Carl Appleyard, Warehouse & Distribution Manager for Coveris’ Board sites celebrates 20 years at the company this year. Find out how the Coveris Development Programme supported Carl’s progression to his newest role.


You’re celebrating 20 years at Coveris this year; what’s made you stay with the company for so long?

I find my job rewarding and enjoy coming to work on a day-to-day basis; it’s quite diverse and includes a physical side which is good for keeping fit, so I have the best of both worlds. No two days are the same, and there are constantly new challenges to overcome. I’ve seen the business develop into a multi-national company, and while there have been changes, the team spirit and mindset to succeed hasn’t.


What did you know about Coveris before joining?

It had reputation  in the local Lincolnshire area as a good company, and the place where people wanted to work.


What different roles have you held at Coveris?

I joined in 1999 as a Stock Controller at a label manufacturing site in Spalding at a time when the company started to warehouse more stock, so I was picking orders and helped to organise the flow of the warehouse while we were also implementing a new computer system. In 2001 we moved to a new site in Spalding and I was promoted to Warehouse Supervisor, heavily involved in the set up and logistics, which followed with an extension and expansion soon after. More recently I was seconded to help with warehousing in our Board division and was promoted to Warehouse & Distribution Manager for Board in 2018.


What are your priorities as Warehouse & Distribution Manager?

Coveris has three board sites and a warehouse facility across two locations (Wisbech and St Neots), all located in Cambridgeshire; we’re exploring ways to improve customer service and overall efficiency and effectiveness. How we operate as a team has a big impact on how we service our customers and the focus is on working together and communicating more fluently across departments.


You’ve been focussed on our sites in St. Neots which are benefitting from a lot of investment; what difference has it made so far?

We have a brand new warehouse, canteen, kitchen and offices which is brilliant for staff and our environment at work, giving everyone a boost in morale. More renovations are underway at our other site in St Neots, and we’re also investing more in CPS (Coveris Performance System) and health and safety processes. Staff have been visiting Coveris’ flagship CPS sites to learn more about lean manufacturing and operational excellence, helping to create a vision for our sites in St. Neots.


What opportunities have you received from the Coveris Development Programme?

The company organises regular training for warehouse environment and duties and I’ve also completed first aid courses, a course to support my previous role as supervisor and Leadership Development Training. There are a lot of opportunities to attend one day courses specialised to Coveris which are often held off-site which is great as it means you can learn with no interruptions! Training at Coveris has got better and better over the years and I always encourage my teams to participate.


Leadership Development Training is a bespoke course developed for Coveris’ Labels and Board division; what did it involve?

Michaela, our HR Manager, and Rick, Site Manager, saw potential and encouraged me to complete this training, when I wasn’t sure if it was the right fit for me. It was a six-week course and finished with a 10 minute presentation to the management team which I was most nervous about. I learnt different styles of leadership, how to approach problem solving, how to communicate better and interact with different characters. I’m pleased I trusted Michaela and Rick’s judgement, as it has made such a difference and I’m much more confident in how I communicate with my team, other departments and getting the best out of everyone.


What do you enjoy about working at Coveris?

I enjoy the diversity of my role, working with lots of people and departments, problem solving and the fulfilment when things go well. At Coveris you feel like you can make a difference.


What are the biggest challenges you face working at Coveris?

We work in a very fast paced industry, and there is always something going on, whether it’s new regulations or something happening in the food industry. Coveris always tries to stay one step ahead and be proactive in meeting new challenges. Because of this we have a continuous development culture and always evolving so you need to be dynamic to go with the changes.


What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining the Coveris team?

Be prepared for a challenge, but also a very rewarding career.