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.

Marketing Director

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.