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Dr. Brian Hill

Dr. Brian Hill Head Of The Engineering And Science School

Be Inspired Series

Colin Lavery

Business Development Manager
Andrew Ingredients

Andrew Ingredients is a family-run business based in Lisburn which has grown steadily since it was established in 1945

What does your role involve?

My role involves looking after established customers throughout the Island of Ireland.  This includes processing their orders, introducing them to new products and dealing with any technical and product issues that may arise.

I am also responsible for sourcing and developing new business. With our recent expansion into the South of Ireland this has increased our distribution area as well as providing plenty of scope for the potential of growth.

I also take our customers to visit established suppliers to help them learn about new products and systems. It is important that my role reflects the ethos of Andrew Ingredients and that is to provide excellent customer care. 

How did you get the position in the first place?

I spent around 18 years working for different companies in the baking industry before being offered the opportunity to join Andrew Ingredients in 2006. I was excited to get the chance to work with products that can help bakers become innovative and strive for excellence.

Did you always want to work in this sector in some capacity?

I enjoy working with food and from a young age it was my ambition to become a chef. Luckily I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people in the baking industry. When the opportunity to work in Andrew Ingredients arrived I jumped at it as it not only allows me to indulge my foodie passion but it's great to be able to work with bakers to showcase innovative and exciting products that can help make a difference to their business.

What training or previous experience do you have that has helped you with your current role?

Before I arrived here I had worked extensively within the baking industry throughout Ireland. This meant that I not only brought with me an extensive list of contacts but knowledge and understanding of the industry needs and key developments.

What is your organisation's role in the local community?

Andrew Ingredients employs 29 people from local areas. The company has grown steadily since it was established in 1945 and in the last year alone we have welcomed an additional four members of staff. This has benefitted the local community at a time of high unemployment levels.  

The company also supports several local charities including the Irish Bakers' Benevolent Society and the RNLI. We have recently funded two life jackets, one of which was allocated to Newcastle, Co Down and the other to Bundoran, Co Donegal.

What sort of personality and qualities do you need to do your job successfully?

You need to be confident, outgoing and adaptable to cope with different situations and different types of people. All customers are unique and one may require a completely contrasting approach from another. You also need to enjoy driving as I cover around 40,000 miles per year, but I do get a great car - it's an estate which allows me to do urgent deliveries.

What are the biggest rewards of the job? And the biggest challenges?

The biggest reward is seeing the results of a successful project or helping customers achieve success with the products we deliver on behalf of our suppliers. It's important that we listen to them and feedback to the suppliers. This helps to achieve win-win situations for everyone involved. With regards to challenges it has to be the wide geographical area we cover but that's purely because we know there is so much potential for growth!

What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

"Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity"

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do the same job?

Love food, love a challenge and don't take things personally.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like spending time with my two children and I also enjoy running. I try to run at least three or four times a week to keep myself fit, healthy and to keep the weight off. In my job there are plenty of buns and cakes to be eaten!  

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