Top 100 interview: Tom Hollands, Raynor Foods

Posted on 25 May 2022 by Lanna Deamer

Tom Æ Hollands

The Manufacturer Top 100 2021 alumni, Tom Hollands, Innovation and Technical Director at Raynor Foods said the most inspiring thing he has found about working in manufacturing is the team of people that he works alongside and collaborates with. A lot of the values of the people he has met in the industry are aligned to his own; they want to improve their own practices; improve the environment of the people working within the business and the wider supply chain; and also genuinely want to do better, improve and provide more value, not only for the shareholders but for the wider stakeholders.

Click here to view the video of the full Top 100 interview with Tom Hollands.

How are you and your company addressing the current challenges faced by manufacturers?

The biggest challenges facing manufacturing currently is climate change. Our world is starting to burn, and if we don’t transform the systems that deliver our food and services around the world then we won’t have a planet left. The impetus is to transform our systems to become more sustainable; not for today or tomorrow, but for many, many years to come, while maintaining a good standard of life for everyone; the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen within the sector?

This is a really exciting period of change, and there are three significant areas converging. The first, as mentioned before, is climate change. Secondly, COVID has accelerated change in the workplace and has shifted the world dramatically. Thirdly, we’re seeing the dawn of not only of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but the fifth as well.

And these three key areas converging will utterly transform manufacturing. We will be less labour intensive, deploy more automation, handling, storage, usage and accessibility of datasets. And our processes will be augmented to supply products and services throughout the world for a far lower CO2e footprint than they do currently.

What can manufacturing learn from other sectors?

There is a lot to learn from other manufacturing sectors, and equally, food manufacturing has a lot to offer other sectors in terms of learning and development. The future won’t be about big company versus big company, it will be supply chain versus supply chain. And it will only be those supply chains that collaborate with each other, and add the greatest value, that will be the winners in this new world.

What sort of change has your company gone through over the last two years and how has this been managed?

Despite all the challenges the pandemic brought with it, it also delivered a lot of opportunities for the business. Over the last 12 months, the business has brought on an additional £7.7m of turnover. We’ve only been able to deliver that because we have a really strong management team. Everyone is very committed to achieving the end goal together as a group.

What advice would you give to any young people thinking about a career in manufacturing?

There are a number of different manufacturing sectors, but my advice to any young person considering it is to stop thinking about it; go and ask some questions, find a mentor, find out about it, and if it’s still appealing, go ahead and do it. You’ll have a fantastic career. You’re joining the industry at a really critical time and through your input, skills, knowledge and behaviour, you can help transform our systems to become more sustainable.