Business Unit Director
5 O levels HNC Business Studies
Brief job description
Management and control of a Business Unit.
- Achieving sales / profit budgets
- Managing a team of 5 people
- Co-ordinating activities between manufacturing sites and the customer
- Identifying trends / new business opportunities.
My career so far…
On leaving school, worked for the local council as a clerical officer.
Moved into a direct selling role (there for 3 years) before moving into the food industry – career path to date as follows:
- Beecham Bovril – Sales representative / Divisional Field Assistant / Area Sales Mgr
- Anchor Foods – National Account Manager / Sales Manager
- UNIQfoods – Senior National Account Manager (M&S;, Tesco)
- Hazlewood Foods – Business Unit Director. Initially with Grocery Division, joined Prepared Foods Division in April 2001.
What does your job involve in a typical day?
There are no “typical” days, as each one has different challenges to face!
However, general tasks performed in the role are as follows:
- Discussions with sites / performance and issues
- Liasing with team to discuss issues / solutions / sales performance
- Managing sales / profit budgets – identifying potential shortfalls and developing plans to address
- Planning / preparing trade presentations
- Strategic (longer term) discussions for our categories, to drive strategic plans
- Internal presentations / discussions on key issues
- Meetings with customers – in addition to the buying teams meetings also take place with other departments, such as supply management and marketing.
- Team meetings (usually on a 2 / 3 weekly basis).
- Site management meetings.
What do you like most about your job?
- Interfacing with customers.
- Problem solving / identifying solutions that benefit all parties.
- Team motivation / management.
- The “buzz” of winning new business / achieving goals.
What skills are required in your job?
- Ability to LISTEN.
- Ability to communicate clearly and concisely
- Ability to plan ahead
- Effective time management (particularly when there are numerous issues to deal with)
- Organisational skills
How many people work for you?
Five direct reports
What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?
- Decide what type of career path you wish to pursue.
- Identify the type of Company you would ideally like to work for (large conglomerate, medium sized company, small independent, branded or own label supplier).
- Subscribe to The Grocer, which has a good selection of “positions vacant” at all levels, and for a variety of companies. In addition to this, there are various articles on key events / product launches / company profiles that can also be of benefit.
- Do your homework. When you have an interview with a company, research it to find out about the turnover, financial position (through the library or specialist search), products produced, key benefits etc.
- Visit a number of major supermarkets to look at
- The product range
- How the products are merchandised (positioned in store)
- What are the main competitor products?
- What is the price (RSP) position v competitors?
- Having done this, make a note of 3 things that you would do to improve sales of the product. This would demonstrate at the interview your ability to identify solutions to benefit the sales performance of a product / product range.
- If you explain to someone at the store that you are “fact finding” for a job interview, they may give you additional information on the Company you are researching.It is also worth taking some time looking at customer reaction to the products – do they immediately go to that product, do they look at competitor products and compare before making a purchase decision? How customers act in store determines how successful a product will be.
Always remember – THE CUSTOMER IS KING!