Status: Closed. Another successful assignment for Oakleigh Resourcing,

Role:  Commercial Manager

Client:  Food sector (bakery business specialising in European Bakery products)

Location: South Manchester / Cheshire (close to M56 & M60 links)

Remuneration: Competitive Salary plus car/allowance, bonus, pension & benefits

Status: Permanent

Job Purpose

  • Manage an existing portfolio of accounts within our important Cash & Carry and Convenience sector businesses; and to develop further our Food Service business.

  • Generate consistent and significant annual increase in revenue via client development and broadening of our listings with existing and new products.



Context and environment

The role sits in the commercial team which currently consists of 3 Commercial Managers each with their own allocated sector clients and / or large multiple.


Customer Account Management and Development

  • Full accountability for the management of the account portfolio (currently circa £3m+ turnover) allocated including business development, P&L, budget planning and relationship management.
  • Analyse and track all developments within the account portfolio, responding flexibly and commercially to market fluctuations, competitor activity and consumer trends.
  • Empathise with the needs of your key clients and reflect these in the level of service provided to position us as the supplier of choice.
  • Build strong relationships with the buying professionals within your accounts.
  • Proactively present the customers with solutions and profitable business opportunities.
  • Take advantage of emerging routes in the market including assessing/monitoring competitors.

Supplier Relationships

  • Develop good relationships via regular communications with outsourced suppliers (predominantly international) with whom we work in partnership to ensure a product portfolio that fully meets customer needs.
  • Bring new product ideas to the table.

Strategic Development

  • Develop a strategy to ensure the continued profitable growth within your existing accounts and to secure the longevity of client relationships.
  • Ensure strategy for growth is creative – clearly displaying to our clients (current and future) that our service is of added value, flexible, responsive, of a high quality and is of an innovative product.
  • Where possible develop a Business Plan for the account portfolio anticipating sales, costs and associated marketing with your targets for future growth and also highlighting any risks.

Financial Responsibility

  • Manage and increase turnover within your existing portfolio of accounts that currently generates a turnover of circa £3m. Identifying areas for growth to increase turnover consistently year on year.
  • Generate new accounts within your targeted areas to achieve budgeted growth year on year.
  • Present a valid business case for expenditure on account development via promotional activity, customer entertainment or other initiatives.
  • Consistently present opportunities for financial growth.


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential to assist with customer and supplier management and development of relationships via telephone and email, in addition to face to face.
  • Time must be invested initially to build relationships internally and to understand the entire business processes. The Commercial Manager must be knowledgeable about the external market in relation to customers, suppliers, NPD and competitors.
  • It is essential that the Commercial Manager be able to produce accurate statistical reports and management information on account development/progress towards achievement of agreed targets using the Microsoft Office suite.

Key relationships: Internal: Directors, Commercial Managers, Marketing, Technical, NPD, Logistics, Finance

External: Category Team within allocated Client Portfolio, Supplier Partners

Other important features of the job: Office based plus regular UK & occasional European travel (on average 1 -2 days per week out of the office).

Post holder must hold a Full Driving Licence.  Passport/Visa/Nationality requirements: Right to work in the UK.

Person Specification:

  • Of graduate calibre.

  • A proven, successful track record as a Commercial Manager/NAM/Business Developer within the food sector is essential. Experience within the Cash & Carry and / or Convenience sector a significant advantage.

  • Bakery experience an advantage but not essential.

  • Although not essential, the ideal candidate will have knowledge of the buying processes within the existing account portfolio and existing relationships upon which they will build.

  • Previous experience of new account development is advantageous with a track record of ‘opening doors’ and establishing new relationships at the highest level.

  • A creative approach to account development is essential; with success in the development and maintenance of accounts where a flexible and innovative approach has yielded results.

  • A complementary background with broader experience in the food sector is welcome – perhaps technical production and/or NPD, prior to becoming an Account Manager.

  • Experience working with branded products.

  • Ability to negotiate at a senior level with an awareness and understanding of costs and margin requirements of both customer and supplier is vital; with experience of formulating and costing proposals that meet both sets of criteria.

  • Commercially astute, possessing excellent financial acumen enabling well judged decisions, both strategically and operationally, with previous budgetary responsibility experience.

  • A track record in the preparation and interpretation of business proposals.

  • An experienced project manager who can balance a multi dimensional business – customers, outsourced supplier partners – whilst delivering on time and to budget.

  • International experience is not essential but would be advantageous.

  • IT literate – ability to use the Microsoft Office suite.