At every company there’s an employee who works incredibly hard, motivates their colleagues or comes up with genius plans to develop the business. Whether in the packhouse, the field or the office, beyond the walls of their workplace, they often don’t get the recognition they deserve – until now. This category gives the opportunity for those unsung heroes to take a well-deserved turn in the spotlight.
Andy Denham-Smith (Fyffes)
Andy Denham-Smith joined Fyffes in 1985 as a management trainee straight from university with a degree in geography. On completion of his initial training period he joined a team working on a project that was to modernise and shape the banana supply industry for the following 25 years. The project collected knowledge and ideas from around the globe on banana ripening distribution and marketing, and became the template for the industry standard both home and abroad.
The learnings Andy took from this project launched him into the wider Fyffes world and over the years Andy has invested his time into every department; from managing the complex new regulatory regime requirements on the UK acceding to the EU, to sales and marketing, the sourcing and allocation of bananas, plus distribution centre network management. On 1st January 2017 he was appointed Managing Director of Fyffes.
Andy has achieved a great deal during his long and successful career. Not only with hard work and dedication but by his very nature. Andy is a man of the people, he does not stand on ceremony or manage through a hierarchy, he gives everybody the respect and attention he would want for himself.
Andy has always been particularly popular at Aldi, his belief in complete honesty and willingness to go the extra mile has endeared him to everyone here at Aldi. Whatever the request, whatever the circumstances, whatever the time day or night Andy always manages to do a fantastic job for us.
Duncan Mills (Berry Gardens)
Duncan Mills, Supply Chain Director was tasked by the Berry Gardens Board to create cross-functional working teams to drive efficiencies through the business. Duncan’s management style is aligned with his rugby playing. The power of the team is recognised, there is no ‘I’ only ‘we’, underpinned by a clear focus, confidence, accountability and recognition, whilst being fun.
Four working groups were established across the business from Supply Chain, Procurement, Sales & Technical and finally Berry Garden growers. “Throughout this process it has been important to recognise individual team dynamics and personalities and ensure people drive the process rather than the process driving the people, says Duncan. The teams have developed organically, with Duncan as a highly visible facilitator available to act as a sounding board. Each team meets fortnightly to maintain momentum and ensure a clear focus.
Whilst the working groups have successfully reduced complexity in the business and therefore cost efficiencies the project has also strengthened the co-operative culture in the business, motivating and empowering individuals to make decisions with the benefit of support from their peers who they may have had limited contact with.