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Meet the Team

Victoria Sayer – Chief Supply Chain Officer

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This week’s Meet the Team highlights our Chief Supply Chain Officer, Victoria Sayer! Vicky talks about her role, almost being the ‘conscience’ of the company, and shares her experience getting married in the National Railway Museum…

 

 

 

What is your Job role at John Hogg?

The basic principle of my role is making sure that we do the right thing, I like to think of it like being the conscience of the company. That being said, my job title doesn’t really reflect how the role has evolved over time.

I started off with responsibility for chemicals regulatory compliance, but now I am responsible for lots of other areas of the business such as: import & export logistics, customs and duties, supply chain, change management, project portfolio management, and all the required paperwork in between.

I don’t think an accurate job title does exist! Probably due to John Hogg being a small business, the job title would be too long. I’m like the Jack of all trades, master of none…

How long have you been a part of the John Hogg team?

Since August 2017, just over 6 years now.

What was your first job, and did you enjoy it?

I would say my first proper job was working at an opticians from the ages of 17-20. I was a dispensing assistant on Saturdays, helping customers choose their glasses and then processing the orders. I did a lot of overtime and summer work, but I really enjoyed feeling part of the team there. I worked there during the latter end of college, into the start of my university life.

Do you have an accomplishment that you are proud of?

Generally, I am proud of the journey that I’ve been on. I would say that I have done well to get to where I am today.

Did you attend University? If so, what did you study?

I did, I studied for an MChem at York University although I am originally from Essex. The interesting thing about the MChem courses at York was that the placement year was the final year, which made a lot of sense as you could simply carry on in the world of work without having to go back to university for another year like some courses. I liked living in the north of England which kept me here, plus there aren’t as many chemical companies in Essex as there are in the North.

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love my garden which has been a big project of mine, and love doing logic puzzles. But as a parent to two tweens/teens, my life revolves around them and their hobbies.

My eldest is really into musical theatre, he often has rehearsals, shows, or something similar going on throughout the week. My other son is into ‘breaking’, so he also has rehearsals during the week, with competitions usually on the weekends. I literally spend all of my time taking them to their hobbies, which have become my hobbies too!

There is a real community at a lot these events, especially the breaking. We go to hip-hop, DJ, graffiti events, going across the country for competitions. We’ve even had to buy him a special hat as he’s at the ‘spinning on head’ phase…

Tell me something about you that most people wouldn’t know

I got married in the National Railway Museum

That wasn’t because we’re into trains, but it was just one the most amazing venues that you could hire at the time. When the ceremony was over, we had to walk through the gift shop at the museum to get to the reception. We got a few strange looks from the general public.

You could say that it was fairly… unconventional. When the museum closed in the evening our guests had the freedom to walk around and look at the different trains, and we had the wedding breakfast and disco on a train platform between 2 trains!

Describe your ideal day off.

Well, we live in a little old cottage that we renovated, so I love being in my house. I’m a big fan of pottering, and this may sound sad, but I love sorting out the cupboards… So, my perfect day would start in the house with a bit of pottering and cleaning, then I’m off to buy little things for the home. Usually ending up in Home Bargains, Dunelm, The Range, B&M… You name it.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

I often get quite anxious if I don’t speak the language when travelling abroad, so for me it has to be North America. You still get that feeling of being in a new place, without the worry of not knowing the local language. My absolute favourite place is Disney World Florida!

Which book or a movie has left a lasting impact on you and why?

There’s a series of books I’ve read called ‘Why mummy’. I’ve read every single one in the series and even been to a meet with the author, who was very relatable. The stories are based around a mother who has two kids, and if you read the full series, the family goes on a journey of the kids being pre-teens to late teens. I find them very therapeutic, as she documents family life in a very observational way, through fiction. The author normalises the life of a mother in a very humorous way.

Your GOAT music artist?

I used to go to festivals quite a lot when I was younger, so I was into the indie brit-pop scene. Out of all the bands I saw, my favourite was probably Skunk Anansie. They did some cool rock tracks, but I liked the more melodic tracks of theirs.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Spag Bol! I Love pasta and I love mince. Beef mince is the one thing that is stopping me from becoming a vegetarian.

What is your greatest fear?

Probably ill health before old age. This goes for myself or any other family member.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

It would be my mum and dad – Sadly my Dad passed away during the COVID pandemic. I would love to be able to go for dinner with both of my parents just like old times.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Let’s go with: Thoughtful, intelligent, and diligent.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Definitely the variety, I get to see so many facets of the business. But also, the autonomy, I feel that I am very free to do what I think is right, or make suggestions, which are always listened to and discussed. But the people that work here are what make me stay!

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at John Hogg?

Don’t sweat the small stuff! In business, you’re always going to have challenges and its not the end of the world. There’s no blame culture, we are all very good at working things out as a team and solving the challenges in front of us.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new team members to succeed within our company culture?

Don’t be afraid to speak up! No idea is a bad idea. People sharing thoughts and ideas helps us to try new and different things and move the business forwards. Every input is valuable, we are trying to encourage an open culture here at John Hogg.

Finally; In your opinion, what sets John Hogg apart as an employer?

There’s a very human element to John Hogg. I’ve worked in large organisations before where individuality doesn’t shine through, and you have to work within the constraints of a specific role profile. John Hogg is big enough to feel well structured, but small enough to be individualistic. Being the size that John Hogg is with its growth trajectory, there’s amazing opportunities for everyone to re-shape their roles, and mould their own paths if they’re motivated to do so.

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