Blackwood’s client is Europe’s leading provider of distribution and value added supply chain management services to the aerospace and defence industry. The business undertakes services from sourcing, procurement, inspection, warehousing, product movement and delivery of components to designing entire supply chain solutions. It operates globally through 16 facilities, across 10 countries with a turnover of roughly £250m. It was acquired by a private equity firm in mid-2011 whose key focus was to grow global account sales and thus they asked us to find a Group Sales & Marketing Director for the business.
Blackwood worked closely with the CEO to clearly define the criteria for this appointment. This was a newly created role with a particular focus on driving global account strategy and sales numbers over and above the rest of the sales team’s focus on local sales. A push into the US and Asia were important moves for the company going forward. Furthermore, this role was to act as an ambassador for the business raising its profile and brand in a fairly fragmented market. As part of the senior management team, alongside the CEO and CFO, this candidate would also have a major role in deciding and supporting the strategy of the group. Finally, leadership and development of team members was a key part of the role.
We were looking for a candidate with a demonstrable sales track record and experience of winning new clients in new geographies but also with a depth of understanding of supply chain and logistics. Long-term solution-led contract sales were key. Pools thoroughly researched and referenced included logistics businesses, particularly with a 3PL focus, broader industrial services and automotive and aerospace & defence services companies.
The successful candidate was the Group Business Development Director for a £2 billion revenue international logistics firm who was eager to find a new challenge and attracted by the private equity angle. Blackwood worked closely with the client to assess an internal candidate for the role during the process who they were eager not to lose; upon our advice they were able to create two roles within senior management, placing the internal candidate as Commercial Director and our candidate as Sales & Marketing Director, working well as a team with very complementary skillsets.