Account Director, Client Service
8 Scottish ‘O’ Grades 4 Scottish Highers SHND Business Studies Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Administration
Brief Job Description
I am responsible for looking after a number of our manufacturer clients. Each client purchases continuous sales data delivered in a database. At its most basic, my team and I are responsible for ensuring that the clients receive the right information at the right time.However, our main role is to add value to the data. We do this by analysing the information with specific issues in mind. For example, the petfood market has seen the launch of products in pouches over the last couple of years. We would answer questions such as: what impact has this innovation had on the brands within the canned sector? Is it affecting some brands more than others? We often provide the answers to such business issues by way of presentations to the marketing and brand teams involved, as well as by producing reports and data tables.
In order to do the job professionally, we need to be aware of the influences of the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) trade as a whole, as well as the specific categories or markets in which our clients are involved.
My career so far…
My first job after college was as a Management Trainee with Fine Fare Ltd, now known as Somerfield. I spent three and a half years in various stores in Scotland taking on a number of different management roles. The most useful skills I learnt from these positions were in time management and man-management. A supermarket can be an extremely stressful environment and the ability to think on one’s feet is vital.
I left Somerfield to join the IGD. I stayed with the IGD for eight years, the last two of which I was responsible for the project management of the written output. In other roles, I wrote the industry reports on retailing and wholesaling and conducted some of the training courses. Ostensibly, the IGD produces qualitative research, while my role at Information Resources has complemented this with quantitative work. The skills I took from my time at IGD were report writing and training, as well as a very wide knowledge of the grocery industry.
I have been at Information Resources for about six years.
What does your job involve in a typical day?
The beauty of the job is that there is no typical day. I could be presenting to clients, working on a major data analysis or dealing with more urgent data requests by phone. My team ensures the day to day activities are achieved on time, while my role is to take responsibility for the strategy we adopt with each client in order to fulfil their needs and meet our revenue targets.
The Client Service role in general is one of communication. I also have budgetary responsibilities, so a portion of my time is spent revenue tracking and forecasting. As a manager within the company I also have staff responsibilities, including interviewing, training, appraising and reviewing resource requirements.
What do like most about your job?
The variety, the autonomy I am allowed and the people I work with.
What skills are required in your job?
To do my job well I believe the skills required are:
- Good verbal and written communication
- The ability to manage people
- The ability to work to tight and multiple deadlines
- An analytical mind
- The ability to present
- The ability to make things happen (we are often the catalyst)
How many people work for you?
Eight people work directly for me – a mixture of new graduates and people with a few years of working life.
What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?
Don’t worry if you don’t have the ‘right’ degree. Companies are often looking for potential more than FMCG experience when recruiting graduates. Don’t waste your holiday time; read, travel, learn new skills. All of these things support an application for a first job as it demonstrates your energy and enthusiasm for life.