This month’s staff profile features our Swanline Paper & Board (SPB) Operations Manager, Darren Wright. Darren has been working for Swanline since June 2016, six months after we installed our bespoke Fosber sheeter and the Paper & Board sector of the Swanline business began. During his six years with us, he has taken SPB from strength to strength, helping to create the success that it is today.

Darren spends a lot of his time maximising the opportunities within the SPB business, ensuring we are offering materials that will most suit our customers’ needs, often with a more sustainable alternative to what they are currently using.

Darren also oversees a great deal of account management, making sure customers are responded to quickly and efficiently and prides himself on being able to get an order delivered to a customer the next day as often as possible. Darren also has to balance the stock to make sure we have enough, but not too much stock in at any one time, as well as overseeing the day to day running of the warehouse and drivers. This can include making sure drivers aren’t working over their hours, vehicle safety and the weight of loads.

Before Swanline, Darren’s background was in supply chain retail, before taking a three-month skiing holiday in France and ending up staying there for four years, taking over the running of a bar and restaurant. When he came back in 2009, he spent some time working for himself, renovating houses.

“I really enjoy working for Swanline,” Darren tells us. “Watching and being involved with how the business has evolved has been an honour. We had to adapt during covid, and watching the team pull together and implement the changes that needed to be made to ensure we kept running successfully was fantastic. There is definitely something about the people here at Swanline, they will always go the extra mile. We also have a lot of families all working within Swanline, which I think is really special, from the top all the way through the different levels of the business, it really gives it a family atmosphere within the business.” Confirms Darren, “I think the relationships you have with colleagues and your customers make everything worthwhile. I have great relationships with my customers, and building on those relationships ensures that everything about our business is more successful. I spend a lot of time with Dave and Charlene in the office and also with Jamie and the drivers, as well as the planning team, we all get on really well.”

When Darren isn’t wearing his many hats at work, you’ll usually find him working on some DIY project at home. “I love DIY, it’s a passion of mine. I’ve not long finished an extension at home, a full conversion from dining room to a kitchen/lounge. Our Planning & Logistics Manager, Nerissa, actually helped a lot with that, she’s a proper grafter!” Darren has now moved on to a new project within the garden. Darren also enjoys going on long walks with his wife Nerissa and in the summer they take out the kayaks.

Darren’s one piece of advice is: “Just be nice to people, it costs nothing to be nice. Talk to people how you would expect them to talk to you. Life is too short not to be respectful to each other.”