Focus Management International

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International FMCG Recruitment Specialists

Supply Chain & Logistics

Supply Chain is at times an all-encompassing description of the team that manages all products as they progress through the business from the sourcing of ingredients and services, to purchasing, through goods-in, manufacturing, packing, warehousing and then distribution and logistics to the end customer.

All food manufacturing businesses need products in order to be able to operate. These might be physical products, such as raw materials, or packaging and ingredients for a food manufacturer. They may also be service-based, such as specialist HR or marketing consultancy services when trialing new technology or distribution services for a high street retailer. It is vital that these products or services not only meet the required quality and reliability standards, but also that they are competitively priced and arrive on time.

The role of supply chain and logistics function is critical to managing all the processes, maintaining confidence, credibility and co-ordination across all functions as well as ensuring end customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the Supply Chain and Logistics function plays a key role in a company’s efforts to reduce costs – and generally, in most cases it is this function in particular that highlights significant potential for improvement.

Companies will work through either a direct distribution network whereby they own and operate the transportation fleet (road, rail, sea, air etc.) or will work through a 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company, although across the MEA region food manufacturing companies predominately have a mixture of the two.

Supply Chain professionals require excellent communication and analytical skills as they will typically be dealing with many key internal and external parties, and efficient communication across all of these contacts ensures not only timely departure and arrival of products but also – more critically – a safe arrival.  

S&OP Manager , Food Ingredients, UAE

  • A global food ingredients business was establishing a physical presence in the UAE due to increased demand for its products across the MENA region. Focus Management International was exclusively tasked to provide a candidate who had local market understanding, held previous experience in establishing and implementing S&OP processes and spoke multiple languages.
  • Focus Management International initially created a market map before presenting  a shortlist of four candidates matching the original job description as well as one candidate who despite not speaking all the required languages, had a particularly intriguing background due to their experience working with 3PL businesses across French speaking North Africa.
  •  Following several meetings with other candidates, Focus Management International successfully convinced the HR team to include this candidate within the interview process, and following several impressive interviews the client decided to offer the candidate the role.

Supply Chain Director – Food Manufacturing

  •  UAE based food manufacturing business required a new Supply Chain Director with the particular remit of remodeling the company’s product sourcing strategy. The business required someone who held a particularly strong understanding of the commodity market.
  •  Focus Management International identified due to the nature of the role that a candidate would have to hold pulses, grains or seeds experience as well as have exposure to sourcing and trading of these products in bulk. As this was a global search and selection process Focus Management International presented this role to its IFRA European partnership in order to present to the business a true global shortlist of suitable candidates.
  •  Focus Management International managed to secure a candidate who held particular understanding of wheat trading through previous appointments and education, and was currently working with a major food commodities business based in mainland Europe. The candidate had previously worked within a bakery manufacturer within a senior Supply Chain role and was accustomed to working within a manufacturing environment.

Supply Chain Manager, Dairy

  •  Regional office of a major dairy manufacturer required a Supply Chain Manager to establish co-packing agreements with businesses across the MEA.
  • Due to the nature of the role it was decided between Focus Management International and the client that the candidate must be based within the UAE market as they would need to understand all the documentation processes and regulations associated to importing products in the country. FMI started by creating a market map of food manufacturing companies within the UAE who either manufactured or imported high risk food products and shortlisted candidates from this longlist.
  • Focus Management International secured a candidate from a direct competitor who had established co-packing agreements in Saudi Arabia and Egypt previously – two major markets for the client.

Logistics Co-ordinator, FMCG MNC, MENA

  •  A Logistics Co-ordinator for a major global MNC was required to oversee dispatch and delivery of multiple SKU’s predominately across the Middle East and North Africa regions. The candidate needed to speak Arabic, English and French as well as hold SAP experience.
  • Focus Management International identified that due to the strict language requirements of the role that candidates could come from one of four countries. A target list was created as well as advertisements posted in French, Arabic and English.
  •  Following the response to an advertisement posted in French, Focus Management International was able to secure a candidate based in the UAE who had all of the language skills as well as significant logistics and 3PL experience. Due to the success of this appointment Focus Management International was engaged on three further positions with similar remits across the business.