North West Supply Chain Dinner with Phil Hackney, Pets at Home

Published: 28 May 2015

Berwick Partners were delighted to host an intimate round table dinner event on the evening of Tuesday 21st May at Great John Street Hotel, Manchester. The event brought together senior Supply Chain professionals, specifically based around the North West to discuss current topics affecting the Supply Chain Function.

Our guest host and speaker for the evening was Phil Hackney, an Executive Director of Pets at Home. With over 20 years’ experience within the UK Retail industry and European Business to Business Distribution, Phil is currently responsible for Logistics, Supply Chain and Business Systems at Pets at Home.

During the evening Phil shared a broad range of thoughts on two specific topics. To kick off the evening Phil discussed managing risk within a global supply chain and what this meant to him. There were a number of key themes that came out of this discussion; however the key conclusion was that people, customers and reputation matter.

For a brand like Pets at Home their reputation is key, therefore if they are seen to be sourcing unethically this could be extremely detrimental. There was an open discussion around how much we really know about our suppliers, are we doing enough to meet them and integrate them into our supply chains? During all of the discussions it was apparent that managing risk within the supply chain ultimately comes down to the people. There can be a raft of lean processes and procedures, however if real risk presents itself within the supply chain, for example, natural disasters, accidents, industrial action or even operational issues, it is the reaction of the individuals and their ability to problem solve that will ensure the outcome.

Moving on from people, Phil also discussed how we are attracting talent into roles within the supply chain and the reputation of supply chain as a career. It was very clear that a career within supply chain can be extremely rewarding, professionals have the ability to travel, manage large teams and budgets and help influence and contribute to business growth. It is very common that every day is different and presents a fresh challenge, it is also proven, by some of the professionals we had sat round the table, a career in supply chain can also provide you with a strong path to MD and Board Level positions. It became clear that supply chain professionals need to do more to articulate their roles and responsibilities both internally and externally, building stronger relationships with both their HR representatives and industry bodies.

Overall regardless of the sector, whether it is a fast paced food manufacturer, a retailer or a pharmaceutical organisation, there are huge synergies around managing a global supply chain and attracting the right talent. The majority of the individuals around the table have provided positive feedback and suggested that it was helpful to meet with peers in the North West community. We will definitely be hosting further events and if you would like further information regarding procurement and supply chain events or events within the North West, please do contact Leanne Wilson, Richard Guest or Paul Williams

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