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Our mission is to sustainably develop, produce, market and sell value-added hygiene and health products and services. These health products and solutions play an essential role in improving well-being for everybody, everywhere. Better hygiene and health are necessities for better lives.
With this in mind, we chatted to Alex Davis, who works for Essity as an Account Manager in the E-Commerce team within our Consumer Goods division, to find out more about his journey with us and what it’s like to work at a company like ours.
- I left University in 2016 after studying Economic and Social History and worked at a FMCG company in London in the internal communications division which then evolved into human relations. I then did a year in sales where I was the account executive and I stayed with my previous company for three years before moving to Essity.
- I was talking to a few recruiters at the time and saw the job at Essity on LinkedIn. I sent over my CV and got invited for an interview. The first interview was with Talent Acquisition and my line manager and then my final interview was with the Sales Director and my line manager.
I joined Essity in November 2019 and started in the E-Commerce Team, which was newly formed. Mine was a new role within Essity which was great as it enabled me to grow within the role, and it has even allowed me to shape it and define it for the long term.I was working internally and externally with our customers to improve both our brands and our category performance online. Another aspect of the job was upskilling the sales team within E-Commerce. It’s still a relatively new channel and not many people have had the opportunity to work closely with it, so it was our responsibility to engage and upskill where we could to give everyone a better understanding of the channel.
In terms of my current position, in January of this year my manager went on maternity leave and I was asked if I could take on some of her responsibilities. It was exciting and something different for me as I was taking on increased responsibilities in terms of managing customers like Amazon and Ocado.
- We’ve been working remotely and I haven’t been in the office for nearly a year. Everyone was concerned about the technology and how it would work, but as a company we’ve adapted really well and I haven’t had any issues with any part of it at all. We haven’t been limited or restricted and it’s been a smooth transition.
- A day in the life is a good question! Every day is different and there’s no standard day, which keeps everything interesting. We oversee the whole process with the customer, ensuring our forecasting is right and ensuring our stock supply is also right. We try to grow the business through promotional activity or working with the shopper marketing team to ensure we have a strong media plan. It's about being both reactive and proactive and working collaboratively with our buyers and contacts at the retailers to ensure we’re executing the joint business plans in a way that realizes growth and continues to offer value to shoppers.
What’s interesting about my current role is that Ocado and Amazon are two very different retailers and Amazon works in a really unique way. This makes it very exciting to work with them and understand the growth opportunities.
In terms of Ocado, grocery shopping online has really grown in the past year, due to the pandemic. A lot of those shoppers have had a positive experience and it’s become a habit for them so they will continue to shop online. Therefore, the challenge with Ocado is to ensure our brands are best placed to be shoppers first choice in our categories. My role is to make sure we’re in a position to partner with them as they continue to grow.
- The culture is friendly and personable. People treat each other with respect and that’s a big thing. You’re recognised as a person and not as a cog in a wider machine. This in turn creates an open culture in which people’s views and opinions are asked for, respected and considered. Even if you’re a junior member, your view and opinion has as much weight as anyone else’s.
- The best thing is probably feeling as though you’re contributing in terms of day to day work, but also through our brands. The products we provide are essential, both in their need state and the quality they have to have. They meet everyday essential needs and that gives you a strong sense of purpose. For example during the pandemic, everyone was panicked about toilet roll, and at that point it was our mission as a business to ensure we were getting enough toilet roll out there. Solving problems like that gives you the feeling that you’re contributing.
- There’s definitely room to grow. In a short period of time I’ve been able to take on new responsibilities and my role has evolved and changed quite quickly. We deal with so many customers across many different channels, E-Commerce only being one of them. There’s always space to move into a different role and understand something new, not necessarily within your team but also within departments.
- Don’t be afraid of giving your opinion and saying what you feel. Not just doing the bare minimum, but also being inquisitive and wanting to understand things that might not even sit immediately within your role. Someone that’s able to contribute to discussions is extremely valued in the company.