This page features achievements earlier than 2012. See also Recent achievements.
2000-Jan 2012 Co-operative Farms
Transformed the Co-operative Group’s farming business from a £6m loss, £40m turnover in 2000 to £6m profit and £65m turnover
- restructured and removed layers of management
- took major decisions such as exiting dairy farming and expanding into fresh produce packing
- de-risked operations through hedging currency and fuel, selling forwards and introducing risk management principles to the industry
Drove a cultural change within the business
- integrated Farms with the rest of the Co-operative Group, connecting farmers with Group initiatives, such as educating children and wildlife conservation initiatives, and raising awareness in the Group of the power of the farming business to support the brand
- achieved the highest employee engagement scores in the Group
Inspired and led the branding of Co-operative Farms
- led branding of fresh produce packs in store
- secured extensive PR coverage
- initiated the multi-award winning “From Farm to Fork” schools education project: over 60k primary school children have spent an educationally structured day on a farm to date
Influenced the farming industry
- member of the DEFRA sponsored Implementation Group of the Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy, setting a new strategic direction for the industry including a requirement for farmers to connect with their markets
- implemented industry leading Environmental Management System and species protection project (Habitat Heroes)
- networked with landowners, government, BBC, EU, industry leaders and grower groups leading to demonstrable change in strategy and communication e.g. CAP Reform implementation, cattle movement process to contain TB and advising Countryfile which is now the most watched factual programme by the BBC
- speaking engagements including the Oxford Farming Conference, 2011 City Food Lecture, numerous farmer discussion groups, TV and radio
1996-2000 Anchor Foods Ltd (now Fonterra)
UK turnover £300m
Sales Director and Commercial Director
Promoted in 1999 to Sales Director of a demoralised, not highly respected sales force. Further promoted to Commercial Director.
- refocused the team on the customer, increasing visits to customers at all levels, including other functions, and started a new focus on convenience and foodservice.
- introduced tighter disciplines of monitoring performance and much tighter integration with marketing.
- started much improved co-ordination with manufacturing to reduce costs across the supply chain, and drove value chain initiative project starting at the customer end.
- drove new initiatives to exceed budget, in particular in foodservice and a strategy to dominate own label indirectly.
- kept team morale high during a difficult few months of being caught in a price war, followed by complete customer service failure, leading to delistings, compensation claims.
- high level of networking through election to regional CBI council, marketing society and an informal group of marketing and managing directors meeting for quarterly dinners.
Inherited poorly regarded team.
- recruited a new team, managing the departure of most of the old, with no dismissals, but setting new standards through use of interim managers and recruits. My successor was one of the new recruits.
- developed a new brand equity with the use of ‘Free Range’ for Anchor butter involving advertising, repackaging and extension to new products.
- redirected aerosol cream from decline and price focus to growth and added value/interest strategy, increasing profitability by factor of 2.
- raised level of consumer insight, increasing depth of strategic thought.
- introduced Idea to Market disciplines, throughout the company, including Business Activity Recommendations for all major initiatives.
- raised skills in understanding profitability and financial justifications, always in control of budgets.
- created new open plan office environment from the ‘archive floor’, breaking down silos of cheese vs butter vs cream and hierarchies as a result, and strong teamwork.
1994-1996 Redland Bricks (UK) Ltd
Turnover £90m, part of Redland plc – a FTSE100 business.
Member of a new team recruited as experts in their field rather than in bricks. Introduced a new company culture, de-layered and turned the company into a market led business.
My responsibilities covered marketing and technical services and included technical advice, complaints handling, Computer Aided Design and the manufacture and distribution of product sample boards.
- developed a marketing strategy, based on analysis of margin made by region, product type, sales channel and end use.
- in 1995 the market fell 15.8%, but as a result of the strategy Redland Bricks grew share from 16% to 17.5% and increased margin by 9 percentage points.
- introduced radical new marketing initiatives such as bespoke literature for customers using state of the art processes (digital photography) to make it cost effective.
- drove a complete change of process in the product samples unit saving 20% on the cost of production and delivering a vastly improved service to their customers.
- commissioned and implemented a pricing model to give guidance, based on statistical analysis for target prices, which allowed quick reaction to price movements and enabled more selling to be from central telesales, thus reducing overheads and focusing the sales force on account management rather than pricing.
1993-1994 Great British Lottery Company
TGBLC was a consortium of Vodafone, Granada, Associated Newspapers, Carlton and Hambros Bank, set up to bid for the licence to run the government’s National Lottery.
The bid was unsuccessful with Camelot making the lowest bid, but the exercise was a great experience in co-operation between functions and working to tight deadlines.
- wrote the marketing section of the bid.
- developed the advertising campaign with Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
- briefed and approved the design of the Lottery logo, retail display and the bid document presentation with Pentagram Design.
- managed public relations activities including political lobbying, maintaining a high press profile and seminars with potential lottery beneficiaries.
1992-1993 Wang UK Ltd
Marketing Director (reporting to the Managing Director)
Wang wanted a marketeer with fast moving consumer goods experience to help move them from product to marketing led.
- set up and built a complete Direct Marketing database.
- conducted market research to understand the customer base.
- established significantly improved relationship with the Wang user group.
- focused all sales collateral into one services led theme.
- built and maintained a strong team spirit which kept them moving forward despite Wang US filing for protection from bankruptcy and many UK redundancies.
1985-1991 Mars Confectionery
Regional Sales Manager (on secondment from marketing)
Mars sales training has an excellent reputation and I requested a secondment in sales.
- participated in full Mars sales training.
- managed the Capital sales region of 8 people, covering about 20% of the company’s turnover of £473m.
Business Manager – Savoury Snacks
The savoury snack market was a new business area for Mars. It was the main thrust forward until integration of the UK business with Continental Europe focused the company on expanding the market for its core products, rather than looking for increased share of the UK snack market.
- researched, developed and test marketed a range of frozen, microwaveable toasted sandwiches (turnover £1m)
- tested an ambient snack brand imported from Mars US, in the catering sector.
Senior Brands Manager
Over a 3 year period managed different Mars products, established brands such as Bounty and Milky Way, waning brands such as Topic, new brands such as Tracker and seasonal offerings – Christmas packs and Easter eggs.
- changed Milky Way direction from parent to child focus: sales increased 15% after 5 year’ decline.
- halted Topic decline through first advertising in 5 years and recipe improvement.
- launched Tracker into the grocery trade – winning ‘Best grocery launch in 1986’ from Supermarketing magazine, voted for by trade buyers.
- increased Tracker distribution in grocery outlets by 30% as a direct result of winning the award.
- increased Christmas pack turnover by 15%.
- reduced manufacturing and packaging cost on Easter and Christmas packs through understanding of production (one example saved £30m p.a. on a pack already in the market for 10 years).
- increased seasonal range profitability by 18% through innovation in pack design, content and manufacture.
Planning Manager (simultaneous to Cranfield Exec MBA)
As new products Planning Manager, I was ideally placed to learn about sales, marketing, distribution, manufacturing and industrial engineering.
- co-ordinated a 2-year launch programme liasing with marketing, sales and production for volume forecasting and production planning.
- designed computer models to measure sensitivity of plan thereby introducing risk analysis to planning at Mars.
1982-1985 Coats Viyella
Dynacast UK – Quality Manager (simultaneous to Cranfield Exec MBA)
Main achievement was to change the mentality of the company from quality being seen as a policing activity to becoming an integral part of production.
- pioneered statistical process and quality control in the company.
- defined processes to conform to BS 5750.
- educated and trained quality assurance and production departments.
- educated and implemented quality systems with sub contractors.
- achieved BS 5750 registration, the first in the line of business and a major marketing and sales tool.
Dynacast Germany – General Trainee
Based in the heart of the Black Forest, spent 18 months in Germany in every area of the business from tool design to production.
1978-1982 Student Work
Jobs included research and development assistant for Reckitt & Colman, production line work for Procter & Gamble, and in distribution for SKF – a ball bearing company in Germany. Associated Engineering through university and covered practical training to become chartered and 8 weeks in a piston factory.
Christine’s degrees had 24 weeks of the 48-week final year on industrial projects in companies from family concerns to IBM and Rolls Royce.