A day in the life of a RAP channel manager
May 28, 2014Top left to right – Henry Shephard and Robin Huggins. Bottom left to right – Sophie Grubb, Melanie Smith and Sue Beaver (Head of Commercial Services)
From designers to channel managers, a range of people contribute to each piece of packaging we deliver. Our ‘A day in the life’ series interviews different team members and explores how they work with our customers to make each project a success.
Today we catch up with three channel managers – Robin Huggins, Melanie Smith and Sophie Grubb.
Q: What’s the purpose of your role?
Sophie: We’re the main point of contact for our customers. We ensure they get their packaging when they need it, working with everyone behind the scenes to make it happen.
Melanie: From planning and delivery through to troubleshooting and reporting, it all goes through us.
Q: What do customers find particularly challenging and how do you help?
Robin: Lead times can be challenging for customers. Sometimes they need a really tight turnaround for a new design, and we work really hard to make that happen. On an ongoing basis we have rigorous stock management systems in place based on customer requirements, so everything is planned and managed carefully. For example, for some clients we always have the raw material in stock and hold a 12 weeks’ supply at any one time.
Q: What’s a typical day like?
Melanie: Very busy! We work with existing customers daily, mainly placing orders, checking stock figures and providing product specifications. We also work with the sales team to put together details for prospective customers and then manage all new projects from conception to delivery.
Q: What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to do?
Robin: Sit on the phone to customs in New York. I spent three hours reiterating that our paperwork was correct, there wasn’t actually any food in the packaging, which meant the shipment could, in fact, enter the US!
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Sophie: Seeing new products being launched is fantastic, especially when you see them on the shelves. For example, we launched the first BagRap in the UK for Co-op – that was brilliant.
Melanie: It sounds cheesy, but as a channel manager our role is all about the relationship with customers, so we take a lot of pride in the great relationships we’ve developed. With the work we do for clients like Pret A Manger, Greencore, Greggs and McDonald’s we have a wonderful level of confidence and trust, which has been built up over the years. This is a reflection of the whole RAP team delivering to the customer’s requirements on a continual basis.
Q: Describe working for RAP in five words.
Robin: Fast-moving, fun, interesting, growing, challenging.
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