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Supply Chain

Published on: 23 Dec 2009




Chris Fenton took his last exam for his international transport degree at Cardiff University in the morning and joined supply chain specialist

Wincanton that afternoon. This wasn’t just amazing luck, but was the result of Fenton working for Wincanton during a placement year of his

degree when he worked as a team member at Masterfoods in 1996. This saw him driving fork lift trucks, picking products and being a full member of a shift.

He says that this proved to be invaluable experience for his current role as general manager at the Heinz distribution centre in Wigan where

he is responsible for over 500 people at peak times of the year. “This experience gave me a good background and helped me gain the broad knowledge my current role requires,” he says.

His role is much broader than a depot manager as he has to balance strategic aims as well as operational requirements for Heinz and Wincanton. “It’s almost like running my own business from this point of view with the help of specialists within the business to take advice from,” he says.

And it’s not dull for Fenton either. A massive part of his job is health and safety, and then there are people, the co-packing operation, the

profitability of each vehicle fleet, engineering because it’s a highly automated site, IT systems, legal etc etc.

“You need a whole raft of skills in this role including when to step in and when not to as well as knowing how to charge other people’s batteries,” he says.



Rachael Lorman has just assumed the newly created role of supply chain development controller at Dr Oetker. It’s a business that includes frozen pizza under the Dr Oetker and Chicago Town brands, the chilled yogurts and desserts from Onken, and cake decorating and accessories of Supercook.

Lorman was previously head of supply chain for the frozen and chilled businesses. Although she continues to look after frozen, her new role

oversees the entire supply chain function to ensure standards are introduced and maintained across all businesses.

“The new role is to identify, lead and implement ways of maximising efficiencies across all aspects of the supply chain including processes and systems, KPI reporting, customer requirements as well as route to market developments both internally and externally driven within the UK and from our European manufacturing base,” she explains.

Lorman did not leave school with an ambition to work in the supply chain, rather “I fell into it because it interested me,” she says. Having

started work at a family owned textile company and, after a stint at Fox’s Biscuits in the M&S department, she became only the second English employee at Dr Oetker in 2002.

“Following various acquisitions, including the European frozen pizza business from USA-based Schwan Food Company last year, the company is unrecognisable from when I joined,” she says. “But changes happen daily in supply chain.”

She believes that anyone working in the supply chain area has to be very self aware as it is important that they realise how they come across to colleagues and external people.