How did you become an expert in purchasing?
The expertise I have gained has been through experience and knowledge. In the area of supply chain, it is essential that you fully understand the influences affecting certain market sectors as this enables you to make judgements upon which commercial decisions are taken. The direct impact upon business profitability of the correct buying decisions cannot be overstated. During the last 20 years I have developed an awareness of ‘what looks right’ and what is possible to be achieved with supply partners. However, every day I learn something different, which is what makes the job a challenge and takes me one step towards becoming more of an ‘expert’.
What interesting fact about purchasing can you tell us?
- You get to visit a great many places: my current job takes me all over the UK and previous roles have taken me to many countries in Europe. There is tremendous variety in purchasing, no one day is ever the same.
Can you talk about any forthcoming projects you will be involved in?
I am working on a number of projects at Group level which will involve me in recommending frozen herb, seasonings and film suppliers for companies across the Group. I am based at Ginsters and we are firmly committed to supporting rural businesses in Cornwall and Devon, so there will always be projects in this area in the future.
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on while at Ginsters?
It is probably helping a couple of local businesses – one of which started from scratch and the other which developed its business in a completely different direction – to stand out to become first class suppliers. I was involved in the preliminary plan and right through to implementation. Another interesting project was contributing to a feasibility study which determined that it was possible to grow onions commercially in Cornwall. Previously we sourced our onions from elsewhere in the UK. Today, 50% of Ginsters’ onion requirements now come from Cornwall and it would be our expectations that 60% of our supply of onions will come from Cornwall by the end of 2016.