“It is very nearly a year since SMPC (Swan Mill Paper Group) acquired the assets of GBCC and there has been a lot of change as we continue to strive to ‘make GBCC great again’ which was what I set out to do at the start,” said David Byk, ceo of Swan Mill (which includes Ling, GBCC and Penny Kennedy) addressing the GBCC team a few days ago. “None of us could have dreamt that we would need to deal with the current epidemic, but we are seeing positive signs from our customers as we build ourselves back up again despite the tough economic backdrop with new accounts being opened, new designs getting great traction, listings in majors going up again and underlying performance getting a positive run rate.”
David has also announced some significant personnel changes at GBCC as it gears up for future challenges and opportunities.
Having been heavily involved in the running of GBCC for 30 years (since its original incarnation of Paper House), Chris Wilcox, who has been managing director for the last three years is preparing to leave the business, though the exact date of his departure has not been defined. Paying tribute to Chris’ “knowledge and enthusiasm”, David also thanked him “in advance for his assistance with this transition and also the engagement of ‘Newco’ behaviours.”
In the interim, David is to take over the role of ceo of GBCC as well as of Ling, assuring though that both brands will continue to be run “as two separate entities with two different offers.”
Representing a key appointment, Andy Kemmett joined GBCC yesterday (August 3) as head of operations. While Andy has worked for GBCC previously he joins from IG Design Group where he was operations manager for its card division and also instrumental within IGDG’s wrapping paper and card merchandising businesses.
“Andy brings a wealth of expertise in cards, manufacturing, operations and distribution to help the GBCC team deliver improvements in productivity and supply at a crucial time when we are about to deliver Christmas which we must get 100% right. All Christmas is now in stock in Gloucester and we must hit all targets and deliver it on time for the first time for many years,” said David.
Christina Milstead has also been appointed GBCC’s head of commercial in addition to her Ling and GBCC export responsibilities.
Top: Chris Wilcox (left) is to leave GBCC while Andy Kemmett has just joined.