Clocking up the air miles
I joined Cadbury in 2005 on the Finance Graduate Programme having studied European Management and German at Lancaster University.
My first role was in Group Audit which was a fantastic experience and a great initiation into the business as I went straight into carrying out audits in teams of two or three people on a number of different business units around the world. This included a factory review in Turkey, a general financial controls audit in Zimbabwe, a Balance Sheet review in Ghana and a number of visits to Nigeria and the UK business to test and help improve business and financial controls.
No project was ever the same in this job and the variety made the work really enjoyable.
I spent eighteen months in this role and moved on having gained a very good overview of the Group and the diverse activities and businesses which make up our global operations, as well as seeing a bit more of the world.
Business partnering with the supply chain
In early 2007 Cadbury developed and launched a major supply chain reconfiguration programme which was designed to deliver significant margin improvement for the business.
In Britain and Ireland (B&I) this involved significant investment in the Bournville factory and transferring production of a number of products from our factory near Bristol to a new site in Poland. I took on a role in B&I Operations Development Finance to provide finance support to this wide-ranging reconfiguration project. As finance business partner I was responsible for compiling and analysing cost cases to support decision making, tracking and reporting financial benefit delivery, and keeping capital and restructuring expenditure on track.
This role gave me exposure to a cross-functional and international team and I business partnered a number of senior stakeholders who were managing the project.
The project progressed at a rapid rate and because of this I was able to get involved in a huge number of different activities. This allowed me to spend two years in this role before moving into a position as supply chain Finance Manager in the Financial Planning and Analysis department in 2009. The key deliverable in this role was the 2010 budget and costings for the supply chain. Cadbury in B&I operate an end-to-end supply chain, literally from ‘bean to bar’.
This makes the supply chain and the finances which support it particularly complex but also very interesting and varied. In this role I have also been involved in working capital reduction programmes as well as helping to compile and report the monthly supply chain management accounts to the Board and other stakeholders.
Plans for the future
In the future I plan to get more experience in commercial finance, which will give me a complete picture of the business from production to sales, and I also want to take on an international role.