A NEW FACE. A NEW START. A NEW DIRECTION.
After all the uncertainty and challenges of the last 18 months, Beacon is delighted to announce the exciting news that Clare O'Brien has joined us as our new Procurement Director.
Clare has an impressive track record, having worked in senior purchasing and commercial roles within leading food wholesalers and national purchasing consortia companies – including Beacon.
With a results-oriented and solution-driven style, we're confident that Clare will provide real operational value to customers and suppliers alike. So, with no further ado, let's hear from Clare herself and her plans for the Procurement team, as the economy strives to build back better after the global pandemic.
You've worked at Beacon previously; what made you decide to return?
The opportunity to be an integral part of the decision-making process and input into the company's strategic direction was probably the deciding factor.
However, I also think Beacon can make a real, positive difference to our customer base – particularly after such a period of turmoil. They've got enough to contend with, attempting to build their businesses back after lockdown, so I want Beacon to take some of their operational burdens away from them and help ease their day-to-day pressures.
Similarly, our suppliers are still very much dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic. And as our supply chain relationships are critical to the success of our business and our customers, I'm also really keen to see how we can further support them and build on the strong relationships we already have.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
We have a massive amount of in-house expertise, so I'm excited to collaborate with the broader team to provide practical solutions to our customers' current business challenges. I'm a natural problem-solver, so identifying an issue, exploring all the potential ways of rectifying it, and advising on the best course of action, really appeals to me. It's how I get the most job satisfaction, apart from nurturing and mentoring a team, which is another aspect of the role that I love.
How has Beacon changed since you were last here?
It's changed a lot. It's far more responsive to change and quicker at reacting to customer needs. The pandemic seems to have propelled this, as Beacon went the extra mile in supporting our customers during the crisis. Whether it was pausing membership fees, negotiating payment plans or securing PPE during a global shortage, Beacon continually looked for ways in which they could help.
What is your ambition for your team in the long term?
I want customers and suppliers to see us as a team of reliable, trustworthy, and approachable experts. To feel like they can talk to us about their current business issues and be confident that we'll come back to them with a workable solution that will overcome their problem.
We are here to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships between our customers and suppliers, and we do this by listening and engaging. We're not interested in just tendering for a quick deal and then moving on to the next. Instead, a longer-term consultative approach is where we can deliver the most value for everyone.
The global pandemic has had a massive impact on the hospitality sector. So, what part can Beacon play in helping our customers to recover?
Even though we're emerging from lockdown now, the pandemic has exposed the fragility of the global supply chain. Everything from the closure of textile mills in India to shortages of shipping containers in China has affected supply. On top of this, we also have our domestic issues, such as the current driver crisis, the effects of Brexit, and suppliers caught out by demand shocks.
All of this is filtering down to customers in one way or another, whether through increased minimum order values or missed deliveries. Unfortunately, these trading issues aren't going to disappear magically. But we can advise our customers on the best way to navigate these issues to reduce the risk to their business and minimise service disruption.
Finally, what one key point would you like readers to take away from this interview?
Ring us. Whatever your operational issue is, give us a call. Let us take whatever it is that’s stressing you away. I know when you’re struggling under the pressure of a problem, it can often seem insurmountable, so give it to us, and we’ll put all our energy into solving it. It’s what we do best.
We’re not a sales team. What motivates us is finding the best solution for you and doing the right thing – even if it won't benefit us financially.
Don't be shy in coming forward. Honestly, we're a friendly bunch, but we can only deliver such a personalised and tailored service if you make that first contact.
GET IN TOUCH
Clare would love to hear from you to see if she can support you in any way.