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Celebrating 20 years of success with our platinum lady Amanda

Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee, and Brazil defeated Germany to win the World Cup in Japan. The girl band Girls Aloud was formed, tennis player Emma Raducanu was born, and 50% of the UK population had internet access.

The world was a different place in 2002 when Amanda Taylor joined KM Packaging as a Business Support Assistant.

However, even that was a step forward in time for Amanda. She had previously studied letterpress printing dating back to the 15th century during her course at the London College of Printing, Elephant & Castle (now the London College of Communication).

The ink and paper that mainly occupied Amanda in her first role with KM took the form of purchase invoices, and she said: “On my first day, there was a literal mountain of invoices to process.”

Before long, Amanda joined the then small Customer Service team. She said: “I was excited by the challenges of the customer service role. KM has always been very successful at identifying people’s skills and allowing them to grow.”

Later, Amanda became Customer Service Manager. She said: “You grow to care about the people you are managing, and it is a huge privilege to support them in their roles.”

Amanda, who is now a member of our Senior Management Team, said of her career so far: “If I were to describe my time at KM in one word, it would be ‘rewarding’. I have been given many opportunities to develop my career and flourish.”

One of those opportunities was when Amanda added Procurement Manager to her job title and responsibilities.

She said: “When I started at KM, we didn’t even have a procurement department! I now work closely with our Managing Director and technical and commercial teams to identify the company’s needs, source suppliers, and develop our supply chain.”

KM has been awarded an AA grade in its BRCGS Audit for the last three years. BRCGS is among the most respected standards for product quality and safety in the food industry, and AA is the highest level that can be awarded.

Amanda said: “In my current position, I have many responsibilities for our BRCGS. Gaining this certification was excellent for KM and a great personal success. It is our ongoing challenge to maintain those high standards.”

Although she has met many challenges over the last 20 years, Amanda revealed that 2022 is the most demanding period she has experienced.

She said: “The current global supply chain disruption and surging energy and raw material prices are a huge challenge to overcome. But, with my colleagues, I’m confident we can continue to supply our customers with the service they require.”

Trust and autonomy to make decisions

The climate emergency is another challenge to emerge during Amanda’s career, and she feels “it has brought about a demonisation of the packaging industry as a whole”.

However, she said: “Science tells us that we have to make dramatic changes, and for the first time in our history, we have the capital, technology and understanding to do so. But, in my view, the spotlight is in the wrong place.

“It should be realised that we can’t live in a simply ‘anti-plastic’ world. We need a future with stronger recycling systems in the UK, less confusion on the part of the consumer, and where the value of plastic is properly understood.”

Amanda is looking forward to being part of that future with KM.

She said: “KM is unrecognisable from the company that I joined but is fundamentally the same. We are all given trust and autonomy to make decisions. And every time the company grows, we hope to maintain and remain invested in its values – trust, ownership, innovation and passion. I feel very fortunate to be a member of the KM team.”

KM has helped Amanda keep a roof over her head over the last 20 years, although she recalls when it wasn’t completely secure. She said: “KM is based in a beautiful grade II listed building that holds a lot of history and has served many purposes, including being a hotel.

“Many years ago, we held a supplier meeting in our board room and, around 10 minutes after our visitors had left, the ceiling completely collapsed!

“Fortunately, the ceilings have been replaced, and the building is now completely safe.”

The equally secure ceilings of Amanda’s home lie within a Northamptonshire village. She said: “Stepping out of my front door with my two little dogs and being able to walk for miles across the fields is my perfect way to relax.

“I also like to cook, paint, draw, sew and garden, and always have multiple projects on the go at the same time – most of which are unfinished.

“If I can spend time with my dogs and family, then fit some or all of the above into the weekend, I am very happy.”

Queen Elizabeth is now celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, and platinum is the modern symbol for a 20th anniversary.

We look forward to many more years of working with our platinum lady Amanda, meeting the challenges, and sharing the successes.

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