Sheena began her Arla career as trade marketing lead at our distributor in the Philippines. She was later asked to help build Arla Philippines, first with her marketing expertise, and then as Head of Logistics and Operations.
For many years, Sheena has enjoyed playing of the strategic computer game Defense of the Ancients (DotA). In fact, she named her daughter after one of her favourite characters in the game. Today, Sheena lives with her 2-year-old daughter and her husband in Sucat Parañaque, one kilometre from Arla’s warehouse in the Philippines.
Everything was a first
In 2014, Arla Philippines was 100% run by a distributor, from importation to sales, and Sheena was working for the distributor as a Trade Marketing Executive.
“Together with the Retail and Foodservice sales managers, I was asked if I wanted to build Arla’s business in the Philippines. During the next two years, we set up our processes and partnered with three different distributors to handle our three sales channels: Retail Chilled (chilled cheeses and butter), Retail Ambient (cheesy spread and UHT milk) and Foodservice,” Sheena says.
Arla Philippines was established in 2016 and started growing in 2018 from six to 15 employees, including sales and marketing people dedicated to Arla Foods.
“Since everything was a first to us, we were very entrepreneurial. The best part was meeting a lot of people with the same energy. It was a lot of fun; we had many opportunities and learnings, and we were willing to take it all in. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way but knowing you have great people around you – that keeps you going,” she says.
From Marketing to Supply Chain
In 2019, Sheena got the chance to move into the Supply Chain organisation of Arla Philippines and become Head of Logistics and Operations.
“I hesitated at first as I didn’t have solid experience in Supply Chain. But my manager at the time told me it’s not just about experience – it's about having the right attitude and potential,” Sheena says.
“I was incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I had some knowledge about sales and the operational side of the business with my experience from the distribution company. As a brand handler, I worked end-to-end from demand and supply planning, not just in sales and marketing. I knew my product returns, bad order rates, and discounts, for example, by heart,” Sheena explains and continues:
“However, supply Chain is a lot busier and there is more trouble shooting and multilevel coordination. It's also more process-driven, where marketing is more of out-of-the-box thinking. You need to execute, be more agile, and choose speed over perfection in Supply chain.”
It’s all about people and processes
As Head of Logistics and Operations, at least half of Sheena’s workday involves people coordination both externally and internally.
“We are nine team members in Supply chain who are all Arla employees, plus 18 dedicated partners in warehouse and transport. We also work with reliable suppliers, such as Mærsk and DSV Logistics, who have helped us develop Arla’s logistics solution,” she explains.
“The other 50% of my time is spent on processes improvements and planning operations based on our sales forecast. I meet weekly with our internal salespeople and have monthly reviews with all our business partners to discuss what the business is looking like and how we can take it further.”