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Packaging CoE Lead

Job Title: Packaging CoE Lead
Reports To: Director of Procurement & Packaging CoE
Team: Packaging CoE
Location: Reading

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
  • The Packaging Lead is accountable for the development, business alignment and execution of the global Primark packaging strategy. This will involve no regret moves, interim steps and final solution design.
  • In the development of the strategy, the packaging lead will consider multiple elements of the packaging supply chain from sourcing, inbound, warehouse and transport, retail, consumer and post-consumer use in packaging strategy design.
  • Lead the packaging CoE, a team of 6-8 direct and 2-4 indirect reports, developing an inclusive, diverse, and cohesive team environment, working in a matrix environment with multiple other functions.
  • Partner with key leaders of business functions to get buy in for sustainable, cost effective, differentiated alternative solutions, to be piloted and deployed in the most effective and efficient manner.
  • They will own and refine enterprise wide packaging targets and drive progress toward meeting them
  • Work closely with Primark Cares programme to highlight success stories and problem areas that need to be addressed in the packaging space.
  • Completion of our packaging footprint baseline to understand and target packaging in our supply chain, identify opportunities and report findings to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Align COE reporting with oracle and finance teams with robust processes for external assurance when required.
  • They will create an environment for packaging innovation to thrive in Primark challenging the status quote and partnering closely with B&M to have packaging form a more integral part of the buying process.
  • They will be accountable for the pipeline of packaging initiatives across the business from NPD to retrospective changes on targeted areas.
  • Support development of omnichannel packaging solutions and value-engineering of current packaging in apparel and lifestyle departments, working closely with B&M, Brand and Product/Packaging Suppliers.
  • Supporting Click + Collect roll out by providing plastic-free packaging solutions to support product offering.
  • They will leverage the Primark scale and external relationships such as suppliers, NGOs, partnerships, primary market research and push ways for Primark to use packaging as a differentiator from competition. They will actively explore ways to move to circularity in our packaging using more sustainable materials.
  • They are responsible for understanding and optimising the packaging total cost of ownership, looking at ways to improve efficiency over time through standardisation, business process optimisation and use of appropriate technology.
  • Working closely with Central Merchandise, accountable for developing and implementing performance management to visually demonstrate progress of packaging transformation
  • Take on oversight of project management activities for large packaging conversions or elimination projects, working closely with other packaging CoE colleagues and B&M to execute e.g., hanger strategy.
  • Oversee the primary and secondary design, construction, and material selection to develop effective packaging solutions.
  • Partner with B&M in forecasting, ordering and supplier management where nomination of packaging supplier is the chosen route.
  • Critically evaluate appropriate packaging supply chains for use with Primark suppliers, developing and refining over time across multiple markets, ranges and channels
  • Build methodologies to monitor compliance to packaging standards and working closely with Sustainability, Environmental and Sustainability Team (ESET), Legal and Quality to develop them.
  • Explore ways to move to circularity in our packaging using more sustainable materials.
  • Demonstrable experience working in a CoE or transformation senior level role in a large multinational business
  • Expertise in developing, building, executing transformative strategies in the packaging space, ideally in retail/FMCG or other industries with complex packaging requirements
  • Experience in piloting & rapid deployment of packaging solutions on a global at high scale
  • Experience in developing complex strategies where trade-offs exist, manage conflicting priorities across functions and forge alignment around a common approach
  • Ability to influence stakeholders without authority, operate in a matrix environment and drive change effectively
  • Proven expertise in total cost of ownership & lifecycle analysis for business case creation
  • Proven ability to lead, develop and build high performing teams
  • Demonstrated ability to forge close business relationships with internal and external stakeholders at C-suite level
  • Provide support and guidance on packaging regulations and requirements in new and existing markets to ensure compliance.
  • Deep expertise of packaging suppliers and their capabilities in a global basis
  • Experience of the buying process in the fashion industry
  • Highly experienced in selecting, motivating & working with 3rd parties to meet targets
  • Proven track record of developing strategic partnerships with key suppliers.
  • Actively lead the CoE to seek out packaging innovation as a differentiator from competition.
Skills & Competencies
  • Excellent strategic thinker
  • Ability to influence C-Suite internal and external stakeholders
  • Deep business and commercial acumen
  • High learning agility and ability respond quickly to changing environments
  • Engaging presenter and able to take people on a journey
  • Ability to take decisions autonomously and comfortable dealing with ambiguity
  • Engaging, proactive and collaborative style
  • Strong people developer
  • Self-motivated, focused and results orientated
  • Driven with proven track record of success
  • Ability to travel as required (>40%)
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