Be Inspired Series
Director of product sourcing and supply chain
John Hogg Operational
Andrew started his career as a dispatch clerk for Fuel Services, where he got the taste for distribution and operations. John is now responsible for ensuring clients’ operational equirements are met on time, in full.
What does your role involve?
As director of the company my role involves ensuring that our dedicated sourcing and quality control team in Shanghai source the perfect manufacturer for our customers, and to ensure that quality control is 100% compliant before goods leave the factory.
I also ensure our individually tailored and value added services, such as packing and assembly, are met on time by managing our team here in Northern Ireland.
Also, that our clients' products are warehoused and ready for distribution as and when orders are placed. It is my responsibility to ensure the entire supply chain runs smoothly allowing customers time to drive their business forward in the knowledge that all their operational requirements are met on time, in full and by an experienced professional global team.
How did you get into this line of work -- have you always had an interest in this type of business?
I have always had a keen eye and interest for anything operational in nature. I started my career as a dispatch clerk for Fuel Services, where I was responsible for overseeing the daily operations of 60 trucks, double shifted by 120 drivers, which serviced the domestic and commercial oil sectors.
This is where you could say I got the taste for distribution and operations and the rest as they say is history.
Do you have particular training or qualifications?
I have a degree in supply chain management.
What are the main challenges facing your business?
The main challenge that we face as a new business is 'trust'. That is why it is so important to communicate the John Hogg Group trading history and experience, i.e. the John Hogg Group and its trading subsidiaries such as Ulster Weavers Home Fashions, and the fact that we have been trading successfully on a global basis for over 125 years.
What vision do you have for your business?
There is incredible scope for John Hogg Operational. The business has the ability to expand in so many different sectors and it is sometimes easier to ask who is not a potential customer rather than who is.
However, our main vision is to become a world class supply chain solutions business, helping businesses to capitalise on our ever expanding knowledge and experience in the global markets.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Being able to deliver a service that helps to take the hassle and headache out of global sourcing and supply chain activity, which allows our clients the freedom to drive their business forward in the knowledge that they have an experienced and professional team who will fulfill their business operational promises.
Tell me about some of the recent projects you have been involved in.
We were approached by a client, last year, who was experiencing difficulties in sourcing a manufacturer and supply chain system from China. When they approached us we used our experts in China to deal with their query within 10 days, which included 20% savings for the client.
By using our stringent international test house in China the client's products were checked and shipped to the required destination. We have already taken re-orders of these products and the client is delighted with the smooth, hassle-free process.
What personal qualities are needed for the role you do?
There are a number of qualities required to help guide clients through what can be very complex supply chains, but the main and most important quality is the ability to understand exactly what clients are expecting from the outset -- so patience, an ability to listen, ask the right questions, and take the time to understand what is expected of you. This helps keep teething problems to a minimum.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
I am a fully qualified offshore skipper.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never give up after the first go.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy meeting new people.