Following his recent appointment as Operations Director at Drytac Europe, LFR spoke with Douglas Jackson to discover more about his new role.
Late in October 2014, Drytac Europe announced the appointment of Douglas Jackson to the role of Operations Director with responsibility for the management and control of Drytac Europe’s day-to-day business operations including purchasing, planning, and product development.
In order to take up this new position, Douglas returned to the UK from the USA where he had been working for the previous 13 years. He joins Drytac from USA-based ACCO brands where he held the positon of Director of Operations.
On his return to the UK, Douglas explains: “I’d been thinking about heading home for a while as we now have grandchildren in the country; Drytac came up with an offer that made perfect sense. I have long respected the company’s reputation – having worked closely with the business over many years as a Drytac customer – and was impressed with the company’s professionalism and the quality of the products it makes.
“I spoke in detail with Drytac Europe’s Managing Director Hayden Kelley and was convinced that this was the ideal fit for both parties. Whilst the new role enables me to return to the UK, I bring with me the experience and knowledge of the marketplace required to boost Drytac Europe’s ambitious growth strategy.”
One of Douglas’s first missions with Drytac was to attend the recent SGIA Expo. Having attended the event for the previous 14 years, he was pleasantly surprised with the buzz of the show. He says: “This was the biggest SGIA Expo since 2007 and certainly the best in a long time. The Drytac stand was incredibly busy throughout the day and we met with loads of customers and suppliers. The experience was a very positive one.”
In his new role, Douglas will be based primarily at Drytac Europe’s headquarters in Bristol. He has been tasked overall with taking some of the operational responsibilities off Hayden Kelley’s plate – freeing up his time to focus on developing sales – and will be working on making the business as productive and efficient as possible.
“One of the first things I will be focusing on is the upgrade of our ERP system so that it’s bang up to date. The new ERP system – Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 – will enable us to streamline our manufacturing process and optimise efficiencies within the supply chain.
“It will help us ensure materials are available for production and products are available for delivery to customers, maintain the lowest possible material and product levels in store, and plan manufacturing activities, delivery schedules and purchasing activities accordingly.”
Douglas will also be focusing on getting Drytac and its products re-certified under the ISO 9001 scheme, designed to help organisations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders whilst meeting statutory and regulatory requirements relating to products. The company was originally awarded the status in 2005 and needs to renew its certification in 2015.
The ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For businesses such as Drytac, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimising waste and errors, and increasing productivity. They also help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
Having spent the past few years in the USA, Douglas has met some interesting challenges when returning to the UK. He says: “The business culture in the UK – and particularly across Europe – is very different to that of the USA. Ultimately it’s about people though, so I am busy catching up with old contacts and making new ones.
“However, probably the biggest challenge since my return to the UK is converting back to the metric system of measurement, having spent both my formative and latter years using the imperial one. I’m having to get used to dealing in litres and metres once again!”
On the plus side, Douglas gets to fully reacquaint himself with his beloved football and Formula One sports, as well as being able to spend more time with his extended family.
For further information on Drytac and its leading range of films and adhesives, please visit www.drytac.co.uk.