All Careers Advice

Found 31 articles

  • Rapport is the connection between two people; the spoken and unspoken words that say ‘we are on the same page’. In an interview situation you can employ numerous techniques to maximize the rapport between yourself and your interviewer.
  • The real dealers   Good procurement people are worth their weight in gold and are key to keeping a company in profit. Gail Hunt reports  The 2009 Purchasing & Supply Rewards research from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) and Croner Reward shows that purchasing professionals trump salaries for equivalent roles in sectors including marketing, finance, IT and HR. Indeed, a 3.3% average increase across the board has been reported, with senior and middle-ranking managers more likely to benefit from larger salaries and directors receiving the highest increase of 13.3%. However, it’s not all good news, as those in procurement have to work harder than ever before. Hours invested have risen in every area of the role and the average purchasing director works between 51 and 60 hours a week. Senior and middle managers work between 40 and 45 hours a week and junior managers enjoy similar hours. But while hours have got longer, 57% of procurement professionals reported good

  • Men of many parts With the increased reliance on automation, today’s food manufacturing engineers have to be multi-skilled multi-taskers. John Dunn reports one of the fallacies about the food manufacturing industry is that it has never been very engineering orientated. Well, in many ways, perhaps it still isn’t. But away from lines of operators popping cherries on top of buns or sorting sausage rolls into boxes, there is often a lot of ‘plant’. And here it is pure engineering – mechanical, chemical, and electrical – covering processing vessels, pumps, piping, valves and vats. All of these pieces of plant have to be programmed and controlled to deliver the right weight and the right mix at the right time. Again, pure engineering – electrical and control engineering. But engineering isn’t just about keeping plant and machines running. It is the unsung hero of many a good food factory story. All the major household food brands, for instance, have centres of excellence or research and

  • Good connections   Ambition, realism and flexibility are just a few of the qualities of good logistics managers. Gail Hunt reports   Building a truly responsive supply chain should be the Holy Grail for every company and anyone who works in this area plays a pivotal part in a company’s success, especially in today’s business climate. So says Hugh Williams, md of supply chain specialist Hughenden Consultancy, who believes the supply chain role can change a company at its very core but that it is still misunderstood by many. “Part of the problem of trying to get people to understand the supply chain is that they think it’s all about lorries, whereas logistics is just one element of the chain,” he says. “Many supply chains are like big tankers that take an age to change course but we want firms to be nimble and able to turn on a sixpence if trading conditions change,” he adds. For instance, in a heatwave, a responsive supply chain gets the soft drinks to retail more quickly and bef

  • CHRIS FENTON -WINCANTONGENERAL MANAGER FOR THE HEINZ ACCOUNT   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.

  • JOHN ORR - NESTLÉ PRODUCTION MANAGER   John Orr took a masters in manufacturing and electrical engineering with a diploma in business management at Strathclyde University. Now 32, he is production manager for the Nescafé packing department at Nestlé’s Hayes factory in Middlesex, responsible for a team of 40 people. “We get the coffee in bulk from manufacturing, put it into jars, label it, pack it, put it on a pallet and send it out to our distribution centre.”  

  • DAVID SEECKTS - PREMIER FOODS FACTORY GENERAL MANAGER   After starting out in engineering, David Seeckts switched careers and found his true vocation in operations thanks to a sideways move into shift management for Pedigree Petfoods. Twelve years on and he’s the factory general manager at Premier Foods Worksop, producing 96,000t a year of products such as Sharwood’s sauces, Bisto Gravy and OXO Cubes.

  • NADENE SIMPSON-STILL - PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOX'S BISCUITS, PART OF NORTHERN FOOODS   “The fact that Fox’s product development is not in its own little silo, so you follow the product from concept to the supermarket shelf, makes the role both challenging and satisfying,” says Simpson-Still. “There’s a process development team working alongside us, but we’re involved all the way through.”

  • DARREN GEDGE - PINNEYS OF SCOTLAND, PART OF THE FINDUS GROUPTECHNICAL DIRECTOR   Being technical director can mean helping to source the best raw materials, says Gedge. “As a partner to Marks & Spencer, we have to work with the retailer’s approved list of suppliers. Because of weather-related problems in the Orkneys, I’m currently having to get another supplier approved – and approved at the highest level.”

  • ANDREW PEARSON - LAKE DISTRICT CHEESE COMPANY SITE MANAGER   Andrew Pearson, site manager at the Lake District Cheese Company, is finishing the third module of a Professional Certificate in Dairy Technology at Reaseheath College, Cheshire. Before joining First Milk, Pearson previously worked as operations manager for packaging company DS Smith and plant manager for plasterboard company British Gypsum, where he developed expertise in world class manufacturing techniques.   “Historically the dairy industry has developed its own staff from within but First Milk recognised that people from other sectors could bring different skills to help the business improve efficiencies,” says Pearson.   “While I’m familiar with all of the manufacturing techniques, the Professional Certificate has helped me develop a greater knowledge on the specifics of the dairy industry. I now have a better technical understanding of cheese-making and whey processing, which means I can talk to my staff at a m

  • ANNEKA QUINCEY - JO SIMMS QUALITY ASSURANCE SUPERVISOR   The helping hand qualifications can give you when climbing the career ladder is well demonstrated by Anneka Quincey of fruit supplier JO Sims in Spalding Lincolnshire. Quincey has just completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Food Manufacture at the University of Lincoln and was recently promoted to quality assurance supervisor at JO Sims.