Rachel Smith has been appointed to replace David Amor as managing director at direct mail house First Move Direct Marketing.
Officially announced last week, Smith stepped up to her new role on 1 January as Amor moved into a newly created position of “direct mail futurist” as well as taking on a chairmanship role. His focus will be on seeking growth through artificial intelligence and First Move’s Xerox inkjet technology.
The company reported a sales growth of 5% last year and Smith said the 2018 target would be 10%.
“My first few months have been exciting because we have a lot going on in terms of new technology, software and skills within the company,” said Smith. “I am building on the foundations David has established and focusing on increasing our efficiency and productivity in order to add better value for our clients.
“I am making sure every staff member from the bottom to the top knows what our targets are and what we are offering to our clients. Our managers have been informed of our 10% growth target and will focus on that accordingly.
“We want to make a difference to our clients’ businesses and become a partner to them rather than just a supplier. We are happy to be with them from the beginning of a job right through to the end product while hopefully giving them an easier, streamlined process.”
An extended period of investment has seen First Move spend approximately £1.2m on its 65-strong team of staff, as well as its technology, ahead of Smith’s promotion.
While investment has gone into training and educating the current team, additions to the team include a new business development manager focused on directing clients towards First Move’s new technology and a new addition to the firm’s data team specialising in pre-press who will focus on pushing programmatic direct mail.
Technological investments included the UK’s first Xerox Trivor 2400 inkjet web, which was installed in August 2016, and a new Petratto Metro folder-gluer from Intelligent Finishing Systems installed in January this year.
Amor, who headed up £8m-turnover First Move for 17 years, has been spending time speaking at industry events and building partnerships with other companies, which will feed back into his “futurist” role. Smith moved from Lloyds Bank to the company 11 years ago.
“We are confident Rachel is the right person for the job with her specialist expertise in shaping strategic direction, transformation leadership, driving change, people development, and delivering significantly increased business performance,” Amor said. “We are delighted to be giving Rachel this opportunity and expect great things to come under her leadership.”