"Rather than just being a number or a name behind an email, I can walk over to someone and talk with them to gain a full understanding of the way that person works."

Erica Reeves

Head of Purchasing and Procurement

Originally from Gisborne in the North Island, Westland’s Head of Purchasing and Procurement, Erica Reeves, thinks many people overlook the opportunities that working for a company in a small town provides. Shifting from Christchurch to Hokitika was a career move for Erica, and a chance to engage with staff and the community on a level not possible in many larger corporations.

Erica’s role is essentially to make sure she has a finger on the pulse of the business. She ensures that Westland is getting the best terms and conditions for any ‘spend’ (with the exception of raw milk and employee salaries).

She manages key relationships across the supply chain to create strategic partnerships with Westland’s suppliers to effectively manage imports and exports within the company. In other words, her team makes sure Westland has the best and right quantities of ingredients, machine parts, capital infrastructure, or packaging (to name a few), and that they are delivered on time, for the right price, so Westland can make its products.

Erica is excited about the strategy in place for the new season. “Westland is undergoing a period of dramatic change. The work that has been completed in the last 12 months to get us from where we were to here is significant. If we pull off what we have planned for the next 12 months it will be ground-breaking.”

In a comparatively smaller company, Erica explains, everyone has the ability to see their outcomes in action.

“Rather than just being a number or a name behind an email, I can walk over to someone and talk with them to gain a full understanding of the way that person works. This is vital for me to be able to assess what changes are required or why changes shouldn’t be made.”

“A lot of hard work has been put in to get us where we are and we are not finished. We have some ambitious targets for the next season, however at this stage there is no reason why we can’t reach them. Being part of this time of change is incredibly exciting.”

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