DS Smith Pack A Punch At The SDI Awards!

Posted on Sunday 22 January 2023.

In the run up to the SDI Awards 2022 gala dinner and prize-giving on 22 March, we spoke to the finalists about their experiences, reasons for entering and hopes for the future. Here’s what DS Smith plc told us, before they were crowned winners of the Best Service Improvement Project 2022 on the night!

Winners – Best Service Improvement Project 2022

What do DS Smith do?

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, paper products and recycling services worldwide. Over the past 80 years the company has grown dramatically and their story can be traced back to the box-making business started by the Smith Family in East London in the 1940s. During the next half a century they grew their reputation for quality engineering and a dedication to our customers. As they grew scale, they grew capabilities – adding papermaking and recycling so they could view customers’ challenges in the whole and not just one part. In recent times, the business has experienced rapid growth, as well as acquiring businesses across Europe and in North America. This growth saw DS Smith become one of the largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The vision “To be the leading supplier of sustainable packaging solutions” serves DS Smith well and today, they operate in more than 30 different countries, proudly employing over 30,000 people. It’s thanks to the skills and knowledge of their employees that they’re able to provide our customers with strategic support across the entire packaging Supply Cycle.

What made you decide to enter the awards?   

We previously entered in 2019 for another initiative and enjoyed the experience. Although we weren’t finalists in 2019, we were shortlisted, so it made us determined to do better next time! 

What part of the awards process did you enjoy the most?  

Presenting to the Judges and answering their questions was an interactive and enjoyable experience. In the discussion we even benefitted from some tips for our future Service Desk journey. 

In the last 12 months, what has been the most successful initiative your team has implemented to help your business improve its performance?   

The introduction of multi-lingual chat support available through Microsoft Teams has made support more accessible, particularly out of hours and in more languages than we’ve previously been able to offer. 

What are your top 3 tips to make for successful service improvement? 

  1. Ensure your captured requirements are validated by the business and align with the outcomes they wish to achieve 
  2. Report on your progress regularly with pre-agreed and documented measures 
  3. Solicit end user feedback and ensure that both the feedback is both transparent and acted upon 

What one thing do you think really makes you stand out as a service organisation?   

We are focusing heavily on user experience and publishing our customer satisfaction scores monthly to the whole Business. This has helped us positively shift attitudes towards IT who were previously seen as a necessary evil and are now viewed as both an enabler and an important stakeholder in Business decisions. 

How are you preparing to evolve your service desk over the next few years? Please share your most exciting plan with us!   

Our journey into self-healing has begun with a recently deployed tool. The roadmap will see us mature that to resolve more issues before they impact users and empower users to execute simple fixes without needing to contact the Service Desk. 

Additionally, we will look to deploy a Virtual Agent to handle some of the demand up front through an always on and multi-lingual interface. 

What does it mean to your team to be a finalist in the ‘Best Service Improvement Project’ category?    

The Team are absolutely delighted to have reached the final 3 and proud that the Service Improvement Project has received external recognition from respected professionals in the Industry. 


What advice would you give to companies entering the awards next year?   

Firstly, don’t hesitate over whether to enter the awards, it’s a great thing to do. Creating your entry as a Team encourages you to reflect on your achievements together and ensure you include several viewpoints from those involved in your success. 

What would you do to celebrate if your team won ‘Best Service Improvement Project 2022’?  

If we were to win the Best Service Improvement Project 2022 award, we would take the opportunity to meet face to face for an overdue celebration. The Project was delivered entirely remotely due to the pandemic and a small number of us have still not met face to face. 

Official SDI Awards 2022 partner:

Would you like to be the official SDI Awards Partner of 2023? Enquire now at events@sdi-e.com for more information.

How DS Smith Won an SDI Award

Read DS Smith’s winning award entry to discover how how they transformed their IT operations, creating centralised IT services to help them exceed their objectives and goals, resulting in massive growth and defeating their challenges.



close slider
  • Feel free to get in touch. To ask a question directly please submit your message using the form below.
  • Can we send you updates and offers to help you be brilliant?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.