Cross-border conversations at Constantia Flexibles
With offices, manufacturing facilities, and distributors across the globe, Constantia Flexibles works with a diverse group of staff divided by time zone, sales market, and product group, but united in their commitment to people, passion, and packaging. This edition of our newsletter will introduce you to members of our team from six different countries and six different disciplines discussing what it means to work at Constantia Flexibles.
What Would Be Your Perfect Day at Constantia Flexibles? From the Executive Floor to the Customer Front-line
Pierre-Henri Bruchon joined Constantia Flexibles in 2003 as Sales Director, working his way up the corporate ladder to become Executive Vice President of the Pharma Division at the Austrian headquarters. His tasks range from M&As like the recent acquisition of TT-print in Russia to initiatives with some of the biggest players in the pharmaceutical industry. Around 2,000 kilometers away in sunny Spain, Susana Ceballos is a Customer Service Representative at Constantia Tobepal. Her twelve years with the company have made her a passionate advocate for our products and the face of the company when customers need fast, efficient solutions.
Susana: Describe for me your ideal day at Constantia Flexibles, please.
Pierre-Henri: The most exciting part of my job is taking on a new challenge. So, it would be a great day if I could announce a new project with one of our key customers. Seeing how people react to our innovations and initiatives is something I always look forward to. How about you – what makes a great day at Tobepal for you?
Susana: A great day for me is when I can go home knowing that I’ve given my customers a positive response. Recently, a customer called to say he was under serious time pressure and I was able to advance part of the overall order. Excellent packaging solutions – like our very own Tobepal Opening Feature – are a core element of our work, but I think it’s equally important to earn our customers’ loyalty and satisfaction.
Pierre-Henri: That’s true. People shouldn’t underestimate the power of customer relations. It’s like packaging itself. At first glance, you might think a sachet or blister pack is “just” made of foil. It’s only when you understand the complexity of the product that its real impact becomes clear.
Susana: Like child-resistant laminates that can literally save lives or the new planet-friendly products from our Ecolutions range. Packaging is a part of our lives and a business in continuous growth. It is fascinating because of the huge variety of products, applications, formats, and characteristics as well as its potential to address the needs of our customers and the wider world.
Position: Executive Vice President Pharma
Location: Constantia Flexibles Headquarters in Vienna, Austria
Years at the company: 16
Fun fact: As an undergraduate, Pierre-Henri studied pharmacy at the Université René Descartes in Paris. He then took his career in a different direction and went on to get several degrees in business and management.
Position: Customer Service Representative
Location: Constantia Tobepal in Logroño, Spain
Years at the company: 12
Fun fact: Susana isn’t only concerned with quality on the job – she loves to bake high-quality treats like cheesecake and muffins in her kitchen at home, especially when it’s cold outside!
What Makes You Passionate About Packaging? From Marketing in Central Europe to Manufacturing in Asia-Pacific
Hai Dang and Dani Manfreda, who both joined Constantia Flexibles just over two years ago, could hardly be further apart, both geographically and professionally. Originally from Slovenia, Dani works in the Marketing department for Constantia Flexibles Pharma at the Vienna office, while Hai is the Head of Operations at Constantia Flexibles’s strategic Asia-Pacific hub in his native Vietnam. As so often in life, there is more that unites them than divides them: They both have a passion for packaging and a strong belief in the company’s mission.
Dani: When did you first discover your passion for packaging?
Hai: It’s quite a coincidence, really. I actually studied material science at university and was immediately fascinated with the properties of different materials and the way they interact, but then I spent the first decade of my career working in a completely different industry. When I took the position with Constantia Vietnam in 2017 and started working with laminates as well as chemical and mechanical testing, it was like reuniting with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a long time… What about you?
Dani: My experience is quite different. Directly after finishing my law degree in Ljubljana, I decided to accept a new challenge with the job as a Marketing Specialist at Constantia Flexibles in Vienna. It wasn’t until I started working here that I understood how complex packaging is. It’s about more than just lidding foil and laminates; we are actually protecting patients by making sure they get original medicines in perfect condition. Plus, the packaging itself is a blank canvas for branding and allows for a lot of creativity – that’s what makes our job in the Marketing department so interesting and diverse.
Hai: It has always amazed me how laminates combine the good properties of different materials into a single packaging material that is economical to use. One of the coolest things we’ve been working on lately is technology that allows us to produce and print laminates in a single pass. It brings out the passion of everyone on our team, as it demands a profound understanding of the material and precision calibration of highly complex machines.
Dani: That just goes to show you how passion for a product can unite us as a team – something I experience every day at Constantia Flexibles. No matter what your position is in the company or who you are working with, everyone takes equal pride in the company and makes sure we all know that our contributions count.
Position: Head of Operations
Location: Constantia Vietnam Manufacturing Limited Liability Company, Vietnam
Years at the company: 2.5
Fun fact: Hai studied material engineering at University without thinking of working for a flexible packaging company or applying the knowledge in his future job. After 11 years, he came to work for Constantia Flexibles and all the tasks he is doing now are relevant to material engineering.
Position: Marketing Specialist Pharma
Location: Constantia Flexibles Headquarters in Vienna, Austria
Years at the company: 2
Fun fact: When he was younger, Dani would often get stopped on the street by football fans. Turns out, he had a Doppelgänger in the UK – famous English goalkeeper Joe Hart!
What Role Does the Prospect of Saving Lives Play in Your Work at Constantia Flexibles? From Selling Quality in Scandinavia to Assuring Quality in the UK
Margaret Andersson has been with Constantia Flexibles for 14 years and yet she says she still learns something new every day as an Account Manager for Scandinavia and Iceland. The same goes for her colleague Sarah McGowan some 1,000 kilometers west across the North Sea, who has worked at Constantia Sittingbourne in the UK for more than 20 years – even before it was part of the Constantia Flexibles Group. As a Quality Assurance and Training Manager, she makes sure the (wo)men and the machines, both in-house and out, get the job done. The common denominator for both of these seasoned veterans is a passion for packaging that goes beyond protecting the contents to actually saving lives.
Margaret: How important is it to you that our products have the potential to save lives?
Sarah: As someone who suffers from serious allergies, I’m painfully aware how vital it is to have medicine that works whenever and wherever you need it. So, the fact that my QA job at Constantia Sittingbourne can ultimately protect the lives of the end consumers means a lot to me. It is particularly important for our team to keep this big picture in mind, since we deal with the issues of individual customers. Over time we have learned that good problem-solving skills are just as key to our work as Good Manufacturing Processes.
Margaret: I couldn’t agree more. One of our top priorities in Scandinavia is building relationships with our customers and really understanding their needs. Often this requires a fair amount of cultural sensitivity – even in a region as small as ours, the differences from market to market can be significant. In the end, the feedback we receive from customers credits our commitment to finding a solution that is both right for their operations and potentially life-saving. I’m convinced that this is what sets us apart from the competition.
Sarah: That and our commitment to quality assurance. During a recent audit one of our customers even said that our QM structure was better than his own. It is always nice to see that our work is making a difference!
Position: Account Manager
Location: Constantia Flexibles Sales AB in Varberg, Sweden
Years at the company: 14
Fun fact: Margaret started learning the saxophone a few years ago, but her busy schedule left too little time. She looks forward to picking it up again someday!
Position: QA & Training Manager
Location: Constantia Sittingbourne Ltd. in Sittingbourne, UK
Years at the company: 20
Fun fact: When she’s not hard at work in her job, Sarah can be found whizzing through the English countryside on a quad bike, on a zipline, or on foot with her very stubborn beagle Woody.