Brigid McDonough – The Polythene Expert

Brigid McDonough – The Polythene Expert

Having worked in the polythene industry for 20 years, including three years for a manufacturer and 17 years in its supply, Brigid has vast experience on the topic. She is now Head of Customer Sales, Disposable Division, having joined Polyco Healthline in 2005.

She loves making sales and hitting her targets. And as head of department, she gets a real buzz from motivating her team to do the same.

Brigid is always at the top of her game. This includes knowing both the products and the market. She works with factories to develop new product ranges that push the limit of what is achievable using polythene.

Today, she sits on the Plastic Refuse Sacks Panel of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA). This organisation drives up standards with biannual inspections at members’ warehouses to ensure that what’s on the box is in the box. The CHSA accreditation has become a mark of quality, giving customers the confidence to know that approved bags that will always hold their specified weight.

So Brigid, what questions are you asked most frequently?

In such a competitive market, customers often ask lots of questions, including:

  • Do you stock an alternative bag that will do the job?
  • Will this bag fit this bin?
  • Can you source this product that’s difficult to find?
  • What do the CHSA standards mean?
  • Can you supply for tenders?

Customers are also really curious about the CHSA drop test process. It’s great to show our machine in action on a visit to our lab in Bourne.

What do you feel is the biggest problem within the polythene industry?

Price dictates a lot of decisions. Customers are continuously looking for the most competitive option. Consequently, we are always looking to develop new polythene blends that offer that competitive edge.

How do Polyco Healthline’s products and/or services address that problem?

While Polyco Healthline remains a frontrunner for supply, we also pride ourselves on quality products at competitive prices. Having a large range of bags in each CHSA drop-test category (Light-, Medium-, Heavy- and Extra Heavy-Duty), is a huge benefit to customers who want the reassurance that they are getting the products they pay for. In this way, we’re able to meet all their requirements.

Our wider product range is an even more exciting customer benefit. Not only do we stock one of the UK’s best selection of disposable and industrial gloves, but also bags, aprons, coveralls, wipes – you name it. These all come in different sizes and standards options to provide customers with more choice.

What is your favourite product and why?

Right now, my favourites have to be the seven new clinical and tiger stripe bags (CWHD/8, CWHD/12, ATHD/8, ATHD/12 and TSYB/1, TSYB/2, TSYB/3). These are new products were developed in partnership with our factory. They’re made of bi-modular polythene, which is light duty but extra strong. The result is a versatile bag that fits more on a pallet, at a really competitive price point compared with heavier gauge bags.

What future innovation will have the greatest impact on your industry specialism? What will change?

In a commodity market, we’re always looking to do more with less.

So, the trend in recent years has been to find better performing materials at a lighter gauge. Our bi-modular bags are a perfect example of that. To drop the thickness but still have a stronger bag? That brings a really great saving. I can see more of the same happening in the future as we innovate and develop new materials.

Why are you proud to sell and represent Polyco Healthline products and services?

Three things make me proud. 1. Our wider basket of quality goods, 2. The fact that my sales team are all experts in their field and 3. While on the road they are backed up by our fantastic customer service team.

Ultimately, it’s all about looking after our customers really well. We’ve got a lot of long-standing relationships and we’ll continue to supply them with a great range of products and services.

How are you able to provide the greatest value to Polyco Healthline customers?

Well in the end: a bag is a bag. It’s not overly technical! But I bring value through my industry experience, product knowledge and knowing how to source products efficiently.

For example, our focus for the next six months is looking at opportunities to promote our expanded product range to new and existing customers, and especially partnering with those who want to diversify their purchasing with Polyco Healthline.