The alarm goes off and I head for the kitchen, where I make myself a cup of tea. The first cup of the day is always the best! Before long, I hear my family up and about. My youngest daughter Caron is a real morning person - must take after her old man.
I leave my house in the Lake District and head for the office on the Wirral. I’m no sooner out of the drive than the phone rings - it’s one of my key account managers calling with good news. We’ve recently conducted trials for a key customer on one of our soft roll concentrates. The results have been extremely positive and we’ve won the business. What a result!
I turn on the radio for the news headlines, then switch to Radio 2.
I arrive at the office in record time, despite being bumper-to-bumper along the M6. I start reading my e-mails, when our head of product development drops in. He updates me on a new cake mix we’re developing - it’s looking very promising and we agree the next step is to run a trial with a customer. We’re conscious that consumer demands are constantly changing, which is why we continually seek to innovate and update our products.
I listen to my messages - there’s one from the sales director at one of our major wholesalers. I call him back and he tells me one of our competitors is looking to gain market share in a particular area - something we’re keen to prevent. We discuss how best to tackle this and end the call on a happy note - one of the products we’ve been promoting is selling better than ever. Onwards and upwards!
I grab a cup of coffee on the way to meet the marketing team. Top of the agenda are plans for the launch of our new range of healthier bread ingredients. The range consists of concentrates and dough conditioners that respond to the healthy eating trend, including low-GI, reduced salt, higher fibre and clean label propositions. Research shows us there’s a massive demand for ’bread with bits in’ and this has created a major buzz internally in anticipation of the launch. We’re keen to help bakers remind their customers that bread is good for you and understand the benefits of the healthier options available.
Staying with the better-for-you theme, we discuss plans to further promote the Apricot and Raisin Cookie, launched at this year’s IFE trade show, following the success of our Nestlé branded lines, and it’s performing well in terms of both sales and positive feedback. The product appeals to both adults and children as it’s a healthier alternative to traditional sweet treats.
I start work on a presentation for the next monthly meeting of the European leadership team in Italy. At these meetings we share best practice in terms of product development and new ideas. We’re part of CSM, Europe’s largest bakery supplier, and we like to pool our ideas regularly.
Time for lunch and I head to the staff canteen, where I bump into my colleagues from other departments. We have a quick chat before I return to my office for an appointment. It’s a hectic day, but I really enjoy being on the go.
I meet with Julie, one of my key account managers, who is also mentor to the latest trainee joining the company’s graduate training scheme. We plan an induction programme, giving our new recruit a taste of all areas of the business. After two years, he should be ready to join our sales team as a fully fledged account executive.
I meet with the human resources manager to review applications we’ve received for a vacancy in my team. There are a few promising candidates and we agree to invite them for interview next week.
I put the finishing touches to another presentation for our national sales conference next week. I’m pleased to see that the figures look healthy - we must be doing something right.
It’s time to prepare for a meeting tomorrow with one of our customers in Wales. I’ll be seeing one of my account managers beforehand to review progress.
I try to touch base with each member of the team regularly for a one-to-one, to stay informed of their progress. I’m delighted to lead such a closely knit team.
I leave the office and head home. This is one of the best parts of the day, as I can really relax and gather my thoughts. As I approach the Lake District, I take in a gorgeous view of the fells - perhaps I’ll get my walking boots on and head out there this weekend...
I arrive home and my wife Jacqueline has prepared dinner. We catch up on the events of the day.
My evenings are spent with my family. Tonight, my daughter, Nadia, shows me some of her homework. I don’t remember it being so difficult when I was at school, but then that was some time ago. n