NJM Packaging’s Guillaume Savoie-Lavigueur leads his own team of professional engineers while managing the OEM’s research & development (R&D) portfolio and intellectual property, and taking part in strategic meetings and decisions. He is currently NJM’s R&D supervisor, but he started at the company as an intern and then a mechanical designer after completing an internship with Kraft Foods where he worked on continuous improvement and engineering projects. With his recent promotion to R&D supervisor, Savoie-Lavigueur plans to be more involved in the strategic side of NJM’s business.
How does your company support you as an emerging leader?
The management team involves me in strategic meetings, and they consider my opinions. They also show that they trust me by giving me a lot of freedom, responsibilities, and challenges.
And in turn, how do you help your company innovate?
I keep myself informed on new technologies, how the industry is developing, customer needs, and how our peers are advancing. I also encourage my team to think outside of the box and integrate new technologies to our designs.
What is the most fascinating part of your job?
My job isn’t routine, which is fascinating to me because every project brings its own challenges. I find myself continuously challenged as I have to solve issues that require me to think outside of the box. It’s stimulating.
What surprised you about the packaging industry?
I am surprised by the innovation in personalization and customization of packaging and how this becomes a puzzle for manufacturers. I am intrigued to see how digital manufacturing will shape the future of packaging equipment and the manufacturing process to be able to address SKU multiplication.
As an emerging leader, what were some obstacles you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
I was once relocated for the purpose of a R&D project, which put me into a new plant and I also had to work with a new team. In this experience, I used the interpersonal and leadership skills I have developed to adapt and effectively lead in this new environment.
What goals are you striving toward next?
With my talented team, I intend to continue developing key products to reach new markets and help to grow sales. I will also keep promoting a quick time to market approach for these coming developments. I just realized that I have been with NJM for seven years, and it has gone by so fast because I have been challenged every single day. When you are consistently challenged and enjoy what you do, years pass by so quickly. I’m really happy to be here.