Finance Manager – Budgeting and OperationsName: Carol Keene
Company: Kraft Foods
Brief job description
The operations part of my title refers to the costing side of the business. I have a team of 5 who are responsible for all of the product costing, that is, all Kraft products that are sold in the UK and from the UK to other countries. The other side of Operations refers to the Capital department which looks after the fixed assets of the business. The budgeting part of my title is actually about the budgeting of overheads and supply chain costs.My career so far…
I joined Kraft over 12 years ago as an Accounts Clerk in the Operations Accounting Department. I joined at a low entry point, as I had no real experience, so began by costing products. I was promoted within 4 months to a Management Reporting role which involved analysis of values and profits of Kraft brands. I moved to costing and then on to a role in the Financial Planning and Analysis Team. This involved looking after advertising and consumer spend and marketing budgets that related to promotional spend.
The company expanded massively with the merger of General Foods and I came back to the corporate controlling side of Finance. I was doing several roles during this period, such as managing the operations accounting team, a smaller costing team and a management reporting team. My role really expanded after the Terry’s acquisition as we now had two new manufacturing plants. I was heavily involved in this acquisition and took charge of the relations between the two plants in York and Bridgend.
My next role was as Financial Controller in our manufacturing plant in Bristol. I decided to undertake this role as I wanted experience in this kind of environment. This job included working with purchasing to look at the purchase price of products and controlling all the coding of invoices. I was also in charge of payroll for the site and had responsibilities for planning and industrial engineering. I believe this was the best move I made, as it was a completely different arena, and was a turning point for my career. The Bristol business was sold and I was heavily involved in the unwinding of this and making sure everything relating to the Bristol plant was removed from Kraft systems. Being involved in acquisitions and divestment’s was a fascinating part of my financial role. I moved back to our commercial head-office after one year and went into the costing and capital side. From 1996 to now my role has included Budgeting, Supply Chain and EU Finance.
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