In the ever-evolving world of packaging, the cartonboard and carton industry plays a pivotal role in shaping the way products are presented and perceived. It is a dynamic field where innovation meets sustainability, and talented individuals are making a significant impact.  A new series of interviews by Pro Carton celebrates the talented people who shape innovation and sustainability in packaging, colleagues who live sustainability and who make this workspace fun and exciting.

In this edition of Pro Carton’s job profile series, we view the world of cartonboard through the lens of Manca Rozman, Teamleader in Customer Service Southeast at MM Board & Paper. From her early days helping in the HR department during summer holidays to leading a dynamic customer service team, Manca shares her journey, her daily responsibilities, and her passion for innovation and sustainability in the cartonboard industry.

Manca Rozman is the Teamleader in Customer Service Southeast at MM Board & Paper.

Q: Please provide a brief introduction to yourself and your current role within the carton and cartonboard industry. How did you first become interested in this field, and what led you to your current career path?

My name is Manca Rozman, and I come from Slovenia. I work as a Teamleader in Customer Service Southeast, which is part of the Supply Chain at MM Board & Paper, the leading cartonboard producer in Europe. As a student, I helped in the HR department of MM Količevo mill during summer holidays.

Later, while finishing my maternity leave, I received a call from HR asking if I wanted to return. I accepted the challenge, which is still ongoing.

Q: Can you describe the key milestones and experiences that have shaped your career in this industry?

I started as a customer service employee. The company provided excellent training and opportunities to develop my soft and hard skills over the years. I had to switch markets several times, and each change was a new challenge for my development.

A key milestone was my additional work as Mill Customer Service, where I gained knowledge about the mill, production, and planning. A pivotal moment was when my previous boss proposed I become a Teamleader in the new organisation.

Q: Were there any particular challenges or turning points that stand out in your professional journey?

I will always remember the Covid and post-Covid times. I became a Teamleader, and the company completely reorganised the customer service department. We grew from four to ten people, many of whom were learning from home offices with their families around.

Despite the challenges, most of those employees are still my colleagues, confident and successful in their positions. The extraordinary year of 2022 also stands out when our workload almost doubled.

Q: What does a typical day or week in your current role look like?

A typical day in my role is often too short for all the plans I have written in my notebooks! It involves checking emails, discussing various topics with the team, preparing reports and strategies, monitoring our KPIs, and attending meetings. I enjoy working in the office, and my door is always open for the team. We hold weekly office meetings, which people appreciate.

Part of my job is still the normal customer service work, so I maintain direct interaction with customers, providing information about our products and services, processing orders, coordinating with production and logistics, and maintaining accurate records. This hands-on experience helps me advise my team effectively.

Q: Are there any specific projects or initiatives you’ve been involved in recently that you find particularly exciting or innovative?

I am part of the Innovation team, where we collect and implement ideas from all customer service centres. This project is exciting because it showcases the fresh knowledge and ‘out of the box’ thinking within our customer service team.

Additionally, I am a member of the Robinson group, testing the sensory values of cartonboard, such as smell and taste, which is both interesting and enjoyable. Visiting customers and seeing how our cartonboard is used in various products is also a great experience that the company offers us.

Q: How do you believe your work contributes to the sustainable and environmentally friendly aspects of cartonboard packaging?

Our work in customer service directly contributes to sustainability by promoting our innovative packaging materials, which offer an alternative to plastic. We develop novel barrier concepts to reduce plastic use and support the use of cartonboard for a wide range of foodstuffs.

Additionally, we focus on minimising transportation by using the mill closest to the customer, thanks to our wide network of MM mills.

Q: What trends or developments in the industry are you most excited about, and how do they influence your work?

I am particularly excited about new packaging innovations aimed at reducing plastic usage. MM’s long-term research focuses on bio-based and compostable coatings as replacements for plastic.

These trends require us to constantly learn and develop to keep up with changes in best practices and daily communication with customers.

Q: What advice do you have for individuals considering a career in the carton and cartonboard industry?

I highly recommend a career in the cartonboard industry. It offers a variety of positions, and a passion for packaging is essential. The industry is fast-developing, with improvements in technology and increasing demands from customers.

It’s an exciting and ever-evolving field that is never boring.

Q: Are there any personal or professional accomplishments that you are especially proud of and would like to share?

I have been working in the same office for 20 years, covering various positions. I believe I have done each job with passion and an open mind, which is why I am still here.

I am ready to use my experience and knowledge for the benefit of MM Board & Paper.

Q: What is the one reason why you are proud to work in the carton and cartonboard industry?

I am proud to have been mentored by great leaders who shared their knowledge with me and gave me opportunities to grow.

I am also proud of the team I lead, which reflects the excellent mentorship I received.

Manca Rozman’s journey in the cartonboard industry exemplifies dedication, adaptability, and a passion for sustainability. Her leadership and commitment to innovation and customer service have made significant contributions to MM Board & Paper’s success. Her story inspires those considering a career in the cartonboard industry to embrace challenges and pursue continuous learning and development.