My life in the grocery trade

Alan Dorman,Trading Director, Savage & Whitten Wholesale (Today’s Group NI)

Alan Dorman, Trading Director, Savage & Whitten Wholesale (Today’s Group NI)

BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

I joined J&J Haslett (Mace & Holmes) within the buying department in the early 1980s, and worked within Haslett’s wholesale, retail and foodservice divisions as trading manager through all the various product categories over the years. In 2005, with the integration of Musgrave Group buying Haslett’s, I joined Musgrave as category manager for Northern Ireland. More recently, after nearly 30 years’ service, I joined Savage & Whitten Wholesale as trading director.

WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?

My role involves working closely with our sales team, trading team and suppliers for all ambient, chill freeze and fresh categories on a daily basis to ensure we deliver ‘the best in trade’ in terms of range, with more than 5,250 lines available, unrivalled value with more than 1,500 products on promotion every three weeks, and ensuring great service levels to our customers day in, day out.

WHEN DID YOU TAKE UP THIS POST?

I joined Savage & Whitten in 2010 and became trading director in 2012.

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT MOST YOUR JOB?

I love the diversity of the role, the pace of our industry and, most important, meeting the people within our trade. Whilst we live in a digital age (we now, at S&W, have more than 70% of our orders coming in on-line daily) it’s our customers, suppliers and colleagues that make this industry what it is; they are the key inspirational drivers. The diversity of the role, meeting these people on a daily basis, is the most enjoyable part of my role.

BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY

No two days are the same. However, I always aim to get into the office for around 8am so, living 45 minutes away, I am usually on the road at 7.15am.

Every morning, I will check my emails for anything urgent and plan the day ahead. I will divide my time between internal meetings with our trading or sales teams alongside meetings with our suppliers, customers and trade events on an ongoing basis.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

The proudest moment of my career to date has been seeing our 100th Today’s store open in Northern Ireland. Having been part of the great team of retailers and colleagues from the start of this brand’s journey, to see its continued success is always a very proud moment.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY?

The greatest thing about our industry is its fast pace together with its great people. It’s full of inspirational entrepreneurial leaders, and these can be seen in our retailers and suppliers. Northern Ireland is punching well above its weight in store standards and product innovation.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?

For me, relaxation is nights out with family and friends over a meal or family time at our holiday home in the beautiful Mournes.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW

From the age of 21, I have held my full HGV.

 

Share this Post:

Also in this section