Like many people, Marion Noakes didn’t have a clear idea of what supply chain was – until her first job in supply chain with Nestle. Twelve years on and she loves the industry, especially demand and supply planning. Marion’s job is to ensure stock is available in-store whenever and wherever shoppers are. If the supermarket shelf is empty, she is urgently working to rectify the situation.
Without a specific career destination in mind, Marion followed her interests through study and work, focusing on what she is good at and the opportunities have opened up along the way. Marion studied commerce at university, majoring in finance and marketing, later applying these skills in a market research role.
Once in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, she moved across to Nestle, applying her analytical and inter-personal skills to a project role in customer facing supply chain. This then lead to a stint as a Customer Based Coordinator, located in Woolworth’s Head Office.
With customer facing experience, Marion then moved into demand and supply planning, working as a coordinator, planner and now manager. Marion worked across various business units (confectionery, foods, beverages) and with many factories located in Australia and overseas (Melbourne, Gympie, Smithtown, Tongala, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur).
A highlight of Marion’s career journey in supply chain is a role as part of a global team implementing best practices in business planning in many markets – traveling the world for 2 years – including Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, China, France, Poland, Italy and Switzerland. This role was an accelerated development opportunity both professionally and personally.
Now based back in Sydney, Marion enjoys being entrenched in the dairy and foods business unit management teams – immersed in strategy, marketing, new product development, sales and finance – striving to hit business targets and shaping the future of the brands.
So when you are thinking of the journey your career might take, know that there are many paths and many careers in one lifetime, it’s all about doing what interests you and collecting the skills that will serve you well in the future.