An insiders view...

Ross Chapman

Ross Chapman,
Assistant Wood Purchasing Manager

Highest level of education: Higher National Diploma in Business and Management

Since 2003 at EGGER:

  • Material Control Assistant (2003 - 2004)
  • Material Planner (2004 - 2007)
  • Wood Buying Administrator (2007- 2009)
  • Wood Buying Administration Supervisor (2009 – 2012)
  • Wood Buying Administration & Roundwood Controller (2012 – 2014)
  • Assistant Wood Purchasing Manager (since 2014)

Programme for skilled workers:

  • Trainee programme for wood buyers

Please describe your educational and employment background, including the different roles you have held at EGGER?

I studied a Business and Management Higher National Diploma at Newcastle College, prior to joining EGGER in 2003 as a Material Control Assistant.

I had heard about the vacancy through word of mouth as I lived in Hexham at the time and knew a number of people who worked for and highly recommended the Company. I spent my first year learning about EGGER and the Production Planning department, before developing into a Material Planner.

I really enjoyed my time in Production Planning; however in 2007 I started to look for a change, but I knew that I wanted to stay with EGGER and therefore applied for the Wood Buying Administration role. This was a big change and meant learning a whole new function within EGGER, however I was very happy with the decision, as I was able to progress within the department to become the Wood Buying Administration Supervisor in 2009. This was my first supervisory/leadership role and brought again more challenges and variety to my work.

I have recently become the Assistant Wood Purchasing Manager, which is more responsibility within the department. I also began studying towards my Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply qualification in October 2014, which is an investment that EGGER is making in my development.

What are your main responsibilities within your current position?

I currently hold a dual role. On one side, I assist in the development of strategy for the procurement of wood for both Hexham and Barony Plants, ensuring that enough wood is brought in to feed their high demand. This also includes getting involved in contract negotiations with suppliers, to ensure that EGGER gets the right quality for the right price.

On the other side of my role, I am responsible for the administration and SAP systems that help support this work by managing a team of administrators.

What skills/competencies do you see as most important for your role?

Demonstrating current market awareness by keeping an eye on what is happening around EGGER is of great importance in my role. You also need to have good interpersonal skills with an ability to talk to different people, as I spend a lot of my time meeting new people with all different backgrounds, many of which are experts in their field. Organisation and time management skills are vital as the dual role requires that you prioritise the demands on your time well. Finally you must also have a good understanding of economics and maths, alongside strong IT skills.

What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the variety in my work. I can spend the day in the office organising the administration surrounding the work I have been doing or I can be on the phone to suppliers negotiating rates. I also split my time between Hexham and Barony, so getting out and about, meeting new people, helps to keep my role interesting. However one aspect that I really like about my role is the team that I am part of: we are close-knit and get along really well, which means that I enjoy my job more.

What are the key challenges in your role?

Fulfilling the wood requirements of both plants whilst ensuring that we stay within our budgets, alongside dealing with the changing external market, are definitely the largest challenges that I face on a day to day basis.

With the many different aspects in my role, being able to efficiently manage my time to ensure that I meet these requirements can prove difficult at times; however I have a great team to support me.

Why did you choose EGGER as an employer?

I am from Hexham and within our local area EGGER has a great reputation for being a secure, fair employer and it was this reputation which first attracted me to the Company. Following research into the organisation I was impressed by their commitment to employees and the position that they held within their market.

What do you think makes EGGER a good employer?

The fact that EGGER is a family owned organisation shines through when you work at the Company. Their commitment to developing their staff, alongside the investment they make to ensure that we are producing the highest quality products, is very important and makes you feel as though you are part of something and not just another employee.

Whilst I have been at EGGER I have been able to develop key skills and gain further qualifications. Recently I took part in the Wood Purchasing Training Programme, which is a training programme which allowed me to travel to different sites all over the Group and meeting other EGGER employees. Whilst on this programme I visited sites in Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and Austria, spending up to a month shadowing a colleague, helping to gain a better understanding of how Wood Purchasing works throughout the Group, I was able to get ideas from them and also share some of my experience.

I have found that EGGER offers you plenty of opportunities to develop your career.

How have EGGER helped your personal development? What skills do you have now that you did not before?

The Wood Purchasing Training Programme has contributed hugely to my working knowledge and getting a clearer understanding of the function that I work in. I have also been given the opportunity to attend a number of training courses which have developed my interpersonal skills, such as Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management (Institute of Leadership and Management). I am also currently working towards a Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) qualification, which EGGER is funding.

How would you describe your experience at EGGER?

I have had an extremely positive experience at EGGER, any goals and aspirations I had when I started with the Company have been exceeded.

When I came to EGGER I had no idea what I really wanted from an occupation, however EGGER have helped me to develop and build my career.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I look forward to settling into my role, facing the opportunities and challenges this will bring. I plan to continue my career at EGGER, with their philosophy and commitment to developing employees; both on a personal and professional level, has built and ensured my loyalty to the Company. I want to give back to EGGER after all the opportunities they have given me.