25 years at the helm
Mark Tierney shares memories and hopes on the past and future of Produce Packaging ...
It’s hard to believe that in February 2023 I have been working for Hutchinsons – Produce Packaging for 25 years
I joined PP on the 1st Feb 1998 having previously worked for W H Smith in their head office purchasing team and fancied a career in sales. Having signed up to a recruitment company I was put forward for a BDM role at PP and having ‘impressed’ Mike Hutchinson ‘enough’ I was offered the role.
My girlfriend Jayne (now Mrs Tierney) and I moved from Hampshire to South West London and I busied myself with travelling the country trying to extend sales at PP. At this time PP had a small box manufacturing plant in Kent and only one other product line of any volume and it became clear to me after a few months that opportunities to develop sales were not exactly falling into my lap!
When I joined PP we sold approx. £750k of boxes to Kent Fruit growers but we needed to grow our range and from this our customer base. I started to look for European manufacturers of ‘Produce Packaging’ and invited them to work with us so we could start to develop sales of their product in the UK, selling off our manufacturing business in late 1998 and becoming purely a distributor of packaging materials.
To support this growth we also started to work with other depot locations within the Hutchinsons group enabling us to offer a ‘stock serve’ delivery service to both our customers and manufacturing partners and this enabled us to continue to grow.
We eventually reached the point where we were able to dedicate space at Hutchinsons Ledbury, Wisbech and Wetherby (now Selby) depots for packaging and as the business continued to grow, we dedicated more resources to the packaging business. In 2012 we opened our Forfar site (extending it in 2017), in 2016 we consolidated the Wisbech and Selby site into a dedicated packaging site in Spalding (extending it in 2022), and in 2018 Marden became purely a packaging delivery site. In January 2023 we acquired Innavisions Ltd to further extend our range and customer base.
We also returned to our past to glue and erect boxes in Marden in 2012 and then taking on the dedicated unit in Kent in 2018 and agreeing a deal with a customer in Scotland to do the same there.
None of this growth would have been possible without my team, I’m very proud to have built PP into the business it is today but this has only been possible due to the hard work and dedication of the whole team. It’s very difficult to mention everyone but I do want to thank Mark D who has been with me for 23 years, Jez Sharp for 21 Years and numerous other colleagues many of whom are 10 year + service members.
We are now regarded as a market leader and as you will have seen this has been recognised with our nomination as a finalist in the FPC awards.
Here’s looking forward to the continued development of the PP and Innavisions businesses and thank you for your support and hard work, the business is nothing without people and I am very proud of the team I have.