Highland Spring's Head of Supply Chain Discusses Future Plans

Highland Spring's Head of Supply Chain Discusses Future Plans

Leigh Kinninmont

 Nine Twenty Manufacturing & Engineering have been working closely with Highland Spring for some time. The business has been going through an exciting period of investment, growth and change with a new leadership team in place. Our Managing Director, Karen Stewart caught up with the new Head of Supply Chain to discuss his developing plans and, in particular, a new role within his team.
Q. Karl, you have recently joined the business, what attracted you to the Head of Supply Chain role at Highland Spring?
A. We had decided for family reasons to relocate to Scotland and where better than to the beautiful Perthshire hills. I was looking for an opportunity where I could apply the knowledge, skills and experience I have been fortunate enough to gain through my time in various roles across Unilever’s supply chain over the past 20+ years. Highland Spring Group is in a fairly unique position in today’s FMCG market; it’s in a growing category, has very strong and growing brands, and a business model which is working well and helping fuel further growth. I was attracted by the opportunity to lead the creation of the new supply chain in Highland Spring, one which is fit for the future and will be recognised by Retailers as being the best in the business.
Q. What changes are you making across your area?
A. Highland Spring has been running fast just to keep up with its growth, so as a result there are untapped opportunities to optimise supply chain design and processes, as well as how we structure and equip our team members to perform to their full potential. Any business only creates value at the point where they sell their products or services (at the right costs!) to their customers and our supply chain team are critical to that - especially those in customer-facing roles such as the Customer Supply Chain Coordinator opportunities we currently have.
Q. What are the challenges and opportunities for someone going into the supply chain coordinator role?
A. Highland Spring is a great business full of some of the most passionate and dedicated professionals I have met. The Supply Chain team in particular is an extremely tight team, and I have found myself that they are welcoming and supportive of all new team members. The challenges are clear; getting stuck in from day one, maximising sales and service at optimal costs across the end-to-end supply chain, and all the while nurturing strategic relationships with Retailer supply chain teams. The opportunities in a business growing at this rate are endless…
Q. What type of person will thrive in your team?
A. Someone who shares the business' values and our vision of being the UK’s leading natural sourced water supplier. Someone who is not scared of hard work, who can be a team-player, who is prepared to challenge the status quo and develop new ways of doing things.
Q. As part of the site leadership team at Highland Spring, what are your passions?
A. My priority every day at work is safety, and ensuring we have a work environment and mind set which allows everyone to go home from work without injury. However one of my real passions is creating leaders at all levels of the organisation. My proudest moments in my career have involved seeing someone I have led or mentored secure that sought after promotion or new opportunity. I am also passionate about ensuring that the FMCG industry as a whole moves towards a more sustainable version of consumerism - something which kept me at Unilever for so long. Where better to further that agenda than from inside a bottled water business?
If you come from a supply chain background and are passionate about joining a growing business, then please get in touch with us to discuss further. Highland Spring has a thriving culture and Nine Twenty Engineering & Manufacturing are proud to support them on their recruitment projects. Talk to us for a more in depth insight into the business. Contact lconway@weareninetwenty.com to find out more about the supply chain coordinator position. 


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