National Account Executive

Job Title: National Account Executive

Name: 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 two 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