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Commercial Awareness

Commercial Awareness

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Commercial Awareness

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  1. Commercial Awareness Jenny Keaveney Careers Advisory Service

  2. What is commercial awareness? • Best summarised as “an understanding of the marketplace and environment in which an organisation operates” • Equally important in both the public and the private sectors

  3. Employers look for “commercially aware” applicants who … • understand the organisation’s mission and aims • are aware of the political and economic issues affecting the organisation • are aware of the major competitors • understand the sectors the organisation operates within • understand the commercial priorities of the organisation

  4. Analysing organisations • What does the organisation do? (make a product, provide a service, etc) • What roles are involved in doing this? (probably more than you might think!) • How is the organisation structured? • What restrictions are there on how the organisation operates? (professional, legal, regulatory etc) • What other organisations do similar things? Are they direct competitors? • What outside factors may contribute to the organisation’s success or failure?

  5. From this …………. to this …

  6. … involves a lot of people and activities Legal

  7. Supply Chain Buying/Distribution • Visiting origin countries to check crop development, participating in negotiations of contracts with global coverage and trading in the Futures markets • Negotiation of contracts for the supply of outsourced chocolate to our confectionery and ice-cream factories in Europe • Now responsible for the supply of outsourced chocolate into 23 factories in 12 European countries Felipe Feijoo, former Supply Chain Graduate Trainee with Nestlé and now their chocolate buyer for Europe

  8. Production “We’re looking to get a new product into production. We know what we want to produce; how it’s going to taste, its texture etc. But we haven’t fully explored the technology we’ll need to get it onto the shelves. I will work with this new technology to understand exactly how it works, how it affects the way the product tastes, figure out how the production process is going to work, and then see how it’ll fit into the factory environment. Leigh Storar, Graduate trainee in R&D with Mars UK

  9. Marketing One of the projects l led was the KitKat cross your fingers campaign which went live during the World Cup - when l had just started in the business. l took that whole process from start to finish, briefing our agencies, developing ideas with them: packaging, point of sale material, the right mix in terms of communications, the TV adverts, everything we did! l worked on that project from scratch, and helped the agencies and brand team push that project through to what consumers would have seen on the outdoor advertising, on the TV ads and on the packs as we've seen them as well. Steven – marketing graduate with Nestlé

  10. Sales As a field sales rep, l'm out on the road most of the time, looking after about 15 or 20 wholesalers. During the KitKat World Cup campaign. l arranged to install a football goal at the front of one of my cash and carrys, which we filled with over a thousand cases of KitKat. Every customer, every retailer and caterer, who walked into the depot saw this big display covered with all the point of sale material and picked up the KitKat, so over the course of one week we managed to sell two pallets, thousands of pounds worth of KitKat, just from having this display at the front of the depot. Tom, sales graduate with Nestlé

  11. Finance My role is to provide financial support to the factory. The main thing that l do is to put together the cost, so when they come up with a new idea "oh let's make a 3 finger KitKat", well l'm the person who has to cost that 3 finger KitKat. I did a multilinear regression analysis where I basically said “how many different types of electricity does it take to produce this KitKat?” That goes into an electricity forecast for the factory, so they can predict how much energy they're going to use based on how many KitKats they're making. Alice – finance graduate trainee with Nestlé

  12. Finance Hotel Chocolat is offering investors two different investment opportunities. Chocolate fanatics can subscribe for a 3-year £2,000 bond, which will earn them a box of chocolates valued at £18 every two months – equivalent to a 6.7 per cent yield – or there is also a three-year £4,000 bond that will pay out the equivalent of a 7.3 per cent yield in chocolate.  Hotel Chocolat has appointed accounting firm BDO to advise on the bond issue, which has already been given the green light by the Financial Services Authority.

  13. Law • Swiss chocolatier Lindt sued Austrian chocolatier Hauswirth for infringing its 3D community trade mark by producing a gold, chocolate rabbit similar in style to Lindt's own gold, chocolate bunny. • Hauswirth argued that it had been marketing chocolate bunnies since 1962, and that chocolate rabbits have been produced and wrapped in gold foil for decades. • Hauswirth therefore believes that Lindt's registration of a 3D mark for a gold, chocolate bunny in 2000 was made in bad faith, and should therefore be declared invalid.

  14. Some current issues • What impact has the recession had on this $17.3 billion industry? • How have products changed to reflect evolving consumer tastes and budgets? • Have consumers changed their buying habits in the face of economic uncertainty? • Are consumers’ choices of product influenced by Fairtrade and other ethical issues?

  15. Following up • Read: • The business press. This doesn’t have to mean the Financial Times but you should read the business pages of a quality daily newspaper • Graduate publications such as Real World magazine, TARGET magazine and sector-specific titles such as Lawyer 2B; Accountancy Age • Watch/listen to: • Business-related programmes on TV and radio such as Working Lunch, the Money Programme, Bottom Line, Law in Action, Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice • BBC

  16. Following up • Get actively involved in student societies – develop your leadership, financial and people management skills • Think about your past experience and how to present it in a positive and relevant way to employers • Research and analyse employers and job sectors that interest you

  17. Researching employers • Follow a company in the press for a month or so • Review a company’s annual report • Perform a SWOT/PEST analysis on a company or sector of interest to you • Analyse the market sector in which a specific company works – who are its competitors? • See some useful information resources • The British Library produces “industry guides”– covering everything from Advertising to TV & Film

  18. Further advice • Book: “All you need to know about Commercial Awareness” – in Careers Information Room • • Some advice for law students from Herbert Smith • A useful article from Target Jobs, including an “employer research sheet”

  19. Moodle Careers Employability Module • Develop and test your commercial awareness • Go to • Use the search box at the bottom of page to search for careers &/oremployability • This module includes a “how commercially aware are you?” test and an assignment to produce a report on a company or organisation of your choice • By successfully completing this assignment you can gain 12 of the 80 points required for this award

  20. THE CAREERS ADVISORY SERVICE … • Open 9-5, Monday-Friday • Careers Information Room • Careers Advisers – book an appointment or just drop in • Networked PCs and IT resources