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Ranald Forbes Announced as Supply Chain Director

April 03, 2019

A.F. Blakemore has announced the appointment of a new Supply Chain Director for its group of companies.  

Ranald Forbes joined A.F. Blakemore on March 11th to assist in the delivery of the company’s One Logistics Strategy, with the Logistics leadership team reporting into him.

The focus of the new strategy will be to improve the efficiency and quality of the company’s logistics service and to develop its future network.

Ranald has a wealth of experience in developing class-leading logistics solutions across multiple sectors, including retail and wholesale.

We invited Ranald to tell us a bit more about himself:

RanaldTell us about your career and previous work experience.

I joined A.F. Blakemore from Wincanton, Britain’s largest contract logistics firm, where I was Director of Construction and held responsibility for a variety of distribution contracts with manufacturers of construction products and a fleet of circa 500 vehicles.

Prior to that, I spent 13 years in private equity backed businesses. I worked for the food wholesaler Brakes for 11 years, spending five years on their executive committee. I gained a lot of my food service and distribution expertise there.

My career history also includes a previous stint at Wincanton where I was Director of their Chilled Services business unit as well as eight years at supply chain and logistics company Exel, now known as DHL.

Going back even further, I worked for Tesco Stores and BOC, the latter being the food distributor for Marks & Spencer, so I have a lot of experience with different retailers and manufacturers.

Why did you decide to join A.F. Blakemore?

I liked the people and was impressed by the culture and ambition of the business.

What are your first impressions of the company?

I have found the business and the people very welcoming. The company has a strong sense of identity, and people’s loyalty in the business is very positive.

There is a lot going on and the number of projects currently underway to improve the business is noticeable and very interesting.

The company is, internally, more complicated than I had initially expected!

What does your new role encompass?

As Supply Chain Director for the A.F. Blakemore Group I am accountable for overseeing the company’s end-to-end supply chain.

My responsibility is to provide the direction and leadership to create a logistics platform capable of supporting the strong growth ambitions of the company.

Do you have any initial plans or objectives in relation to your new role?

One of the first things I will be addressing is how we can optimise the capacity of our current warehousing operation.

I will also be looking at how we can engage better with our colleagues – to create a more stable workforce that will in turn make it easier to handle the challenges of our busiest periods.

Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of work. 

I live in Worcester with my wife Lynn, who is a school teacher in Birmingham. On joining Blakemore’s I discovered that she had actually previously taught some of the staff in Willenhall, as she used to teach in the Black Country!

We have a daughter called Polly, who is currently a student at Liverpool University, and also a golden retriever.

In my spare time I enjoy cycling – I am a fairly serious cyclist and participate in events in the UK and overseas. 


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