First joining the Barry Group in 1986, Edwina Lucey, who was formerly the sales director of the trading division, has now been appointed overall sales director. ShelfLife caught up with Lucey to learn more about her new role and plans for growth
15 October 2015
What will the key aspects of your new role as sales director entail and what are you most looking forward to within your new position?
The key aspects of the role will be the implementation of the strategic vision that the board sets out at the beginning of the year under the guidance of Jim Barry, our managing director. My primary focus will be driving sales performance throughout all our selling channels while supporting our customers with every resource to help their business thrive.
What are the main goals you would like to achieve in the next year?
Barry Group is all about moving forward and innovating, we have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline for 2016 and for us, it is all about challenging ourselves as a company to make sure our customers are at the forefront of the market. We have ambitious plans to expand our franchise numbers across Costcutter, Quik Pick and Carry Out and we will continue to strengthen our partnerships with our customers throughout our sales divisions.
You first joined Barry Group in 1986 – how has your career evolved over the intervening years?
It’s been amazing to see the progress in the company since that point. Obviously this year being our 60th year, we’ve spent some time looking back on the history of the company and seeing the evolution over the years has been fantastic. My own personal journey has moved through various departments including finance and buying, until I settled in sales. I spent a couple of years in the UK which to me was a great benefit in terms of gaining insights into other markets before becoming sales director – trading division in 2008. My new role entails taking on responsibility for the Costcutter, Carry Out and Quik Pick retail brands which is hugely exciting and challenging.
Can you tell us more about your career background prior to joining the Barry Group?
Prior to joining Barry Group I worked in local government and also in the Farm Advisory – ACOT, now Teagasc.
Why do you believe Barry Group is a good company to work for?
Barry Group prides itself on being a Great Place to Work. We place enormous emphasis on our team, we cultivate a culture of “one team, one plan”. We have been a Deloitte Best Managed company (gold standard) for a number of years and a Great Place to Work accredited company. We consistently challenge ourselves on “how we work together”.
We are a company that values and encourages innovation and idea generation across the whole team and we place our customers at the centre of what we do.
Please can you tell us more about the key members of your team within the Sales Department?
We have streamlined our sales department into three distinct divisions; Costcutter/Quik Pick, Carry Out and wholesale. These departments are headed up by three extremely professional and customer focussed people; Noel Brady, head of sales, Costcutter; David O’Keeffe, head of sales, Carry Out and Norman Lenihan, head of sales, wholesale – who work tirelessly for their customers. The team of people within these divisions are dedicated and professional and are hugely supported by an ‘inside sales’ team of hard-working and customer-focused people led by Lynsey Murphy and a store development team led by Ollie Savage.
Barry Group invested heavily in launching chilled distribution in 2013 – how significantly has this affected sales?
When we launched chilled distribution at the end of 2013, it essentially completed the set of our offering to retailers. We are confident that we have the best in class solution in chilled distribution in the Irish market and, together with our own brand and Meadowbrook Farm range, we have added a vital point of difference to our retailers’ businesses. We know this from the positive feedback we received from our retailers. There is no doubt that it also played a vital role in terms of recruitment since its launch.
What would you say is the single most important lesson you have learnt throughout your career?
I think if I learned one thing throughout my career it is that this business is all about relationships; customers, suppliers and team. The most successful relationships are based on a collaborative approach where both parties are aware of the demands on each other’s businesses and where both are willing to work together to achieve success.