Adele Cable - Xerox
Digital technology offers excellent potential for young people to work in the carton packaging industry.
In the latest of our Cartonville Stars series Adele Cable talks about her chosen career path and why now is one of the most exciting times for young people to work in the carton industry.
For the last eight years Adele has worked in a consulting role for Xerox's partner - Advanced Business Equipment division - helping many litho commercial printers to implement a digital strategy.
How I got where I am
After finishing university I went to work in London. My boss at the time left to work at Xerox and shortly afterwards I followed him. It is so important when you start out in a career to have someone to mentor you, as they often take you on their journey. I've spent 20 years working for Xerox in many international roles, including Sales Director for Xerox Ireland and Global Sales Director for Xerox Language Services - recruiting and managing teams around the world.
A typical day
My working day is so varied because of the amount of companies that I'm involved with at any one time. I tend to work one day a week in the office in Uxbridge and then the rest of the time I'm out around the country visiting customers and checking out how their new installations are going. Twice a year I visit the Xerox demonstration centre in the US, which is a great experience, and also to the centres in Paris and Marseille. The demonstration centres show customers how the machines and software work together so they are able to see everything up and running.
The challenges affecting my work at the moment
It has to be helping companies realise the benefits of new digital innovations. Demands in packaging are changing and brand owners want shorter runs, products delivered quicker as well as more innovation. My challenge is showing packaging converters that this is a profitable new business for them. Consumers are willing to pay more for packaging that has their name on it or is regionalised to where they live. It is a scary prospect for companies to step out of their comfort zone and move into a new way of working, but the benefits are huge and the profit margins are massive. Change isn't without its problems but it is worth it.
What I love about what I do
Helping to change a company's profitability and turnover is so rewarding. I love helping companies to see how it can be achieved. The carton packaging industry is about to go through a massive change with the demand for personalised packaging. Working in the industry during all these exciting changes is fantastic. Watch this space!
A moment in my career that I'll always remember
It has to been the big green light flashing on the Xerox iGen digital press at Alexir Packaging when it started up for the first time and the operator running up and down alongside it! It has been so rewarding being part of Alexir's digital transformation and implementing a web to print software by Infigo Software called Catfish. This type of software allows the packaging to be easily customised using the internet. Being part of that innovation has been fantastic. It was a game-changing moment for the carton converting industry.
Why I think this is the best time for young people to come into the industry
The packaging industry used to be traditional but it is now cutting edge and software driven and it offers so many opportunities. Younger people are so much more in tune with technology and software - they have grown up with it and older people in the industry really appreciate that knowledge. This is a very exciting new part of the industry that is going to create many challenging technological roles.
My best advice to starting out
Understanding the importance of working hard and having a strong work ethic will get you far. Being honest and moral will always stand you proud in the long run. Never sit on your laurels and always strive to better yourself. I'm also a great believer in getting experience. Everyone is different in the way that they learn - whether that's university or industry-based.
One thing I wish I'd known when I started out
To understand that change is good and to never be afraid of it. The implementation of new work practices used to scare me but now I know it can transform a business as well as your career, so change for me has been a great opportunity.
- E-Learning E-Learning - an education tool for those who wish to improve their knowledge and receive formal certification
- Knowledge adds value workshop This valuable workshop aims to provide the industry background that often customers expect but staff don’t cover in their day-to-day roles.
- Apprenticeships We are the largest supplier of apprenticeships to the printing industry.
- Foundation Training The Foundation Course will cover board-making, printing, inks and colour, die-making, cutting and creasing as well as folding/gluing.
- TICCIT TICCIT (pronounced tick-it) is an educational programme that is all about trees, sustainability and the environment - and is incredibly worthwhile for you, your company, your community and the carton industry.