I get up bright and early and start my day with an F45 class, which luckily is 25 metres from my front door.
I’m back home and checking my Categories Sales and Profit results from the previous day while making my first coffee of the day.
I get into the office and begin my working day by checking my emails. I’ll dig deeper into yesterday trading results and analyse how my category is performing compared to my forecasts and budget. Sales today are much stronger than I had forecasted for, thanks to some great weather, so I follow up with my Supply Chain team and send an email out to my key suppliers to ensure we’re working as quickly as possible to bring in more stock.
I drink my second coffee with the other category managers in my team. We each share our key priorities for the week. I get some great advice on how to manage a challenging conversation that I need to have with a supplier.
I am presenting my Quarterly Sales and Profit Forecast to my General Manager, Business Category Manager (my direct line manager), Financial Business Partner, Supply Chain Director and Marketing Manager. As a Category Manager I am responsible for the Coles ranges in the dips category, pricing, the promotions we run and the products Coles Brand and proprietary suppliers develop. Given that my forecast rolls up to the total Coles performance forecast, which then rolls up to the Wesfarmers performance forecast, it’s critical that I am as accurate in my forecast as possible.
Having had my forecast signed off, I’m covering a meeting for my line manager which is the Weekly catalogue sign off meeting. Customers are always on the hunt for great value and many choose where they do their weekly shop based on which retailer has the best catalogue specials. We review catalogues weekly, to ensure that we are giving customers great value offers. As we work 12 weeks in advance, we have to ensure that we are aligning products and specials to what customers want at the right time of year (such as Back to School, Easter holidays, and summer BBQs).
The final edit of the catalogue is signed off by our company directors but at this level of review we’re ensuring that the promotional pricing is all correct, that we will have enough stock to run those promotions and that we’re happy with the look and feel of what we’re putting together.
I meet one of my suppliers in our test kitchens to review some new dips they want to launch. Tex-Mex is a massive food trend and I meet with a supplier who has a new range of Mexican inspired dips they want to bring to market. In deciding whether I want to launch the dips or not I consider a number of things such as, whether those products will grow the category’s sales and profits, whether the dips will bring in a new customer to the category or if they’ll just cannibalise sales from existing categories, and whether the supplier is reliable and will be a good partner from a food safety, supply chain and brand awareness perspective. The dips are pretty tasty so my ‘tasting’ is closer to lunch than it is the small snack that I had envisioned.
I bring the rest of the samples back to my team to snack on. I catch up on emails that have come through during the morning and make a start on today’s to do list.
I stop for a quick lunch break with friends. One of the perks of working for a food retailer is that there’s an endless supply of delicious food on hand.
I meet with my supply chain team to review the upcoming six weeks promotional plans. We align on forecasts to ensure that we’re ordering the right amount of stock. Too little and we risk disappointing customers or needing to cancel our plans at last minute which will impact negatively on sales. Too much stock and we risk having to markdown the stock which will negatively impact on Profit. It’s a fine balance of reviewing past performance, current customer trends, competitor activity and total business performance to ensure we’re getting as close as possible to the right number.
Time to grab a third coffee of the day with my line manager. While we wait in the queue we catch up on what we’re both working on and I run a few ideas past him. He pays for the coffee. Great success!
I review the latest Nielsen Market Share Data and based on the trends identified I make some changes to my promotional plans.
I meet with one of my major suppliers to review and align on their marketing plans for the next twelve months. They have new products launching and have TV, print, radio and lots of other marketing plans they are managing as a business. Coles as a business has a massive number of marketing assets that suppliers can tap into to help grow their brand and sales and the category. I bring my marketing team and we work through a plan that works for both the supplier and Coles.
I catch up with a current graduate who has asked me to review a pricing strategy proposal she has put together. I give her some constructive feedback and make a note to send her some similar work that I have completed to compare against.
Take a phone call from a Perth based supplier. We discuss the raw material cost price pressures their experiencing and ways we can look at mitigating this press
The marketing team drops past my desk for me to review and approve some new point of sale which will be launching in stores next month.
I check what my calendar for tomorrow looks like and make sure that I have prepared for all my important meetings. I write tomorrow’s to do list and I’m out the door.
I am home and my brain is switched off for the night.
I enjoy dinner with my partner while we debate what we’re going to watch on Netflix.
After finally deciding what we will watch, I fall asleep halfway through an episode of Stranger Things!