Commercial Acumen – fuelling the drive to results
NAWO members were lucky to visit Linfox and hear from Shona Slimmon, GM – Group Commercial Finance, speak about the keys to developing commercial acumen in operations and her experiences at Linfox.
Shona shared stories of her career journey and specifically related her experiences in developing that commercial savy so critical to success. Key learnings for commercial acumen in operations included making sure you have your team and stakeholders visit your operations and feeling part of the business – use these people to help you learn the operations and get involved in all aspects of the business as quickly as possible in order to contribute and become invaluable to the team.
Know your numbers: know the volume linked to fixed costs, the rate costs for fixed costs such as labour, and the productivity costs for deliveries, pick rates etc. Use your operational knowledge and ratio analysis to push ahead in your role in operations. And remember, it’s not just about you! You need to collaborate with the operators within the business to resolve issues and drive successful business solutions.
Shona’s takeaways were:
1. Learn – find your influencers across the business
2. Develop – keep your skills up to date
3.Read – keep up to date with what’s going on in the business world and your company, not just your immediate department.
A huge thanks to Linfox for hosting the event which was followed by a fascinating site tour of the warehouse.