Job Title
National Account ExecutiveName: Helen Hughes

Company: Northern Foods – Dalepak

Professional Qualification(s):
BSc (Hons) Management Sciences (2:1) at Loughborough University, A-Levels in Economics and Business Studies (A), English (B), Maths (C), & General Studies (A), 10 GCSE’s & NEBSM qualification (National Examining Board of Supervisory Management)

Brief overview of your job:
Management and development of various accounts including Spar and Budgens, independents and wholesalers, and foodservice
What does your job involve?
• Responsible for all aspects of account management – promotion proposals, new listings, forecasting, business planning etc.

• Investigating new business opportunities

• With such a range of accounts, it is very important for me to prioritise effectively and manage my time very carefully

• Internally, I deal with many departments on a day-to-day basis, such as Marketing, R & D, Supply Chain and Finance

• One of the main challenges in my role is making sure my customers have the highest possible level of service, while considering internal factors and constraints

• I do not have a typical day! – I am in the office for 3-4 days a week, and generally spend the other 1 or 2 days out for meetings with customers

What do you most like about your job?
• I get to deal with a very wide range of people, both internally and externally

• Sense of achievement when sales increase as a result of my actions – e.g. new listings, promotions work well etc.

• No 2 days are the same

What skills are required in your job?
• Being able to talk to anybody!

• Planning and organising skills

• Self-motivation and determination

• Teamworking skills

• Confidence in your own ability, and a willingness to give things a go

What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food & grocery industry?
• The industry is fast-moving, and so be prepared to deal with change

• Have a good understanding of the retailers, and of how their growing strength is putting more pressure on food and grocery manufacturers

• Be enthusiastic and have a keen interest in food and grocery! It is a tangible product area to work with, and so results of companies’ work are generally very visible (and therefore can be very rewarding)

Career so far:
Powergen plc – “Year in Industry” placement, 1998-1999, Personnel team member