Get to know Adam

It’s 10am on a sunny day and Adam is working from his home office in South Wales, UK, but he’s in constant contact with our designers in Belgium, France and Germany. He breaks the news he’ll soon be moving to a new position…

Adam Mings
our European Design Manager at DS Smith Packaging

Tell us about your current role

Specifically I look after packaging design for one of Europe’s biggest and best-known confectionery and snacking brands. I manage larger innovation ideas, manage our sustainability agenda and connect our team of great designers across Europe to the Research & Development teams.

Are you working on anything exciting right now?

One of the big projects I’m working on is how we use data from the supply chain to optimise our packaging. With the introduction of new technology into our packaging we can monitor the actual temperatures and real stresses our clients’ products experience in shipping. This means we can begin to optimise our packaging, reduce the thickness of board and preserve resources. It also means we’re pushing tolerances to their very limit, but we’ve got the data to prove it works. Every time we use less fibre in our packaging, it goes some way to meeting our Now & Next Sustainability Strategy targets.

One of my favourite pieces of work was an ‘innovation sprint’ with our confectionery client and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The reuse ideas that came out of that were excellent and could be big moving forward.

I’m also very committed to designing for inclusivity. We have to think about the people who will be in-store, placing packaging on-shelf – for example, possible language barriers or dexterity barriers. These are all things I try to get our designers to think about.

Are your children proud of what you do?

Yes I have two sons, Finley and Noah, aged 12 and 9 and they’re really proud because they understand the importance of sustainability. I often point out our packaging when I see it in a supermarket. My wife Nichola has just about got used to me stopping to tidy displays and take photos. But joking aside those walks in supermarkets, where I see the reality of our products on shelf, are where I have my best ideas!

Adam with his family
Adam with his family

You mentioned you were changing roles? Tell us more

I’m not leaving DS Smith! I’m moving over to work as a Key Account Manager on one of our big strategic accounts. It’s going to be fascinating because I’ll be looking at design from another angle. I’m already super-happy here, working across Europe, I get to know so many different people and cultures. That’s what I really love and this will broaden my contacts, experiences and horizons even further.

What would you say to someone thinking of joining DS Smith?

Go for it! DS Smith will encourage your development and you can go as far as you want. This is something that really appeals to me as I’ve been playing rugby since the age of six, including representing Barbados in the Hong Kong 7s which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The competitive nature of the sport has translated into a desire to always push myself physically and professionally to achieve more. So, if you join us, take up all the opportunities given to you! 

Adam playing rugby - representing Barbados in the Hong Kong 7s
Adam playing rugby - representing Barbados in the Hong Kong 7s