It’s all about people for the newly appointed Barossa Fresh Foodland business manager, Mr Dylan Murdoch.
The 38 year old father of two brings more than 22 years’ experience with Wesfarmers brands to the role he commenced on September 4 and is excited to be joining The Barossa Co-op team.
He said because the position was classed as a business leader and different to the “run-of-the-mill supermarkets in the corporate world” he’s been used to in his past roles, he was keen to “put his hat in the ring”.
Having been successful in his application, Dylan has hit the ground running and is already launching a plan based on “process, rhythm and routine” he says will ensure continuous improvement at the supermarket.
“I’m working on a five year strategy for the store,” explained Dylan.
“Year 1 is about getting back to basics – being process driven and having equipment that is going to support that.
“Years 2-3 are around improving the customer experience. Embedding our best practices and basics of retailing, then putting another layer in to really engage the customer and be customer-centric.
“Years 3-5 are about sustainability, continuous improvement, what the trends are and what we can do to evolve because if we stand still, things will go past us.”
Dylan is also not afraid of stretching the limits and generating enthusiasm to encourage his team to do the same.
“I talk about the Kaizen theory – about continuous improvement. As we continually improve, we will feel uncomfortable but that means we are going to grow together. I’m really encouraging the guys to not stay in their comfort zone – really break out. They’ll grow faster, they’ll learn more and be better leaders in the long term. That’s what I really want.”
Delivering an environment where people feel they can work their way through the ranks is high on Dylan’s comprehensive “to-do” list.
“I always talk about succession planning and one thing I found early on here is people didn’t feel like there was a succession plan,” Dylan said of his new Nuriootpa based role.
“So, I’ve really tried to embrace that. I want to help our team grow – there are opportunities. They don’t have to think oh, I’m going to be in groceries for the rest of my life and that’s it. I want the team to realise that. Let’s look at what skills you want to develop, I’m here to support that.”
It’s one of the “people” focussed aspects Dylan is eager to pursue and one he will no doubt achieve if his work on an award-winning Indigenous Project that delivered full time employment to more than 240 people is anything to go by.
“I’m here for the long term,” said Dylan.
“If I can match Ken Hodge’s 35 years, I’ll be super stoked! My hat still goes off to Ken for that. I’ve met him, he’s made time for me and he really made it simple and clean for me to come in. I’m grateful for that.”
Currently, Dylan has been commuting from his Mount Barker home every day. But he and partner, Kira together with their children Lilly, aged 4 and Elijah, aged 2 are planning to move into the region next year.
With Dylan being a keen social tennis player and Kira into netball, there’s no doubting they will easily fit into their new Barossa lifestyles.
In the meantime, Dylan is enjoying working with his Co-op store family, revealing that from this week, Barossa Fresh Foodland will be managed under a new system.
“The new store structure has me as business leader with four managers reporting to me,” said Dylan.
“Our customer experience manager, Sarah Cleland started last week. We have Maik Wegener, fresh foods manager, who will oversee the meat, bakery, deli, cheese, fruit and veg.
“Denice McPhee has been here for about 15 years and has a wealth of knowledge. Denice is our new inventories and systems manager and is also the 2IC of the store. Phil Corbally was grocery manager and is taking up the new role of ambient manager.
“From November 18, the whole team is in play so it’s exciting – watch this space!”