After studying Biochemistry at the University of Leicester, I was offered the opportunity to study for a PhD in Cardiovascular Disease. During this, I entered the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme where we had to develop a business plan for a company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea, using real market data. We pitched our idea to ‘ethical investors’ using AB Mauri and Kingsmill as partners to launch our new gluten free bread. At this stage I had not previously come across ABF and hadn’t realised that both Mauri and Kingsmill were within the same group. I found the experience so enjoyable that I decided to find an opportunity outside of research, so when I came across the ABF Procurement Scheme, I just had to apply!
Before my scheme officially started, I worked at Westmill in Trafford with the Quality team for a couple of months. I worked on internal audits and quality testing, amongst other things. A lot of this involved tasting the product which was great! When I finally started the Procurement scheme at Allied Bakeries, I already had an insight into ABF as a company.
I had salt and baking powder as my Procurement categories and I dived right in from the start as the baking powder contract was due for renewal. Alongside my categories, I had projects across the bakery sites, ranging from encouraging our site purchasers to purchase using Procurement Best Practice; to setting up a National Deal for water machines across all sites.
Through the year I have been given more categories to manage, including flavours. These are bespoke ingredients with complex supply chains and the category offers very different challenges to what I had grown accustomed to. I am also currently working on gathering data and analysing the impact of Brexit to the business which has been interesting as nobody yet knows what will happen.
My daily activities include reporting on team metrics, visiting suppliers to understand their production process and their pressures, risk mitigation activities, contract negotiations and individual ingredient projects where I work with the New Product Development team and potential suppliers to make a better product, at lower cost.
For the second year of my scheme I will be moving to Jordans Dorset Ryvita, which I am really looking forward to as I will have completely different categories to manage in a business with different strategies and market pressures from what I’ve experienced so far.