Chief Supply Chain Officer
1) When and why did you join Burton’s Biscuit Company?
I joined Burton’s Biscuit Company in July 2010, after 23 years working in the Supply Chain in Unilever. My main motivation for the change was for a new challenge where I could have influence and make a difference outside of the constraints of operating in a multinational (those who have worked in one will know what I mean). I also have to admit that it was also to do with finding a better work-life balance and being in the UK more in order to spend time with my family.
2) How is Burton’s Biscuit Company different to the others in the market?
The most obvious difference from a Company or Supply Chain point of view is that we are the only major biscuit company that focuses solely on making biscuits. This brings with it a whole host of advantages, not least an organisation with a depth of skill and experience, that remains focussed on what we do, and is not distracted or diluted by other categories or technologies.
3) What is a particular career highlight of yours?
I’ll mention two: one a little less conventional than the other perhaps. Firstly, winning the ‘UK Best Factory Award’ in 1996, when in my early 30s I was the site leader for one of Unilever’s mega sites. This was a prestigious award given out by Management Today, and the (then) DTI. The site made twice our annual volume, with only 200 people, was the lowest cost producer in the world, and went three years without a lost time accident – something for us still to go for then! My second highlight, which is little more trite, is when I got my first company car. I’d never had a new car before, so picking up the keys to my red, shiny Rover GTI (with spoilers) was just brilliant. It was the first time I experienced the true feeling of reward linked to winning in my career.
4) What is your favourite biscuit moment?
It is without doubt the TV ad break before the watershed at 9.00pm on a weekday evening. My children are older now, but when they were young, it was the time when they would be in bed, the chores of the evening were over, and my wife and I would settle down with a nice cuppa and a biccy and watch some detective or costume drama on the TV. The kids now join us of course, which means we eat more biscuits (Maryland cookies are our favourites!), and Elaine and I don’t get ‘our’ time, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
5) What does ‘Making Every Day More of a Treat’ mean to you?
Life can be hum drum if you let it, and in these uncertain times, even stressful. As a result we all need ‘pick me ups’ from time to time to sustain us. The highs of holidays, new cars, birthdays etc, do not come along every day. And so we need some things that we do every day to be special and to be seen as a treat. For some this might be walking the dog, or sitting down to a family meal. For others it will be a biscuit moment. The more of a treat we can make this, the more we will be contributing to the body and soul of our consumers – clearly it’s a big responsibility!