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A better way of doing business

The Co-op has always been close to my heart. Growing up in Bolton it was the corner shop where I’d get an ice cream on a sunny day, and my Grandad Peter always talked fondly of his happy and varied career here back when it was the Co-operative Wholesale Society. Whilst much has changed since his retirement, the co-operative values such as inclusion and social responsibility haven’t. The iconic clover leaf logo has returned and the drive to find a better way of doing business is still at its heart. So when I left university and saw the advert to join the Co-op graduate scheme, I didn’t think twice. 

A passion for leading teams

The last 8 years have flown by. Initially I worked as a Junior Project Manager in the food business, working on varied projects from buying beer to designing wine racks for new store refits. A year after joining,  I saw an opportunity to stretch myself and applied to manage the introduction of a new stock exit management system.  

Whilst a steep learning curve and challenging at times, I had amazing support from my manager and colleagues, which gave me the confidence I needed to really push myself. I learnt so much about process development, systems and problem solving, and identified my passion for leading teams, technology and continuous improvement. All of this experience prepared me for my current position of Process Development Lead. 

A culture of empowerment

I love the variety of my role. I work closely with teams across the business; buying, product development, supply chain, finance and IT, as well as our suppliers, to tackle problems together and deliver meaningful and lasting change. An important part of our culture is that every individual is empowered to deliver their own projects whilst we collaborate, support each other and together understand the bigger picture. 

A role in transforming our business

I’m really excited for the next phase of our journey, as we work on delivering end-to-end processes for our retail business transformation programme. It really will be transformative, as we replace our numerous systems with the latest SAP technology. By its nature, it’s going to be challenging, as we review every part of our operating model. As a process development team, it’s not our role to know all the answers, but to bring the experts together that do. We work to shape processes and ways of working and to support our colleagues to embrace new systems and to continue to find better ways of doing business. 

We are currently looking for a number of Process Improvement Analysts to join our close-knit team and help champion change on our transformation journey. 

Harriet Kershaw,

Process Development Lead