Page 5: Underlying philosophy of KMDS
'The way you grow the next new successful management cadre is to make sure that people come through who are able to understand these cultural differences and not just deal with them at a distance but close up.' says Louise Sproule, KMDS Resourcing Manager for the Group.
Kevin O’Sullivan, 23
- Current Role: Data Warehouse Analyst, Management Information Systems Department
- Company: Comet
- Project: Analysis of information requirements
What was your first role?
'I gained my initial in-store experience at Kingfisher as a sales manager for Comet. I co-ordinated sales advisers, supervised work shifts and recruited extra staff to cope with the Christmas rush. It was fairly manic, but provided a valuable insight into how stores operate, the pressures they face and the basics of people management.'
What did you achieve?
'My next role as assistant product manager for Comet’s Marketing department at Head Office gave me a great opportunity to get involved with all areas of marketing, advertising, promotions and merchandising. I worked on building a specific range of products for that year. I had to learn about all the different products available and analyse previous years’ sales figures to establish what was selling and what wasn’t. I worked closely with both the advertising and merchandising departments to produce press and TV ads, along with in-store display stands.'
How was your trip to France?
'My three week visit to Darty in Paris was a fantastic opportunity to learn about an international Kingfisher company and to benchmark against my knowledge of Comet. We visited Darty’s Head Office as well as its depots, stores and after-sales centres, and gained a valuable insight into how the company operated and, even more significantly, how it had managed to gain its unrivalled reputation for its excellent customer service.'
Kevin O’Sullivan is now a supply chain manager in Paris.
Emma Cahill, 24
- Current Role: Buyer Designate
- Company: B&Q
- Project: B&Q Garden Tools, Housewares & Motoring
Tell me about some of your experiences at Kingfisher.
'My initial KMDS placements gave me a clear grasp of the supply chain from conception to shelf. I gained valuable shop floor experience, contributing to retail operations at the sharp end. I then spent time in Logistics, managing stock levels and developing supplier relations. My role as a business planning analyst gave me a clear overview of how the different components of the business fit together. After experiencing some very varied roles at Kingfisher, I arranged to work for one of Superdrug’s chief suppliers, P&G, on a three month secondment.'
How was your secondment?
'I worked chiefly on P&G’s skin care category, which includes brands such as Oil of Ulay. Part of my research was to analyse where Superdrug stood within the Skincare market place. I liaised with Superdrug’s skin care buyer and presented my initial findings about the definition and role of the Skincare category to her. She agreed that a Category Management trial would be appropriate and went ahead with it. My secondment with P&G taught me about the upstream part of the supply chain, and the crucial yet complex relationship between suppliers and retailers.'
What’s it like in Buying?
'After my secondment, I returned to Superdrug as Assistant Buyer for men’s toiletries. I then moved company to B&Q, where I was Buyer Designate first for lighting products and now for garden tools and housewares. Buying is a very rewarding and varied career. You can be doing anything: for example, planning product ranges, working on new product development, calculating volume requirements, making sure the space on the shelf is as productive as possible, and being responsible for delivering millions of pounds of sales a year. I find B&Q very exciting, particularly with its expansion into Europe and its position at the cutting edge of the market. There are masses of opportunities here - you just have to maximise them.'