SCM? What’s That When it’s at Home?

RSA & Gemma

I dread social conversations when someone casually asks “What is it you do?”

So what’s the reason I struggle with this question? Is it because I have a really embarrassing job perhaps, such as a walking advertising board or maybe a socially irritating job such as a traffic warden? Actually, it’s neither of these.

If I answer the question with my actual job title which is a Motor Supply Chain Manager, generally I am met with blank looks which are then my cue to try and summarise exactly what I do into a sentence or two and therein lies the problem as this is simply IMPOSSIBLE!

My role is neither Monday to Friday nor is it 9am-5pm, both of which I would have thought would be important and absolutely paramount to measuring the desirability or enjoyability of a role. I can actually tell you neither of these things matter because what the role actually is, flexible, varied, exciting, frustrating, rewarding, fulfilling, agile, challenging, offering responsibility and accountability. Usually all of the above on any one morning of the week!

And what does my role entail you may wonder?

I work on any number of BAU activities or projects at any one time. I get involved in negotiating and implementing contracts, I interact with so many people at all levels of our business and other external businesses, I drive performance and monitor governance and compliance, I influence and impact business results, I build and maintain relationships and travel widely.

 Which leads me to think about what I get out of all of that……..

I have spent the last eight years in the supply chain, coming into the role from operations with no experience or background in Supply Chain. I won’t try to tell you it wasn’t scary because it was downright petrifying! Especially when one of the Supply Chain managers at the time casually offered up the unsolicited advice that “you either sink or swim” and had me attempting to backpedal faster than Chris Lawless won the Tour De Yorkshire this year!

 I can categorically say that advice proved to be wrong as I have never been anything other than supported and developed into the role from job shadowing and cutting my teeth on a “nice” account to where I am today managing one of the largest and most challenging Motor accounts that RSA has, still with the same support, in different people, and ability to grow and develop personally that I had on day one.

I have been able to gain a wide understanding of the industry and market as well as being able to spearhead a number of changes and drive better bottom-line results within our business.

I also meet different people and personalities all of the time, literally, it never ceases to amaze me how many various topics of conversation and perspectives I come across on a weekly basis. 

Day to day I spend a lot of time thinking on my feet, adapting, interacting, travelling, managing conflict or just learning something new. You would think it would be exhausting and at times it can be but overall the one thing that is consistent about my role is that I can’t see why anyone would ever want to do a Monday to Friday 9am-5pm job!

So next time you ask someone what it is they do, and they answer with a simple job title, think about what actually sits behind those few words that they offer in reply and what they would actually say if they had half an hour to spend telling you about what it is they really do!

by Gemma Woodhead (UK)


Related Posts

Want to learn more? Contact our team now

SCM? What’s That When it’s at Home?
Staff Member

Jen Shepherd

Admin and Customer Service Manager

Jenn completed her Apprenticeship in Business and Administration in 2008 and has since built upon a foundation of knowledge and skills in the administration and customer support areas.

Jenn has a degree, as well as a master’s degree, in English which have helped support her commitment to compliance and attention to detail.

Since returning to work from maternity leave in 2020, Jenn has worked in education settings and has an in-depth knowledge on Safeguarding and Child Protection, which she believes is a key part of all employees’ role when working with learners.

Outside of work, Jenn lives with her husband and two young daughters. She had her first book published in 2022 and advocates for the mental wellbeing of new parents.

michelle whalley

Michelle Whalley

Course Progress Mentor

Michelle graduated from Liverpool John Moore’s University in 2003 with a BA(HONs) in Physical Education, Sport, Dance and English, with Qualified Teacher Status. Michelle now holds 20 years’ experience of working in education. Her experience to date is hugely diverse, with a love for learning and striving for excellence across all areas of her life developed from when she was a young girl, representing her country at Athletics. It was from this platform Michelle developed a disciplined approach to every tasks set of her. During her time in teaching, she has taught a wide range of subjects, been a pastoral leader, and led ITT programmes.

Michelle prides herself on her ability to get the best possible outcomes out of people. This has been proven not only in the time she’s spent in education, but also in the set up and running of her own business.

Working in a fast-paced environment, especially becoming a Head of Year as well as teaching has consistently challenged her and ensured she’s flexible and adaptable

Lucy Eckersley

Lucy Eckersley

Administration Assistant

After recently graduating university and achieving a first-class degree in Drama, Lucy wanted to apply her production management experience to an administration role in business. Having worked part time jobs as a waitress and office receptionist during her education, Lucy has good customer service skills and enjoys helping customers and clients by addressing their queries. Lucy is excited to be working at SRSCC and is keen to use her process driven way of working to increase the effectiveness of SRSCC’s administrative processes. In her free time, Lucy enjoys watching musicals and running. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, and loves going hiking from her caravan in the Yorkshire Dales.
Tom Himsworth

Tom Himsworth

Administrative Assistant

Tom graduated from Edgehill University in 2015 with a degree in Creative Writing. After Tom’s journey through university, he worked extensively within the Healthcare sector in mostly administrative roles. It was here that he found his natural organized and observant manner was best suited as it allowed him to understand how each work environment operated, and where processes, customer service and communication could be improved for the benefit of everyone. Throughout his working life, Tom has gained experience with varying mental health conditions and is passionate about advocating the importance of mental health support and well-being. He is currently looking into various volunteer schemes to help champion mental health awareness. Along with this, Tom is an avid writer and is usually working on a story or two and is passionate about learning more about all forms of creative media.
Estelle Marsden

Estelle Marsden

Customer Support Coordinator

Estelle has completed apprenticeships in both Business Administration and Customer service. Her first Role after leaving school was a receptionist at a Podiatrist and that is where she found her passion for helping people and providing positive customer experiences. After 4 years she then moved into retail where her skills progressed further. Estelle has several years’ experience in a customer facing environment, which has led her to the role of Customer Support Coordinator here at SRSCC. Estelle is hoping to expand her expertise further and progress with SRSCC. Other than her passion for Customer Service. Estelle enjoys walking, Hiking, and exploring in her free time. She also enjoys going to the theatre and watching true crime. Estelle likes to spend most of her time with family and friends.

Emma Jackson

Course Progress Mentor

Emma joined SRSCC in 2019 on a freelance basis taking on a teaching and learning consultancy role. She has 20 years of experience in education as a qualified teacher, working in adult learning, secondary and primary school settings in the UK as well as abroad, namely Japan, Hungary, and France. 

More recently Emma has been teaching yoga, resilience, and mindfulness in primary schools to promote the physical and mental well-being of both pupils and staff.

Being multi-lingual and having a zeal for communication, cultural exchange and life-long learning Emma jumped at the opportunity to join the company as a Course Mentor. Building a good rapport with her learners, supporting them to overcome any challenges on their apprentice journey and facilitating them to fulfil their potential is her motivation.

Cumbrian born and bred in the Lake District, Emma enjoys the outdoors. When not relaxing in tree pose, she is most at home trail running in the hills with her husband and dog. Having clocked up 4 marathons to date, the application of her long-distance running mindset of perseverance, determination, discipline and patience is key to supporting her learners in their studies.

SRSCC Staff Images Ashlee Scribbins

Ashlee Scribbins

Office Administrator

Ashlee has joined the SRSCC team as an Office Administrator, and with a level 2 and 3 in Business Administration, she fits right in!

Ashlee has a wide range of experience from working as a Legal Secretary for the Royal Air Force to managing a team. Ashlee is eager to use her customer service and business administration skills for her new role at SRSCC.

SRSCC Staff Images Declan Hemingway

Declan Hemingway

Business Development Account Manager


Declan recently graduated University studying BSc Business and Management with Marketing achieving a 2:1 and was looking for a role in Business Development to put his knowledge and education to the test.

He has a strong desire to grow the SRSCC brand and customer base. Working alongside our Business Development and Relationship Manager; he looks to strengthen both our Commercial and Apprenticeship learner portfolio by liaising with potential and existing learners through building customer relationships and understanding their requirements.