Staff Profile – Alex Smith

Alex Smith was promoted to Innovation Manager last year in 2022, after being at Swanline for 9 years. He started as a constructional designer in 2014 and was then promoted to Senior Designer in 2020. Before that he had been in the industry since 2008, so came to Swanline with plenty of design and industry experience.

Alex’s role as an Innovation Manager means he is an integral part of the design team. Alex is constantly contributing to our customers’ innovative and creative designs, whether that’s problem solving or creating something from scratch. Alex’s role is customer facing and he will speak or visit customers on a daily basis to troubleshoot design ideas or discuss ongoing projects.

“My day varies depending on the project” Alex tells us. “We have new design briefs that come in that are an absolute priority and I will jump on them straight away. Sometimes we need something designing quickly and it will get passed to me for a quick turnaround.

“Every day is different. At this point, if I know what their project is, I can often create the design solution from scratch , giving them solutions to packaging problems they didn’t even know they had. It’s something I really enjoy doing. My focus is on sustainability and how to create something from recyclable materials which not only fulfils the objectives of their previous unit but is also more cost effective. If an eco-friendly alternative can be found, I will find it.” Alex confirms.

Swanline’s vision is to push the boundaries of what is possible in sustainable packaging and temporary POS, making it accessible to the industry, and Alex’s innovative design skills are just one of the ways in which we do this.

“I really enjoy working with customers,” Alex continues. “I enjoy getting out and seeing people and love the problem-solving aspect of my role. I really am passionate about sustainability and anyone who meets me can attest to that. Every day at Swanline it feels like I’m saving the planet one point-of-sale unit at a time!

“However, the very best part of working at Swanline is the people, we all have each other’s back, we know when to have a laugh and when to crack on, everyone is dependable and works hard here. I’ve had some great memories from over the years, from staff functions to trade shows. We went to the UK Corrugated Trade Show in Burton last year where we got to erect several sustainable modular stands that I designed. It was great being able to see something that had started out as just a concept, and follow it through from design and testing, building it and watching it come to life. Then to watch it being used and get that instant feedback was really satisfying.”

Outside of innovating, Alex is a father of two children and loves spending time with his family, whether that’s day trips out or just going out for walks. Alex describes himself as an ‘outdoor person’ and tries to find time once or twice a month to go fishing.

Alex’s one piece of advice that he stands by is “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be cheeky. You don’t ask, you don’t get!”