The Nestlé Rowntree Manager of the Month for November/December is awarded to Garry Williams, depot manager of Holmes Cash Carry in Ballymena.
Founded in 1967, Holmes Wholesale Services is a Northern Ireland-based cash and carry and delivered wholesale business. As manager of the Ballymena depot, Williams is on first name terms with practically all of the 500 customers who do business there on a weekly basis. Half of the depot’s business is obtained from its cash and carry operation, while the other 50% comes from delivered trade.
With a relatively small depot, Williams makes the most of the opportunity to build strong relationships with his customers and spends a lot of time on the depot floor, and can often be found sharing a joke with one of his retailers. He is also equally popular with representatives from the trade and his own staff.
The Manager of the Month award has been awarded to Williams for his commitment to ensuring retailers maximise their sales over the Christmas period. To help his customers capitalise on Christmas confectionery, Williams utilises all routes of communication to talk up key opportunities like exciting new products Pizazz and After Eight Straws and must- stock favourites like Quality Street â the No.1 twistwrap at Christmas.
With communications initiatives ranging from flyers, to Christmas prize draws for regular customers, to fully briefed staff on the depot floor and high impact displays, Williams has chosen to work closely with his Nestlé Rowntree representative to ensure his execution strategy is fewer bigger, better events, thus ensuring no customer misses big confectionery activity.
“Christmas is the biggest opportunity of the year for confectionery and has to be fully exploited,” said Williams. “Displays should be created so they are in the customers’ faces, allowing them to see the full range available and especially new products. Plus, it also gives the depot a seasonal feel!”
What’s more, despite increasing his 2004 Nestlé Rowntree Christmas order by almost 70%, he wanted to ensure 2005 was an even bigger success so increased his order for this year by a further 20%. His strategy resulted in a total sales increase of 11% for Christmas confectionery in 2004, plus Williams won the Holmes and Hasletts Christmas Display competition.
Williams has been depot manager at Holmes in Ballymena for two years. In his spare time he enjoys playing football in his Saturday league team, as well as walking his Dalmatian dog.