Name: Wendy Thomas
Job Title: Supply Chain Manager
How long have you worked for BELRON?
I have been with BELRON for eight months. Previously I worked
for F Benders, Kelloggs, Honeywell and Ilford Ltd.
How long have you worked as a Supply Chain Manager?
I have been a Supply Chain Manager for the past ten years. Prior
to that, I worked as a Supply Chain Specialist for four years.
During your time in this field, what changes have you
I have seen businesses develop from using simple MRP systems to
being driven by ERP systems and all the process changes that have
resulted from this. As well as this change, companies have adopted
the integration of front end forecasting and inventory management
to drive business decisions and operational management. There has
also been a growth of the Supply Chain function within the business
structure aiming to develop and form the links needed from silo to
silo so that the company's ability to do business becomes
Is it very different from when you first started out? How has
the industry changed in regards to Supply Chain Planning?
Businesses where silo led when I started as a
Forecaster/Planner, each silo worked as an independent profit
centre. Decisions were made based on what was best for the
Now, in the majority of cases, the business is viewed as a whole
and decisions are made accordingly, across all functions. Supply
Chains are now seen as an intricate part of business operations,
from Strategy through to Tactics and on to Operations.
How has your job changed as a result?
My job is a continuous process of learning and exposure to
change. I have seen the level of software use increase and the
management of data become faster. As a result, the decision process
time has been reduced and deadlines have shortened.
What is your opinion on the future of Supply Chain
With the continued growth of the IT industry we should see the
development of more responsive tools to support the business
management process in business decisions.
The role of the Supply Chain will continue to grow and lead to the
integration of all areas of the business. It will drive customer
satisfaction enabling businesses to achieve or exceed required
levels at an economical and managed cost.
What personal challenges do you face on a day to day basis in
Working for an international company, I have to be aware of the
different cultures, different end customer expectations and
different internal customer expectations.
How do you overcome these?
By having a good understanding of the business environments that
I work within, developing strong working relationships and being
open and approachable.
What software packages do you use to assist you with your
I use Oracle ERP Solution, Optimiza
and CAST from
Barloworld Optimus, and a number of bespoke host systems.
What is your hot tip to others who do a similar job to
Always be prepared to learn and enjoy what you do.