Q: Hello Denise, let’s start with what led you to join Essity and what did you see your role being?
You could say my work history prior to Essity was pretty ‘sweet’ having led E-commerce for two of the largest baking and chocolate manufacturers in the world: Wilton Brands and The Hershey Company. In both roles, I led brand and channel development work within the digital space, defining each company’s online sales strategy through deep understanding of customer purchasing habits. Whether a company is selling chocolate or bath tissue, there is a need to meet customers where they are, and we know that’s increasingly online.
What led me to Essity was the opportunity to contribute to creating a holistic digital business strategy for the Professional Hygiene business. I see myself as a connector between sales and marketing which is an enabling role to build and deliver the omni-channel experiences our end customers expect today.
Q: The E-commerce organization has accomplished a lot in a short time. How is your team prioritizing their focus?
I am surrounded and supported by colleagues who are not only super talented, smart and who love the Tork brand, but also have a big heart and care deeply for each other. The Essity Beliefs & Behaviors are truly modelled across the organization. We find strength as a team and this has helped us in creating a solid foundation. This year we are focused on Scaling Digital, one of five key priorities for the Professional Hygiene BU. This meant first building out a team with digital expertise across campaign activation, content, logistics and E-commerce platforms
Q: 2019 has already been a big year for E-commerce. What are some accomplishments you want to highlight?
We put a lot of energy into accelerating our partnerships with Amazon and Office Depot and have exceeded our targets as a result of all that hard work. I’m very proud of the collaborative spirit alive in my team as we work with other functional areas to build E-commerce as a core competency for Essity Professional Hygiene. We have also worked extensively to revamp our content creation process and deliver optimized digital content for a lot of our online portfolio. Most recently, we kicked off a project to enable dropship capabilities that are necessary to better serve smaller end customers which present a sizable incremental opportunity for Essity online. It’s energizing to see strategy and plans in action and I’m very excited for what’s next.
Q: Speaking of which, what is your team doing to 'Think ahead'? What’s next for E-commerce?
Any role that involves e-commerce naturally involves change. It's still day one for our 50-year-old Tork brand – there is much more to come in our bright future as we Think ahead — this is a new tagline for the Tork brand but also a new mindset for Professional Hygiene and an approach for building the Tork brand of tomorrow.
Firstly, we are continuing to expand our team, our knowledge and solidify a new way of working. The global set-up can take some getting used to, but for me, the experience has exceeded every single expectation. I want my team to feel the same way. This means using the rich cultural diversity of our team to draw inspiration in our work.
Secondly, we are thinking a lot about the future and how we want the E-commerce function to evolve beyond a sales channel to become a critical component of a holistic digital business strategy. Part of this is developing a five-year E-commerce capabilities roadmap that incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and automated ordering platforms for example.
Q: So, after all of that how would you sum up your first year with Essity?
It’s been truly an honor to be part of an extraordinary company with such talented colleagues and an amazing organizational culture. Simply put, our core business is noble, our new businesses and services make me proud, our ambition is inspiring, our strategy is solid and my appreciation for our sustainability agenda continues to grow each day with every step we take forward. I’m very proud of my team and know the possibilities of what we can achieve together are endless.
Thank you Denise.