different.
To give us an idea of scale, how many boxes pass through the factory on average each day? – Tens of thousands! With the variety of machinery that we have at Swindon, we can make a huge variety of sizes too. Not so long ago I can remember when we were just printing names and logos, now we are printing lots of complex designs and patterns that previously would only be litho! The designs get more inventive too and corrugated gets used in so many ways now compared to when I first joined the business.
What do you like about your job? – No two days are the same. Every day you face different challenges and make quick decisions that keep the work flowing.
You’ve been in the industry for 20 years. Why would you say packaging is a good career to have? – Packaging is a good career to have especially when it is recyclable like corrugated. The world has realised that single use plastic is not all it’s cracked up to be and that recycling and recyclable materials is the way forward. I think more and more businesses are waking up to this and we’re here to help them make the transition from less environmentally friendly packaging solutions.
What do you think the future of the industry looks like? – I think the future of corrugated looks healthy. As I said before most companies are looking at packaging solutions that are recyclable and sustainable and corrugated does that perfectly. I can’t see a time when people won’t demand corrugated as their preferred packaging material – in fact I can only see it growing in popularity further.
The future at Swindon is looking good too. With some great future investments planned, we can only go from strength to strength.