What does a Supply Chain Manager do?
Miriam Fiquet has worked as a Supply Chain Manager at Vapiano for four years now. In our interview she told us all about what the role involves and what a typical day looks like.
Hello Miriam! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. You work as a Supply Chain Manager at Vapiano. What does that entail?
In simple terms, supply chain management is the procurement of everything we need in our Vapiano restaurants. Whether that’s cutlery, new wines, durum wheat to make our pasta or seasonal goods like asparagus, fresh berries or chanterelle mushrooms – somebody has to buy it. And that somebody is me! Vegetables are a good example to illustrate the process. From freshly picked crops to the plates they land on – I buy everything along the chain. The whole process requires organisation, coordination, negotiation and administration. I negotiate prices, manage the project, select products and inspect producers. Rigorous testing is another part of my job. Whether foodstuffs, dishes or drinks, we never launch new products without them being sampled by our team first. And any new equipment or consumables are thoroughly tested before being trialled in selected Vapiano restaurants.
I’m also involved in innovations and work closely with the product development and marketing teams. Plus I’m also the first port of call for any issues regarding the products I’ve purchased.
What did you do before you started working at Vapiano?
I’ve always been in the same industry. For a long time I worked for a company dedicated to supplying high-end foods for exclusive restaurants. I was responsible for buying fresh fish and seafood. I learnt everything from scratch. I started with an apprenticeship in wholesale and export, and eventually progressed to specialising in purchasing and logistics.
And what brought you to Vapiano?
After a number of years in my old company I was ready for a change. I only sent off a single application though – to Vapiano. I just knew the position would be perfect for me.
And it was! What’s the best part of your job?
The diversity! My desk is an interface between lots of different areas. I work with colleagues in marketing, operations and product development. I also engage in a constant dialogue with our Vapiano restaurant managers, both in Germany and on an international level. Our supply chain management is based in Bonn but we supply restaurants in the Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom too.
What’s the farthest you’ve travelled for work?
I mostly work in Europe so I’ve been to Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. My longest trip was to Vietnam, where I visited a number of producers to gain an insight into their work and ensure a long-term supply of goods.
Is there a typical day in supply chain management?
Not really, every day is different. The role has so many aspects to it. My biggest challenge is to stay organised and prioritise what needs tackling next.
Do you have a favourite Vapiano restaurant that keeps you coming back for more?
My favourite branch in Germany is in Fürth. It was our first purpose built restaurant. The beautifully designed “Bottega” means our customers can take our fresh products and ingredients home and prepare them there. There’s also a dedicated take away area. It’s a very special restaurant for me.
What’s your favourite Vapiano dish?
Ooh, tough question! Gambaretti e Spinaci is definitely up there with the best. But I’m also partial to a portion of Pomodoro.
What do you get up to when you’re not working?
I love travelling. My family are originally from France so there’s always somewhere to go “home” to. I enjoy cooking as well.
Sounds like you made a career out of your hobby! Thanks so much for chatting to us about supply chain management today, Miriam!