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IPL Perspectives:

Angela Taylor & Vicki King

Global Thinking. Local Action.

This was the thinking in this month’s feature of IPL Perspectives. Who better to chat to than Angela Taylor and Vicki King.

Each forming part of our customer service and business development teams in the UK and USA, respectively, we wanted to hear from Angela and Vicki on the following:

How, as a global packaging company, are you best able to provide a personalised, hands-on approach to clients situated on different continents and that best serves their varied requirements?

Read their responses below.

Angela Taylor | Sales Manager (UK)

Being fairly new to the IPL Packaging team, one of the key things that attracted me to the company was its international reach and scope; a global supplier operating across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

As a team, IPL had been making use of video conferencing for years and, therefore, when the pandemic hit, they were familiar with this way of working and adept at keeping the cogs of the business moving smoothly. It was the face to face meetings with clients that the team really missed – and the interaction at the office, of course.

Thankfully, when I started life at IPL in January this year, things were ‘opening up’ and clients are now happy to welcome us to on-site meetings. Interestingly, we’ve really had a lot of clients visiting us in the office this year. Our facility is a huge asset. We have a great showroom and can conduct technical, NPD and design meetings face-to -face and with the benefit of having a huge range of samples and materials to hand. We also dial-in the global design and technical development team where needed.

Being ideally located in Falkirk, Scotland, myself and my colleagues serve a rich spread of clients across the Central Belt. Currently my own customer contact is predominantly focussed on local businesses. Our local presence is critical to our success. It’s something which is pretty unique. Plus we also supply a decent sandwich!

At IPL, team culture is really important and the emphasis is on the personal touch. Having the local presence I mentioned enables us to be very hands-on, which is greatly helpful. This is key to our success; along with a passion to please the customer, provide excellent customer communication and, of course, deliver a superior end result in the form of beautiful, impactful packaging.

Culturally, there are differences (in terms of business communication and expectations) that exist on all continents, and sometimes even from one country to the next. I think the important thing is developing relationships with colleagues and clients with similar values – honesty, trust, transparency – and sometimes a shared sense of humour.

Operating a business of our size and scale entails lots of groundwork and establishing solid relationships with customers and suppliers. The relationships with the production teams based in Asia and Europe are decades long. We have our own teams based there and they really are the backbone of our business.

Before joining the company I was lucky enough to engage with the team at the early stages of their journey – and witness their subsequent success. It’s been a full circle journey for me!

Vicki King | Business Development (USA)

As part of a global company, I’m provided with the opportunity of working and building relationships with my teammates, located throughout the world. This undoubtedly benefits our clients and allows them to tap into our depth of knowledge, our experience of differing markets and our well-established global supply chain.

In addition to being able to discuss pressing topics and issues virtually, and at any given time of day, being part of an international company that promotes openness and transparency allows me to easily obtain additional information on behalf of my clients. For example, gathering further information on a particular pack that was designed or worked on by a global team member – and the opportunity to learn and absorb their insights and understand their motivation for certain decisions or recommendations.

With every client, either in North America or the UK, there are both opportunities and challenges surrounding topics such as: freight, duties, transportation, logistics terminology – and don’t forget the global holidays! Details are also truly critical when it comes to the appearance and functionality of a client’s secondary pack. Our clients in the USA understand that our expertise is multifaceted and is enhanced by our deep experience of different markets.

With the challenges we are facing in the global economy we need to address situations from innovative angles. This is where I truly appreciate the value of an expert global team in understanding and providing insight and direction relating to each individual project. We, in turn, can provide local insight as to client requirements and dynamics as they exist in the marketplace.

The opportunities we face in the USA (as in many other markets) are now deeply focused on the ongoing shift in clients priorities, wants and needs. Sustainability remains a top priority BUT we always need to provide multiple, accessible possibilities and options to ensure our packaging solutions meet our clients’ environmental vision. This is all about communicating effectively with our global logistics partners and our dynamic global network of suppliers to ensure we source the best possible material and freight solutions possible.

At the end of the day, working and being associated with a worldwide company is a wonderful experience that enables us to view the world from a unique perspective and understand each brand’s diverse requirements.

GET INTO

THE MIND OF...


Each month we ask our “Perspectives” features a few questions to provide you with a little more context and insight into their job roles as well as themselves.

ANGELA TAYLOR

My key focus is working with clients to develop premium and luxury packaging solutions that meet their brand aspirations. The role also involves learning about various material options and production processes. Sustainable materials, their development and testing is also a primary focus for IPL and its clients. This has been a great area of learning for me.

Always with a strong coffee – but no two days are the same for me, and that’s how I like it!

I really enjoy the face-to-face interaction of client meetings and working alongside the team at our Falkirk HQ, but I do find that I achieve more work when I’m at home. There’s a healthy shift towards a more hybrid model post-pandemic and a more flexible approach to working.

My ‘superhero skill’ ambition would be to read minds – or to eat anything I fancied without gaining any weight!! Like the rest of the team – I think learning to play an instrument or to learn a new language would be more achievable!

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Angela Taylor
Vicki King

VICKI KING

I’m currently transitioning my role at IPL of 8 years from Client Services to Business Development. I feel I’ve established a sound knowledge of client requirements and what is critical to them – this is helpful to me when securing new business.

Every day the dog and I go out for our early morning walk. We get to enjoy the peace and calmness of our surroundings and embrace the day ahead of us.

I do like to work at the office as I feel I stay on task and focused. I do enjoy working from home as well, however, if I need to step away and grab a quick breath of fresh air and sit quietly in the sun, this is priceless. The only downside is that I seem to keep snacking constantly!

I’d love to learn the Italian language.

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