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Three AFB Colleagues Shortlisted for FWD Gold Medal Awards

October 22, 2021

FWD Gold Medal Awards

Supply Chain Manager Kelly Burrows, Wholesale Distribution National Account Manager Ian Cawley and Telesales Manager Alan Mayor have all been shortlisted for this year’s FWD Awards.

The FWD (Federation of Wholesale Distributors) Awards celebrate the outstanding people, products and services in the food and drink wholesale sector.

The winners will be announced at an awards evening in London on 25th November.

Here’s why Kelly, Ian and Alan made the shortlist: 

Kelly Burrows

Kelly has been shortlisted for the Emerging Talent award, which is open to anyone who has worked for an FWD wholesale member for less than five years.

Kelly joined A.F. Blakemore’s Transport operation in 2017 on the company’s graduate scheme and now oversees a team. Her award shortlisting recognises the work she has done for the business to increase supply chain efficiencies.

She has significantly helped increase the company’s backhaul operation, leading negotiations with more than 150 suppliers to take the percentage of goods collected by AFB from suppliers from 10% to 23% and save 700,000 miles from the road annually.

Kelly has also helped to introduce a centralisation initiative to create a central delivery point for suppliers, as well as an initiative to reduce the number of single-pick products in the warehouse. This has successfully removed five million picks per year from AFB’s logistics operation.

Group Logistics Manager Marc Deakin commented: “Kelly has made a huge impact on the company since joining on the graduate programme. The results that she has achieved speak volumes, but ultimately it is her work ethic, determination to learn and her drive to succeed that has brought significant value to the business.

“I have no doubt that she will have a long and successful career in supply chain management and will be an inspiration to people joining the business in future years, especially young women entering our profession.” 

Ian Cawley

Ian has been shortlisted for the Customer Development award, which will go to an individual who has achieved significant business growth and driven loyalty among retailers.

At the onset of the first Covid-19 lockdown, Ian was managing Blakemore Wholesale Distribution’s BP account. When BP's business began to surge due to the lockdown and experience hypergrowth through Deliveroo, Ian worked relentlessly with suppliers to articulate the scale and potential of the opportunity, negotiating significant additional product allocations and often delivering stock availability that his trading colleagues were unable to unlock. This meant that BP was able to scale up its business with a well-rounded proposition in a new channel.

He has built on this in the 12 months following, extending the significant sales growth delivered during lockdown.

During 2021 Ian expanded his responsibilities as AFB began partnering with the Park Garage Group. He has led the onboarding, driving previously unseen levels of comm-op loyalty and discipline through a highly detailed contact matrix and the implementation of extensive dashboarding to support the joint business plan across both supplier and customer businesses.

Wholesale Distribution Managing Director James Russell commented: “Ian is hugely valued by both his customer team and our business teams and exemplifies a balance of discipline and rigour with an entrepreneurial angle that can only be found within wholesale. He is a credit to our business and our industry.” 

Alan Mayor

Alan has been shortlisted for the Gold Medal Telesales Star award, which will be awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their telesales team.

Alan played a key role in Blakemore Wholesale Distribution’s ‘Project Disruption’, which involved the business moving customers away from paying on credit terms and towards paying on card. By the end of the company’s last financial year, Alan had helped drive card sales from zero to £7.5 million, smashing the sales target of £5 million. He has met all of his business objectives and brought on a lot of big new accounts to the business.

Alan has exceptional call handling skills and is always friendly, upbeat and enthusiastic when dealing with customers. His colleagues have all praised him for his management skills and being a good listener.

AFB Group Customer Service Manager Carl O’Connor commented: “Alan is an integral part of the Customer Service and Telesales team; he has a genuine can-do attitude and shows boundless levels of drive, energy and enthusiasm to support not only the team vision but also live the company values.

“Alan exceeds his set objectives but does not stop there; he looks forward in anticipation of the next phase. He has immense self-motivation.

“Alan drives our vision around customer experience and engagement. Improving loyalty and customer spend, his results speak for themselves.”


Good luck to all at the awards!

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