15 minutes with… Armando Noales
Congratulations to Armando Noales who has been promoted to Buyer, working head-to-head with JJ’s Chief Products Officer.
- Age: 33
- Hobbies: Triathlon, Cooking, beach volley
- Favourite place to eat: Balthazar
- Best song: Empire of the Sun – We are the People,
- Favourite film: Invictus
Armando joined JJ three years ago in the purchasing department where he rapidly expanded the fresh fruits, vegetables and poultry categories. He carefully procured wider ranges of products to improve choice and quality for customers, while growing overall category sales for the business.
In his new role, Armando will keep a close eye on commodity prices and market trends. “As a buyer you need to be constantly on the ball. Having the right information at the right time is key – I look forward to taking on the challenge.”
How long have you been working at JJ?
Nearly three years – I started out in purchasing as a Category Analyst for fresh fruits and vegetables.
How did you achieve your promotion?
I worked hard to grow category sales by bringing in new product ranges, sourcing carefully from manufacturers maintaining quality and competitive prices.
What advice would you give to other aspiring managers?
At JJ Food Service we have lots of opportunities to learn, develop and progress within the business. There is a great career path for anyone who is passionate about the food industry and who has the right attitude.
For a role in buying, it’s important to have strong negotiating skills, which will help you create good deals. Decision-making ability is required to use the information we have gather to make informed decisions on behalf of the company. Analytical skills are also crucial – as we are working with multiple vendors to determine the best deals and will have to evaluate the various pros and cons of each, based on price, quality, speed of delivery and other factors. Hard work and passion is fundamental.
What new responsibilities will you be taking on?
We are negotiating and making deals on a daily basis to buy products for the company and to determinate what products go on promotions in catalogues and online. I will need to constantly cope with new challenges and come up with exciting new deals. Meanwhile maintaining good relationships with our suppliers and making them aware of JJ’s exciting growth plans. Acquiring two wholesalers and opening three new branches in the past year presents excellent growth opportunities for suppliers working with us.
What are you looking forward to the most?
You never stop learning in this job and I look forward to continuing to learn and develop in my new role. As a buyer you need to be able to almost predict the future and show you can make decisions, cope with new challenges and come up with exciting deals, we have to keep an eye on the economy, exchange rates and commodity prices – even petrol. Everything can affect our business. Take sugar prices, if they increase, soft drink prices are likely to increase, too. We have to keep our eyes and ears open all the time – it’s not a job for the faint hearted!
What are you most nervous about?
I’m not nervous – I’m confident that by working hard and building a good buying criteria based on your background, I will be able to achieve my personal goals as well as hit wider company targets.