Supply chain · 14 July 2015

Our sourcing suppliers expert: Hatmill managing director Simon Dixon

I’m Simon Dixon, managing director of Hatmill. I’ve worked in supply chain management for the past 19 years, both in industry and for the past 14 years in consultancy. My client experience includes all the top four UK supermarkets and over 50 other clients in sectors including construction, engineering, ecommerce, automotive, petrochemical and public sector.

My industry background was gained with Asda, where I joined their logistics graduate scheme in 1996.  During my time there, I was lucky enough to be given some unbelievable opportunities at an early stage of my career.  A couple of examples of this include joining the distribution infrastructure team and managing the build of a new chilled distribution centre with a £20m budget at the age of 23. I then became the operations manager of a regional distribution centre just 18 months later.  This was a significant role managing over 400 people at a site recently taken in-house, handling around 900,000 cases per week.

My consulting experience started in 2001.  It was here that I did my “consulting apprenticeship”, learning how to analyse processes, identify inefficiencies, manage and influence clients and deliver some big improvements.  I worked on, amongst other things, a couple of big infrastructure projects; the West Coast Mainline Route Modernisation, a project to prepare the overhead lines for the Pendolino tilting trains, and London Underground track renewals. On both these projects there were difficulties in the flow of information from the worksite, leading to breakdowns in the provision of tooling, materials and information. A typical supply chain problem – highlighting that information must flow upstream to allow products to flow downstream in an appropriate and efficient way. Resolving these challenges, led to significant efficiency gains, in some cases doubling productivity.

In 2004 I joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers where I led the logistics consulting offer as part of their supply chain practice.  During my time with PwC I undertook large change programmes with multi-national companies, led supply chain reviews of blue chip organisations, completed operational due diligence reviews of businesses on behalf of banks and investors and spoke at a number of high profile events on the impact of logistics on business performance.

In 2009 I established Hatmill, which is a supply chain consultancy. It helps businesses in all sectors improve their end-to-end supply chains. It may well be that a business’s end-to-end supply chain spans across a number of other organisations, such as: growers, processors, packaging company, transport provider, warehouse provider, wholesaler, retailer, home delivery company. For every business their end-to-end supply chain will be different.

To provide the best service to the end consumer at the lowest cost, businesses must be aware of their supply chain and understand how best to manage and influence it to achieve this balance. Hatmill helps clients do this.

The team focuses on honest appraisal, straight-talking, and hands on application to improve clients’ supply chains. In 2013, the company won the European Supply Chain Excellence Award for Logistics and Distribution for one of its client projects. We continue to experience strong double digit growth every year, with an increasing client base appreciating our effort and diligence in everything we do.

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Simon Dixon is the managing director of supply chain and logistics advisors Hatmill. He has worked in supply chain management for the past 19 years, both in industry and in consultancy. Simon's client experience includes the top four UK supermarkets and over 50 other clients spanning sectors such as construction and ecommerce.

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