Meet… Richard Johansson, Marketing and Sales Manager at Emballator
The rumour says that you started out as an engineer?
Yes, before I started at Emballator – it’s actually 20 years ago – I worked with machine automation for laser printers. The reason I changed was that I wanted to work with something that you can see in everyday life. I started as a designer and eventually became development manager, but in 2010 I switched to sales. The fun thing about working with sales at Emballator is that it is all about development work and innovation. Our sales department at Emballator Lagan Plast is 145 people strong. We do not have one star who does the job, we are a team. That’s our corporate culture and that’s why I’ve chosen to stay. In addition, we have the privilege of having good customers.
What makes a good customer?
A good customer communicates both opportunities and problems and allows us to be involved in the development of their business. We develop each other, otherwise neither of us has a future. Many of our customers are like family members.
What is the most exciting that can happen at work?
I know it may sound a little strange, but complaints are my favourites. Unfortunately, this also happens at Emballator sometimes, but often complaints are the start of something very good. It is partly about communication. The customer telling us that something has gone wrong is a chance for us to put it right and hopefully do it even better. It is something that can grow our relationship with the customer. The alternative – and we do not want to end up there – is that we do not get to know and that the customer chooses someone else. In fact, our most successful development projects often start with a complaint or a problem. For example, we once had a customer who experienced transportation problems with our packaging as it had a tough time on train transports through Europe. We developed a new solution that the customer was very happy with. The upside? We got a really good product that we could offer to other customers.
When not thinking about packaging, what do you do?
I live in Ljungby in southern Sweden with my family. I have the ambition to do some exercising, like cycling, but most of the spare time is spent with our children supporting their interests. Our daughter attends hockey high school in Linköping a few hours away, so in the weekends I am a ”hockey dad”.
How would you like to see the further development of Emballator’s packaging?
The environmental issues will be in focus. Sometimes I think that plastic has gained an undeserved bad reputation. The really big question is how we should handle overconsumption. Emallators quest will be to develop competitive packaging in sustainable materials. I really believe that Emballator will be the one that succeeds.