Anna Trump – an amazing career at Specsavers spanning 17 years –Anna started her career in retail HR and is now responsible for all our supply planning and operations.
Anna made the decision that university wasn’t for her and wanted to go straight into the world of work after A-levels. The opportunity at Specsavers came up back in 2004 where she started as an HR Officer but quickly moved into a HR Business Partnering role and this was one of the first critical moments in her career.
“The theme for me at Specsavers has been change and I’ve been fortunate to be given and to have taken the opportunities of new and different roles as the business and structure has evolved.’’
Through her 17 years at Specsavers Anna has worked on several different projects in HR from leading the set-up of our Nottingham office – Cirrus House to building our first ever graduate scheme which kick started Sarah Shahvandian’s (amongst others) career. She then got into true Business Partnering which was where her passion re-ignited:
“Business Partnering were the roles in HR that I enjoyed the most as it brought you closer to the front end of the business.”
Anna got her first taste of international business travel in 2007 when she was in a Senior HR Business Partner role for Northern Europe as we expanded our HR support into these territories. Whilst there were some local HR representatives in these countries, Anna’s role involved implementing group people practices such as the employee engagement survey, reward and policy changes and the development of managers and delivering training.
Working away from home has always been a big part of Anna’s career at Specsavers and through her various roles has travelled to most of the countries Specsavers operates in (with the exception of Spain and Canada) and has had the opportunity to visit manufacturing sites and external product suppliers too in Singapore, Hungary, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.
“Up until 18 months ago (!) I travelled quite a lot with Specsavers and that’s been really beneficial for my understanding of the business and the similarities and differences of each region and site. By speaking directly to Partners, site Directors and factory owners about their businesses and the challenges they face really quickly raises your awareness of what’s really going on what improvements and support is needed.”
After several different roles in HR and a couple of promotions along the way Anna became the Head of HR in Supply Chain which was another critical role in her career. Working in Supply Chain gave Anna exposure to the broader business, she visited our M&D sites and China factories giving her the opportunity to really see where our products were made. It was this role that created her passion and love for Supply Chain.
One day Anna was having a conversation with the Supply Chain Director about her career at Specsavers and it was this one conversation that led to Anna’s move into frames. Always up for the challenge and wanting to broaden her expertise Anna took the role of Head of Frame Operations and Supplier Development where she was responsible for Frames and Accessories Operations ensuring product ranges met global retail, regional and consumer needs and were delivered on time.
Working in an operational role allowed Anna to broaden her expertise even further and with additional stints in Contact Lenses and general Product Operations has recently been given the opportunity to set up a Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) function for Specsavers in the new role of Director of Sales and Operations Planning. Anna is now responsible for the Demand and Forecasting, Product Data and Product Operations teams in Supply Chain with the purpose of elevating the end-to-end planning of product demand and supply for the medium to long term and working even more closely with Supply Chain and country teams. It’s an opportunity that Anna is excited about.
“Setting up an S&OP process within Specsavers is an exciting new challenge and whilst we can learn a lot from how other companies ‘do’ S&OP the important thing is that it is right for Specavers and focuses on bringing the right people, data and insights together to make more informed decisions about product supply and demand that ultimately best serve our customers.”
As you can see Anna has had a wide and varied career at Specsavers which has been supported by a series of development interventions along the way. As well as learning on the job Anna has taken advantage of the learning opportunities available to her and has completed several courses supported by Specasvers such as Insights Discovery, executive coaching, negotiation training, leadership interventions and personal brand workshops as well as being supported by Specavers to compete a Masters in HR– all of this has helped Anna gain confidence in her style and given her the skills and expertise to take on new opportunities.
Putting herself out there, networking, taking the time to improve her understanding of the business and herself and just being passionate about what she does has allowed Anna to explore different opportunities within the business.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a great career so far with Specsavers and I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and those that I have pursued and also to those much wiser than me whom I have learned from along the way. Working hard, building great relationships and taking some risks has been key to my development at Specasvers and whilst not always easy – with long periods away from home and some setbacks in applying for roles I didn’t get or wasn’t ready for – all of the experiences I have had have led to me to where I am today and set me up for all that’s ahead!’
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