The wheat in Weetabix is sourced from within 50 miles of the factory © 123RF
The wheat in Weetabix is sourced from within 50 miles of the factory © 123RF

New Weetabix supply chain chief sets out vision

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
30 October 2017

The new head of supply chain at Weetabix has said the most important thing he has done since starting the job is visit every person across the supply chain.

Milan Pankhania, who was appointed head of supply chain for operations, has just completed three months in the role and he has been identifying areas where the company could make efficiencies or cut waste.

Speaking to SM, Pankhania said: “The most worthwhile thing I’ve done in the early stages of my new role is meet everyone across the supply chain, both internal and external.

“I’ve just hit 90 days in the role and I am clear on the things we need to activate and change, as well as working towards longer term priorities and ensuring these are aligned with the long-term business strategy.”

Pankhania, who was previously supply chain director at packaging and aerospace firm Ball Corporation, will oversee customer service, demand planning, finished goods and raw material planning, logistics and integrated business planning processes at Weetabix.

“My role is to help drive efficiencies across the supply chain process, while striving for excellent customer service,” he said. “We already have some great practices in place but there’s always more we can do, whether it’s by optimising loads to have fewer trucks on the road, running our plants more efficiently or generally reducing waste.”

Pankhania said he would be developing a three-year supply chain strategy. “At the heart of our three-year supply chain strategy is the customer,” he said. “Coupled with a focus on sustainability, innovation and efficiency, we’ll make sure we maintain the provenance and principles Weetabix is built on and continue to deliver what our customers want and in the way they need.

“The focus for my strategy will absolutely include cost control and proactive risk management. It isn’t about cutting costs though, it’s about doing the right things to manage risk. The end goal is about delivering a consistent and reliable service to our customers, in the most sustainable and cost-efficient way.”

Pankhania said all wheat for Weetabix Original cereal was sourced from within 50 miles of the Burton Latimer factory in Northamptonshire, though one of the main challenges he faced was “more complexity and increasing demands”.

“These must be managed carefully to ensure that costs don’t spiral and that there isn’t any detrimental effect on both our business and to the service we provide our customers,” he said.

“Managing price inflation and security of supply are always ongoing challenges for any business like ours, and it’s crucial we enforce the importance of risk mitigation. It’s vital to always plan for change and have processes in place that ensure we can react quickly and efficiently in the face of adversity.”

Earlier this year Weetabix was sold by China’s Bright Food Group to Post Holdings for £1.4bn.

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