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McWilliam’s Wines – Pick of the Crop

Image – Networking with cheese and fabulous McWilliam’s wine!

By Julian Buttenshaw
Network Support Manager, Network Support NSW ACT, Australia Post
NAWO NSW State Committee Member

Monica Considine

Monica Considine

McWilliam’s Wines generously hosted another successful Quick Bites event at their Chullora site on the 28th July 2016. The topic of the session was Pick of the Crop – managing your career for the long term.

McWilliam’s Wines planted its first vines in 1877 in Corowa and in 1913 JJ McWilliam carted 50,000 vines to the Riverina, pioneering the wine industry in the region. In 2010, the Wine & Spirits Survey ranked McWilliam’s as the number one Australian wine brand in restaurants across the United States of America. Today, the business exports more than half a million cases of wine each year and boasts many distinguished awards

It was a very relaxed and intimate setting in their canteen and we had a very pleasing turnout with some new members attending their first event.

McWilliam’s had kindly opened up the event to more people due to the high interest in attending

Over 30 women from our member organisations attended to hear 3 of McWilliam’s successful women, Monica Considine, McWilliam’s Wines Supply Chain Director; Amy Hodgson, McWilliam’s Wines Brand & Range Development Manager; and Namrata Makkar, McWilliam’s Wines Finished Goods Manager speak about their jobs and career journeys.

Namrata spoke about her career starting in a Customer Service role and progressing through supply planning assistant to Finished Goods manager over five years. Namrata has also started a Master’s in Operations Management in 2015

Monica has experienced a multi-industry career journey that lead to her current role in the dynamic wine industry. Monica shared her experiences on how achieve both her personal goals and the aims of the business.

Amy shared her insights on how she managed her career to achieve her current multi-faceted role.

We were taken through the challenges of an industry with extremely long lead times and how their varied career paths gave them the experience and to innovate and achieve results for the company.

Some key takeouts from the presentations:

Monica Considine, Amy Hodgson & Namrata Makkar presenting at McWilliams Wines

Monica Considine, Amy Hodgson & Namrata Makkar presenting at McWilliam’s Wines

  • No news is not good news – engage with your customers & supply chain team weekly to get real feedback.
  • Back and forth email updates take up a lot of your time – build automated, live dashboards to give your stakeholders the information they want to see.
  • Note that changing from spoonfed to automated is often resisted – it is change.
  • You might think that the older a wine is, the better it is. But for commercial wine the longer you sit on slow moving stock the lower its value,
  • Leaner inventory levels reduce the risk of SLOB.
  • It’s OK not have all the answers.
  • Keep your audience & medium in mind – this will result in better engagement.
  • It’s important to balance proactivity & reactivity.
  • The growth of innovation clusters – the speed to market of potentially game-changing products is vital to long-term economic competitiveness.

We also learnt about the power of developing cross functional roles and the importance of increasing transparency across functions to break down silos, and how Cross Functional Roles help foster strong teams and strong teams make better collaborative decisions.

We were also taken on a very interesting tour through the Portavin bottling and packaging plant, from the bottling lines to the testing labs and learning about the challenges of warehousing for both high turnover product and small run product

Afterwards we finished by networking over some excellent McWilliam’s wines and cheeses!

Thanks again to McWilliam’s for their commitment to the development of operational women and providing the opportunity to hear from their talented managers.

On tour at McWilliams

On tour at McWilliam’s


Sending out a warm welcome to new Silver member @KelloggCompany from the NAWO network! Such a great company and brand committed supporting women develop their careers and move the dial on gender balance in operations. #inspirationatwork #operations #genderbalance

About a week ago from NAWO's Twitter via Hootsuite Inc.