New year predictions: Gareth Jenkins, DS Smith


2015 has been a good year for DS Smith's UK Packaging Division managing director Gareth Jenkins. The firm took delivery of the first narrow width HP T400 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press this year and he is looking forward to completion of two DS Smith PackRight Centres in spring 2016. Just don't mention the Rugby World Cup.

What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

I’m looking forward to a couple of late Christmas presents due in the early Spring – they are the brand new PackRight Centres currently under construction at Featherstone and Hinckley. Together, they will give us unrivalled facilities to manage customer-focussed projects, which add value, across all FMCG and industrial market sectors. It feels good to be investing in customer facing innovation.

What trend (business or technology) do you think 2015 will be remembered for?  

Digital print becoming a reality in the corrugated industry. This year marked a turning point for the industry; taking delivery of the first narrow width HP T400 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press was game-changing for us.

What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2016 and why?

Concentrating too much on print process rather than customer and market needs.

What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2016?

Packs that improve the ‘on-shelf’ experience. Shoppers are often short of time and convenience can overtake loyalty when consumers are looking for products. Packaging specialists should be working with brands from the very early stages of development, ensuring the secondary packaging is aligned with the primary packaging and delivering the ‘wow factor’.

What was your biggest disappointment in 2015?

All southern hemisphere semi-final teams in the Rugby World Cup – surely we can do better!

What was your highlight of 2015?

We launched an ‘engaging manager’s programme and the results so far have been outstanding. It brings together people from all different areas and levels of the company to debate business values and objectives; we’ve been delighted by the quality of the participants’ contributions.

What are your hopes for 2016?

To continue creating an environment where people can take risks and fail safely. This allows people to grow and achieve great things. 

What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

If you are not willing to learn, no-one can help you; if you are determined to learn, no-one can stop you.

What was the most important thing that you learnt in 2015?

Everyone can improve, every day.

What if anything will you do differently in 2016?

Reflect more.

What was the best Christmas present you ever received?

An antique cork-screw……..and some wine to practice on!

Are you making any New Year's resolutions? If so, what?

No, why wait for New Year?

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