Jessica Doyle, Account Merchandising Manager at FMI gives us some insight into the busy, yet delicate, balancing act that is required to keep the well-oiled merchandising machine running optimally.
There are two things that are required to deliver great merchandising campaigns, the first is great people, without a dedicated team on the ground, it would not be possible. The second thing is great communication. Being able to articulate the client’s requirements to the team, and then being able to accurately report back on the results to the client, are both essential.
Merchandising projects are about ensuring that shelves throughout Ireland are stocked properly for the brands we represent. To achieve this we need people who are committed and reliable. For example, for Glanbia we deliver approximately 3,000 merchandising hours a week, and this requires 10 supervisors and about 500 staff on the shop floor, and that’s just one account! The role of a merchandising manager is to manage these teams, to ensure that they are appropriately trained, and that the projects stay within budget.
Equally, for large scale merchandising projects, clients want to ensure that they are receiving the maximum efficiency from the team, the account manager needs to convey this to the teams and report back on the efficiencies to the client. The pressure to continually drive efficiencies can, at times, cause conflict, this needs to be dealt with swiftly while keeping the teams motivated and on task.
It is a very fine balancing act between driving efficiencies, ensuring the staff are trained, available and motivated to deliver the service, and keeping within the allocated budgets.
To achieve this balance, frequent communication and thorough documentation is essential with all parties.
“Generally we would speak to our supervisor at least once a week and we would meet with the client manager every two weeks. We have very detailed reporting that we deliver on a weekly basis to the client and we have internal logs of issues that may need to be discussed and resolved”. “I have been with FMI for 10 years, however I am fairly new to this role”, says Jessica.“I enjoy the challenge of managing the teams, showing the efficiencies we have managed to achieve, and managing the various relationships. It is always busy, but we have a great team who are very skilled at delivering great merchandising campaigns, which helps make my job easier.”
For any merchandising questions please feel free to email Jessica.Doyle@fmi.ie #PeoplePower