4 Jun 2019, 9:47 CET

Trainees of Nottingham reporting in for blogging!

Hi all, Krister and Marcus here reporting in from our sales office in Nottingham. During our time here we have had the pleasure of spending time with our amazing Customer Service Specialists (CSS) in the office, met customers all over the country with our Sales Managers, seen the contributions to PIDA UK and also visit our paper mill in Beetham. In this post we will try to give you a good summary of all this, and some other stuff we have been up to outside of work.

Upon arrival at the office, six friendly colleagues greeted us and introduced us to the facilities. This is where we spent our first days in the UK, being introduced to how they work and the markets they manage. During this time we also attended to a UK sales meeting, including all CSS, Sales Managers and the Site Manager. They actually changed the date of this meeting just so that we could join in, partly to learn what such a meeting is all about but also to introduce ourselves to our colleagues here (we actually stole a third of their meeting time just talking about ourselves).

UK Customer Service Specialists Team, Site Manager and some trainees

After getting to know the CSS part of the sales operation, we got the chance to tag along with the sales managers to customer visits, and it has been few. We have covered a good part of this British island, from Westbury down south to Edinburgh in the north. Through these visits we have been able to see how sales meetings are conducted, how our customers see our products compared to others and how our product is converted.

One of these visits was to East Riding Sacks, a sack converter just outside of York. A privately owned company run by Robert. Rob, having run this company for the most part of his life, really knows his business and he happily gave us a grand tour of his facility and answered any questions that came his way. It’s impressive how he, by being so transparent and open, made us get a good feel for how their business is done in a rather short period of time.

Trainees getting the grand tour by Rob

It has been a very rewarding experience, especially since our positions back home have been more oriented towards production so far and not so much towards customer and end user products.

All this have made us feel that our whole value chain from tree plant to final product have come together to feel a bit smaller and comprehensible, which is great.

At this time of year BillerudKorsnäs host the national events of PIDA, Packaging Innovation Design Award, in four different countries. This is a design competition where students are faced with a demanding task and get the opportunity to show what they can do, but at the same time give inspiration and fresh ideas to our industry. After the national events, The Grand Finale will take place at Luxe Pack in Monaco(!!), where an all-European winner will be selected!

We had the pleasure to attend to when the students in the UK presented their ideas and we were deeply impressed! They really utilized the properties of our CartonBoard and showed us just how innovative they are and how much this new generation has to contribute.

This highlights just how important it is to keep on pushing the boundaries of what we believe is possible!

-Towards the impossible?
-No beyond that, to where the possible and the impossible meet, to become the possimpible!

The last visit of our trip, so far, was at our mill in Beetham, a small mill surrounded by a beautiful landscape featuring billowing hills, a small stream winding its way downward as well as a tonne of sheep. Upon arrival we kicked off with a meeting with the Mill Manager, Ying, and the HR Manager, Amanda, and they showed us what they had planned for us during our visit here. They had made sure to maximise our time here and put together a great schedule. But before we could go out to the machines we met up with our friend from the Business Development trainings, David, who held a thorough Health and Safety introduction for us.

Surrounding area of Beetham Mill

During our time there, we got to spend time with operators learning about their production, join various daily meetings, learned about the history of the mill as well as getting many presentations in different areas of their value chain. It is interesting to compare our mills and how they operate, as all are unique in their own way. Especially this one as this is our only non-integrated mill and has to buy external pulp for their production; this changes the settings of the mill quite drastically. Needless to say, but we´re saying it anyway; we had a good time with our colleagues and learned a lot here and we hope to come back to see them soon again!

But we have not only worked, believe it or not! We have also used our non-working hours to do a fair bit of sightseeing and other fun activities. Apart from walking around exploring our temporary hometown, Nottingham has included watching football (mandatory); dining at the oldest inn in England; meeting Robin Hood; fun activities with the office team; and visiting the home of Batman, Wayne Manor (Wollaton Hall).

The exploration outside of Nottingham has included places such Bath, Edinburgh and the Lake District.

Bath and Edinburgh are two gorgeous cities but completely different. Bath is quite a relaxed small place etched in a valley, whereas Edinburgh is a large city overlooking the ocean. Both cities are rich in history as Edinburgh was named capital of Scotland back in 1437 and Bath became a Roman spa in 60 AD, due to its access to hot springs.

After visiting our Beetham Mill we decided to stay up there and explore the beautiful Lake District National Park that lies just a few miles away, it was stunning! This is one of England’s most mountainous regions and contains several lakes, beautiful forests and small pittoresque (and picturesque) towns. 

Even though we rented mountain bikes while here and did a fair bit of downhill riding the most thrilling part of the trip was driving. If we just skip the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road here and their cars are mirrored to ours, we drove through these steep (not kidding when we say it was 30 degrees slopes) mountain passes on roads barely wide enough for a car; challenging, yet exiting!

That’s it, that’s all.