I worked as a Store Associate in BiWay. My career in retail goes way back!
I've been with the company for 23 years now, all in Supply Chain. This is the department that manages the flow of goods out to the Stores, executes Corporate plans and strategies and has an admin team to handle things like price changes, returns to Vendors, special orders and so on.
Believe it or not I actually started with a temp agency. I had no experience in Supply Chain when I started. Originally I was working on writing store to store transfer documents. Then I moved to data entry and was updating inventory from receipts into the business – we weren't automated, so every time we allocated products to a Store, we had to manually key that information into the computer! Eventually I moved into the Allocation Team, sending goods out to the Stores based on sales trends, sales volumes and Store sizes. I learned all of this during my on the job training in the department (Supply Chain is known for being great at this) plus through the HR led training programs.
I was promoted to a Supply Chain Inventory Control Coordinator. That was managing my area as well as helping train new people in the department. My next promotion was to an Assistant Manager of Supply Chain, which meant I managed a division within the department and was overseeing a group to ensure the job got done. I did that for a few more years and was promoted to Supply Chain Manager, which was a lot more responsibility including working on a cross-functional team with Merchandising. Finally, I took on the role of Director of Supply Chain on a temporary assignment and was eventually offered the positions permanently.
There's been a lot of training – that's been key. There is a lot of opportunity to grow. Toys"R"Us always considers internal candidates for new positions or promotions, and they listen openly to any ideas you have for change or implementing new things.
I've learned that in retail there are always new exciting things going on. I've learned a lot – I've grown into my role – from a clerical role to a Director and how to manage at all different levels.
If you have something you strongly believe in, don't give up.
The biggest thing for me looking back is I started out knowing nothing about Supply Chain, I was very young. I worked my way up until I got to where I am today. It didn't come easily – I had to work very hard for it.
I liked Barbie dolls. Doesn't every girl?