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)
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!