Meet Kevin Jones – Sales Director
Kevin is SEALPAC UK’s ambitious and driven Sales Director, who’s never afraid to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in. We caught up with Kevin to find out more about his passion for customer service and all things boats.
From apprentice to director
How did you first get involved in the food industry?
“I originally began my career on the engineering side. I saw an advert for a welding and fabricating apprenticeship and decided to apply for it (after checking with my Dad that I could borrow his suit!). That’s where I met Kevin Witheford, who was sales director at the company, and we’ve stayed good friends ever since.
“Years later, when Kevin was contacted about the opportunity at SEALPAC UK, he asked if I’d like to join him in taking on the business. It sounded like a great opportunity and I was delighted to come on board. That was nine years ago and the business has since gone from strength to strength. We have grown from a team of four to a team of more than 30 and have significantly increased the number of machines we have out in the field.”
A typical day
What’s a typical day like for you?
“This is a difficult one, as it really depends what’s going on at the time!
“I probably spend half my time on the road meeting with customers and the rest in the office. When I’m in the office, I’ll work with the guys to check what’s going on and if there are any issues I need to support them with. I’ll also get involved with competitive tenders and negotiations.
“We have a group meeting at the beginning of each week, to talk about where we’re at and what’s coming up. Then at the end of each week, we’ll also have a wrap up, to update each other on how things have progressed and key achievements. This communication is really important, especially for keeping the sales guys out in the field updated on what’s happening.”
How important is innovation to the business?
“Our customers have very high expectations for the quality of our service and the speed of our delivery, and we work hard to meet and exceed those expectations.
“We know that our customers want a complete turnkey solution, which is why we have formed partnerships with a growing number of specialist technology partners. We will visit trade shows, such as IFFA in Germany, and identify what are the latest trends, technologies and innovations, then explore ways to bring them to our UK customer base. Whether that’s weighing and packaging solutions, slicing, quality control and inspection, or labelling.
“Some of the distributor agreements we have recently signed include Sleegers Technique, Singer & Sohn and Pulsotronic.
“For our customers, this means they don’t need to use their limited resources sourcing machines from lots of different suppliers and trying to make all the different elements of their production line work together. We can save them all that time and effort, by project managing the entire process.”
What are the key growth areas for the business?
“Automation remains a hot topic within the industry right now and that’s being driven by two things; a shortage of engineers and general labour, and also an increasingly challenging trading environment.
“Retailers are facing tough market conditions themselves and having to cut prices, which is in turn placing even greater demands on suppliers. Manufacturers need to be producing higher volumes with less people, if they are to compete. What automation offers is a tried and tested, long term solution to optimising efficiency and performance. So, it’s no surprise it continues to be a growth area for us.“
The SEALPAC UK family
And what does the future hold?
“We are always looking to enhance our team, with specialist inhouse training and the addition of external talent where it’s needed.
“Working here is like being part of a family. We work hard, but also have fun along the way. Our guys are very hands-on and flexible, and there’s always someone there to jump in with help and support when it’s needed. Myself and Kevin included. We will always roll our sleeves up and get stuck into anything that’s required - and that’s the culture we’ve forged within the business.
“I’m very proud of what we have achieved so far and look forward to seeing where we can take the business moving forward.”
But it’s not all work!
When you’re not hard at work, where might we find you?
“Raised in Kent and moving to Poole when I was around 9 years old, I’ve always been passionate about boats and you’ll find me out on the water as much as I can.
“I’m also a key sportsman and in 2017 I took part in my first triathlon. I’ll be doing my second in September in Weymouth, when I’ll again be raising money for the Special Boat Service Association - a local charity which supports serving and retired members of our armed forces. Anyone who would like to make a donation and help me reach my target, can do so here.
Kevin Jones — Our hands-on sales director, who’s never happier than when out on the water.