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GWP add leadership roles in response to increased demand

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 17th February 2022
Posted In: Company News | Investment xx 31179

New Team Leaders

Recruitment and promotions result in improved productivity

GWP have added a number of new leadership roles at our Cricklade (Wiltshire) production facility, in response to a continued high demand for our packaging products and services.

The changes have been implemented against the backdrop of strong sales last year, and with turnover on course to grow even further in 2021.

The result is that a number of specialist teams have been created within our skilled production staff, with each focusing on specific areas of the factory. This includes individual print, die cutting, bespoke packaging, and finishing teams.

New GWP Team leaders
A number of new leadership roles have been created at GWP to address increased demand

About the changes

After recording robust results in 2020, sales and turnover have remained strong at GWP throughout 2021.

But this increase in sales performance – in combination with the widely reported shortages of corrugated cardboard material – created a number of challenges. This was felt particularly acutely across our manufacturing operations.

In response (and in order to ensure the highest levels of service and availability was maintained for all customers) a number of specialist teams were created within GWP’s production staff. This change of structure has also seen the appointment of new team leaders, including a mixture of promotions for internal staff and the recruitment of new employees to the business.

The new teams

The individual teams are now headed up by Adrian Price and Hipolito Peres (print), Darryn Van Der Merwe (die cutting), Simon Middleton (bespoke processes), Carlton Agambar and Ben Weller (finishing), plus Christophe Wright and Loyston Rebello (Warehouse).

Each team leader is also identifiable on the factory floor, thanks to new, colour coded uniforms – the idea being that they can be easily found by their team members when required.

GWP create new leadership roles
From left: Phil Caswell, GWP Production Manager, with new GWP team leaders Ben Weller, Hipolito Peres, Carlton Agambar, Darryn Van Der Merwe, Christophe Wright, Simon Middleton, Adrian Price, and Loyston Rebelo

To further clarify the management / communication structure, all of the new leaders report directly to Production Manager, Phil Caswell.

Phil, who joined GWP in 2018, said;

Whilst are continuously identifying incremental improvements to our processes and procedures, we felt that one of the key opportunities for streamlining our operations was the formation of specialist teams and knowledge within our production.

Implementing this has had a positive impact on both our efficiency and productivity, with the changes made immediately resulting in noticeable benefits to our business.

Benefits to GWP and customers of the new approach

Staff were quick to embrace the changes and the improvements became noticeable almost immediately.

In fact, the new structure has resulted in a number of tangible benefits to GWP’s manufacturing capabilities and, by extension, customers.

Phil commented;

We have managed to increase the productivity of some manufacturing equipment since taking this approach, whilst maintaining or in some cases even improving the already exceptionally high quality packaging we produce.

The IT, production and maintenance departments all worked together to ensure that output from the newly formed teams and specific items of equipment was also accurately tracked and recorded. This then allowed for the improvements to be demonstrated clearly to employees at all levels of the business, as well as highlighting other opportunities for further improvement.

Ultimately, the changes have allowed for extra production capacity to be created (allowing customer deadlines and lead times to be consistently maintained) as well as driving incremental improvements in overall quality too.

Packaging team leaders
The new team leaders each ave colour coded uniforms to allow easier identification on the factory floor

Staff development and training

Besides the productivity gains and focus on quality, there have been benefits for staff members too.

This has included new recruits from outside of the business bringing in fresh ideas and experience, as well as rewarding a number of existing employees with promotions.

There has also been an extensive training programme for staff development, plus a number of strategies for improved communication implemented too.

Carlton Agambar – who has been with GWP since 2003 – has been promoted to one of the new team leader roles. He commented;

The changes have made a huge difference. They’ve really sharpened everyone’s focus, and allowed us all to develop our in-depth knowledge of specific areas of the business. There has even been a positive impact on morale – everyone knows their role and how it is benefiting the business as a whole.

Of course, this also benefits the wider business with the view being that the development of specialist knowledge that is retained within the business, will provide the foundations for a further period of growth.

Successfully negotiating a difficult period

It is successful strategies and well implemented changes such as the above that have allowed GWP to negotiate a difficult period – Brexit, Coronavirus, material shortages, and more – with such a degree of success.

Corrugated packaging manufacturers
GWP have successfully negotiated a challenging period - including material shortages, Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic

Ruth Cook, Managing Director at GWP Group, added;

We have had so many challenges to overcome during the past couple years – particularly from material shortages and price increases at a time of exceptional growth and demand amongst our customer base. And this is before even considering the difficulties presented by the pandemic.

Staff at all levels of the business have really stepped up however, with the changes made in production and – in particular the appointment of team leaders – playing a crucial role. It has allowed us to not only overcome the challenges posed, but also drive real improvements in quality and efficiency too.

Having celebrated a landmark thirty years of trading at this time last year, GWP have seen demand and sales increase dramatically over the past 18 months. The company also became part of the Macfarlane Group in February 2021, creating further opportunities for growth for both businesses.

GWP Group currently employs around 100 members of staff across two sites in Wiltshire (Cricklade and Salisbury), designing and manufacturing a wide range of bespoke packaging products.

The wider Macfarlane Group comprises more than 900 employees, with annual sales of c£225m across the UK, Europe, and US.

Find out more

For further information regarding GWP please visit the “About Us” and “News” sections of the website. For further information on Macfarlane, please go to

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About the Author

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 9 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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