Head of Supply Chain - Recognizable Consumer Brand


Our client was a UK subsidiary of a €300m European manufacturer and distributor of small consumables. Customers include leading supermarkets, high street and specialist retailers, wholesalers and local authorities. With a strong heritage, a recognizable brand in the UK market and backed by their European parent company, our client was looking to grow their presence in the UK market and establish the brand as a market leader.


With a need to develop a more dynamic and commercially driven team environment, it was identified that the business needed to bring in high calibre individuals who could implement new initiatives and working practices, in order to grow the business and increase profitability. Key to the growth was: improvements in supply chain management, stock analysis, and their stock forecasting. This would result in the business achieving higher levels of stock availability, leaner stock holding, and ability to achieve higher customer satisfaction rates. A proficient Head of Supply Chain was therefore required to achieve these goals. 


The Head of Supply Chain would be responsible for implementing more robust product and stock reporting, particularly around availability and core-lines tracking. They also had to ensure that strong communication methods were in place with their European head office, as well as their Hong Kong sourcing office, in order to have the right stock, in the right place, at the right time. Working closely with the sales team, they would also need to manage their expectations, as well as help manage the sell-through of discontinued and problematic stock.  


To ensure that we found the right candidate for the business, we spent significant time upfront with the Managing Director and Finance Director, to understand: the role, the organizational culture, vision and values; the requirement and expectations for a successful candidate.

We developed an assignment specification on behalf our client, tailored to reveal: the company’s history and culture, the job description, and candidate skills, experience and competency behaviours required to be successful in that role; and the remuneration package. This enabled candidates to obtain a clear understanding of the company and role requirements and facilitated us to benchmark against the strong parameters.

After identifying over 90 potential individuals, we then provided a list of seven candidates to our client; to ensure that both parties’ expectations were aligned before Collingwood’s consultants met with each candidate face-to-face. From these interviews, backed by reliable psychometric assessments, we short-listed four strong candidates for our client to meet.


A two-stage interview process, with the UK and European parent company, was conducted, supported by Collingwood’s comprehensive interview notes and behavioral profiles.  

A successful candidate was offered the position, after a seal of approval from the European parent company. Collingwood continued to support the client; by managing all contract negotiations between the parties, which ensured a successful placement.