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Packaging Technologist

Job Title: Packaging Technologist
Reports To: Packaging CoE Lead
Team: Packaging CoE
Location: Dublin, ROI
Job-Type: Permanent

Packaging CoE
As part of our continued to commitment to sustainability and our desire to deliver “Amazing Fashion and Amazing Prices”, Primark are building a new Packaging Centre of Expertise that will sit in Central Functions. The CoE will be a key function in delivering and supporting the Primark Cares business sustainability strategy. The CoE will provide subject matter expertise across all elements of the packaging lifecycle. They will work closely with the Buying and Merchandising Team (B&M) in the development of packaging design, standards, compliance, commercial and supplier management.
The objective of the CoE is to develop and execute an enterprise wide packaging strategy that focusses on form, function, materials, sustainability and cost of primary, secondary and transport packaging. Primark has over 50,000 SKU’s all with varying packaging requirements, with an estimated annual spend of over £200m on packaging alone.
The CoE will work collaboratively and cross functionally across multiple departments, including B&M, Brand, Sourcing, Environmental, Sustainability, Finance, Supply Chain, Retail, Procurement, Legal, Quality amongst others.

Responsibilities
  • The Packaging Technologist will provide subject matter expertise on packaging design, construction, material selection and commercials to develop effective and efficient packaging solutions.
  • Support detailed development of enterprise wide packaging targets and develop technical solutions in order to meet packaging targets
  • Actively seek out packaging innovation through NGO, supplier partnerships, primary market research and push ways for Primark to use packaging as a differentiator from competition. Explore ways to move to circularity in our packaging using more sustainable materials.
  • Advise of trade-offs and develop options that strike the right balance of sustainability, durability and cost in targeted areas such as polybags, pack design and hangers.
  • Support development of new packaging solutions in apparel and lifestyle departments, working closely with B&M, Brand and Product/Packaging Suppliers
  • Drive consistency in design and standards across the product range where appropriate
  • Work closely with Packaging Buyer to develop solutions and sourcing strategies that use the Primark scale to maximise economies of scale
  • Help trial new design standards and work with B&M to approve all new packaging designs or material changes
  • Drive continuous improvement of packaging solutions, provide technical and troubleshooting support on packaging issues
  • Support creation of escalation and packaging issue reporting process from SC to store and post-consumer
  • Explore opportunities to improve consistency of packaging across the business in order to simplify management and improve efficiency and cost
  • Identify ways to improve recyclability of packaging through return to store schemes and effective material selection
  • Partner with other members of the CoE to develop end to end packaging solutions that meet product needs and are on brand
  • Provide support and guidance on packaging regulations and requirements in new and existing markets and work closely with Sustainability, Environmental and Sustainability Team (ESET), Legal and Quality to ensure compliance.
  • Work closely with B&M to consider packaging requirements in New Product Development (NPD)
  • Advise on sustainability of solutions and certification/GRS requirements to meet specifications and standards
  • Provide input into the packaging standards manual which will cover brand look and feel, as well as technical standards
  • Support development of systems and reporting to track and monitor progress of the packaging strategy

Experience
  • Multi-year experience working in a similar packaging technologist role in a large multinational business, retail experience preferred
  • Deep expertise in consumer packaging design
  • Expert knowledge of packaging suppliers and their capabilities
  • Experience of working within different operating models (direct source vs. nomination) and an understanding on when to use one vs the other
  • Experience of working with packaging suppliers internationally and supporting nomination/forecasting
  • Proven ability in previous roles to drive change in complex, matrix organisations in the packaging space
  • Knowledge of packaging regulations and compliance requirements, strong awareness of ethical sourcing and corporate social responsibility issues
  • Demonstrated ability to forge close business relationships with internal and external stakeholders at senior management levels
  • Proven track record of developing strategic partnerships with key suppliers

Skills & Competencies
  • Expert problem solver
  • Passionate about innovation
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work in a fast pace, matrix environment
  • Able to prioritise effectively and manage business expectations
  • Strong business and commercial acumen
  • Collaborative and proactive in style
  • Self-motivated, focused and results orientated
  • Driven with proven track record of success
  • Ability to influence senior internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good project management skills
  • Ability to travel as required (>20%)
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