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One of the founders of Advanced Dynamics Ltd, Mike Essler, is retiring after spending nearly four decades in the packaging industry.
Mr Essler started his career with WLT Ltd which originally had been established as a textile supplier, but in 1980 when Mr Essler joined to run it, the company switched to the distribution of specialist anti-static equipment from Dutch supplier SIMCO, then a year later became the distributor for Packmat, specialist manufacturers of Greeting Card Wrapping Machines for which it is now well known.
A stalwart of numerous packaging exhibitions, including the annual PPMA show, in 2005 Mr Essler with Malcolm Little merged WLT with Crusader Europe to co-found Advanced Dynamics, which the duo have subsequently run.
Since the inception of Advanced Dynamics, Essler and Little have significantly expanded the firm and turned it into one of the UK’s leading specialist suppliers of labelling, wrapping, feeding, counting and sleeving solutions to the food, drinks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, toiletries and print related sectors.
Reflecting on the great changes that have taken place in the packaging sector over the last few decades, Mr Essler says the biggest impact has been the incorporation of electronics and servo systems which can control functions, labour and even build costs, thanks to far greater integration and automation.
“These days customers are far more informed thanks to the internet and often know what they require before a meeting has even taken place, which is a far cry from the 1980s when potential customers turned up with a box of bits often in the vain hope you might be able to help them,” he said.
Mr Essler is credited at Advanced Dynamics with helping to build the customer base and strengthen the machinery base, particularly for Wrapping and Feeding machines. With the help and specialist knowledge of Mr Little the company has expanded into a leading supplier of labelling systems encompassing bespoke and standard equipment, for countless different markets.
Married with two grown up children and four grandchildren, Mr Essler formally retired on 22nd December 2016 and will be using his new found time to travel further afield with his wife Pam, taking up new hobbies and finally getting down to the projects that he has not been able to concentrate on before.
Summarising, Mr Essler said: “I have had a fantastic time at Advanced Dynamics and its predecessor and I know that the company can look forward to the future with confidence because the firm has a great group of people under the excellent leadership of Malcolm Little.”
Responding, Mr Little said: “Mike will be sorely missed because of his technical knowledge and his ability to keep his head even when the seas get choppy. However, we will be staying in contact and I know that I speak for everyone at Advanced Dynamics in wishing him well in his retirement.”
Atheon Analytics Welcomes New SKUtrak Client Manager
Simon joins Atheon Analytics from Mars UK and will be assisting SKUtrak Product Manager Ed Crawford in nurturing SKUtrak’s leading FMCG supplier base as it doubles in size.
Simon Bailey joins Atheon Analytics in the new role of SKUtrak Client Manager from 1st January. Simon is the 8th sector expert to join Atheon Analytics in the past 12 months as the expansion of SKUtrak continues at pace.
Simon has nearly a decade of grocery analytics experience across Molson Coors and most recently Mars. His last 4 years have been as a Sales Development Analyst at Mars, performing detailed analysis to fund the progress of internal teams and their retailer counterparts.
Simon’s challenge at Mars was turning multiple data sources and vast pools of information into a coherent story which not only reported on trading performance, but gave its recipients actionable opportunities for improvement. He achieved this with just his intimate knowledge of Excel and an ungodly amount of time and patience.
SKUtrak Product Manager Ed Crawford said “Simon was already experiencing many of the issues which plagued suppliers before SKUtrak’s invention. He was ‘getting by’ with just the rudimentary tools available to him and so many other suppliers when trying to influence their trading performance. It is going to be a pleasure working with him to promote the right tool for the job; SKUtrak”
In his new role Simon will leave behind the information overload to the trusted and automated capabilities of SKUtrak, and instead focus his talents on assisting suppliers and their end-users in getting the most out of their subscriptions to SKUtrak’s Premium products; Explorer and Period End Reports.
As Client Manager Simon will be responsible for the development of flow-of-goods analysis, interpretation, and execution across account management and supply chain teams in the rapidly growing SKUtrak Premium client base.
He will also be managing the SKUtrak customer feedback program; contributing direct user feedback into the continued improvement of SKUtrak. Many of these improvements will revolve around some of the key technologies that Atheon Analytics uses to enable the unique capabilities of SKUtrak, including EXASOL & Tableau Software.
Simon is the ideal candidate with the proven experience in empowering Account Managers, Supply Chain professionals and Field Sales teams with a rich understanding of performance through the effective use of retailer data. This experience will be invaluable when working with the thousand plus retail professionals who regularly access SKUtrak.
Simon said “I’m joining Atheon because the opportunity to help suppliers use the vast amount of available retailer data via SKUtrak is really exciting. Rather than spending time manipulating the data into usable formats, supplier personnel from Account Managers through to Supply Chain can concentrate on the ‘value added’ both to their business and that of the retailer”.
Managing Director, Guy Cuthbert commented, “We welcome Simon to this new role, it’s an exciting time in the life of SKUtrak; we have always been committed to making flow-of-goods analysis available to all UK FMCG suppliers through SKUtrak Free products. With Simon as SKUtrak Client Manager we are increasing our commitment to develop the analytical skills across our SKUtrak Premium customers – key to building the best supplier-retailer relationships possible.”
Paramount Packaging Systems Ltd (tel: 01252 815252; www.paramount-packaging.co.uk) – exclusive distributor of Fuji Machinery Company’s horizontal and vertical form-fill-seal equipment in the UK and Ireland – has appointed Darren Bull to the newly created position of Operations Manager, leading day-to-day operations to ensure exceptional customer service as the business continues to expand.
After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University, Darren spent almost three years in the packaging industry before relocating to London to take up a role in IT recruitment. He also enjoyed a variety of positions with greeting cards company, Card Connection which was subsequently acquired by UK Greetings.
He became National Account Controller at UK Greetings with responsibility for five National Account Managers and companies such as WH Smith, Boots, Poundland and McColls. He subsequently moved into the role of Account Manager for the seasonal element of Tesco UK and the whole of Tesco Ireland.
Prior to joining Paramount, Darren was Operations Manager at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a subsidiary of Colgate Palmolive.
“I am extremely excited to be joining Paramount in this newly created role,” comments Darren. “With my operational experience, I am confident I will make a valuable contribution to the company. I will be acting as a conduit and support between the sales team, internal office and Fuji to ensure that our customers continue to get the very best level of service.”
John Roberts, Paramount Packaging’s Managing Director adds: “We are pleased to welcome Darren to Paramount. On-going growth makes it very important that operations continue to run smoothly and we maintain our position as a leading flow-wrapper supplier. Darren’s appointment will strengthen the team and enable us to achieve this.