Graduates Blog

Hello from Aarhus!

My name is Jacqui Hankin and this is the first blog post from my side, writing to you today from Kruså dairy – this is a white cheese dairy, where they make products such as the Apetina feta cheese cubes. I would like to share with you my experience so far, after nearly three months into my second rotation, working in Supply Chain Excellence in our Danish headquarters.


Published: July 24, 2017 by Jacqui Hankin

Before this rotation, I was working in marketing in the BSM (Butters, Spreads and Margarine) Category in our MENA regional office in Dubai, and so I can definitely say that I am living the change in my new role and location, and readjusting to life in a somewhat cooler climate ;-).

What is it like to work in Supply Chain Excellence?
One of the best parts of the F15® programme is how diverse the roles can be. In my first rotation, I was focused directly on the consumer, looking at trends and how best to meet consumer needs. Now the focus is, we need to make a product to meet those needs: How will it be made, where will it be made, what will it cost, how difficult will it be for us to make it, will demand be big enough to justify the cost, how quickly can we do it?


The new role therefore, looks in both directions, I am in contact with the Category (marketing), Innovation, Product Management (the direct link between a dairy and the markets), and our Arla Supply Chain colleagues in headquarters, as well as the people working in the dairies. Today, for example, I have driven to Kruså dairy to better understand production and where complexities could lie. Probably one of the best parts of the role is going to visit dairies and meeting the people responsible for adding value to the raw milk. Cheesy as it may sound (see what I did there 😉 ), it’s inspiring to see the passion and knowledge with which workers in our dairies talk about their products and you always end up taking a sample home with you (my fridge is full of cheese).

From my experience so far, I would say that Supply Chain Excellence has two different focuses to it. One of those is reducing complexity in our current supply chain and improving upon what we already have. The other is a forward looking and strategic role which looks at where should our sites be, what are our current competencies and how can we bring supply chain up to speed with the latest technologies. We are not only optimisers but forward looking strategists. I have been promised to be fully immersed in digital by the end of the rotation and to help me along my way have been given 2 projects focusing on it (one looking into data analytics, and visualising data, and the other looking into robotics within dairies). This is seriously interesting stuff and it is far away from my business background, so there is a lot to learn.

And the team?
There is a great atmosphere throughout HQ but I do feel lucky to have joined the Supply Chain Excellence team. There has been a big focus on working together. This is demonstrated nicely below, a photo from our recent Supply Chain Excellence Summit held in Aarhus in June. Here we worked in the teams spanning Supply Chain Excellence (Structure and Development, Capex Management and Office, Packaging Optimisation, and Lean & Efficiency) and were tasked with filming a video on how excellence in Supply Chain should look in 2020 (and the prize… even more cheese!). Some of us were also lucky enough to go and learn to make hot dogs from scratch (Danish style) for dinner.


What is it like living in Aarhus?

Finally, I thought I would share a little snippet of my time living in Aarhus. If you like sports, then there is nothing that you cannot do here. I first arrived in May, which was cycle to work month in Denmark, and I have kept this up and am cycling (nearly every day) to the office. There was a half marathon in Aarhus in June which I also participated in, this was a great way to get to know the city because the course took you all around the main sites. I have now signed up with a colleague to the “Tour De Femme” which is a 100km bike race in September, so I am really looking forward to that. Finally, I recently also found out that there is a group of roller-skaters roaming the streets of Copenhagen once a fortnight or so, so I will be checking this out one weekend!

That is all for now. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the post 🙂

I will leave you with a picture of me on my bike.

Jacquelyn Hankin

 F15® 2016 Team
Periode: 2016
Location: Dubai/Aarhus
Department: 1st Rotation: Business Development, Dubai
                           2nd Rotation: Supply Chain, Aarhus, Denmark