Our People – Blair Hutchison, Regional Operations Manager – Carrs Billington

The Billington Group would not be where it is without its amazing teams. In this ‘Our People’ series, we share a bit more about the diverse roles across our businesses and provide some insight into what makes Billington employees tick!

Name: Blair Hutchison

Job title: Regional Operations Manager

How long have you been with Billington Group? Please tell us a bit about your journey within the Group and how you got to where you are today: 

I have been with Billington since the 1st of November 2022 when the Billington Group became the sole owner of Carrs Billington, however I have been with Carrs Billington since January 2022. I joined the business as a Regional Operations Manager covering stores in the North East of England and before that I worked at Aldi.

Describe a typical day in your role: 

The good part about my role is no two days are the same, it can range from meetings about sales events in store, to reviewing the stock in the branch and having conversations with my branch managers around future branch plans. It’s such a varied role and that’s why I enjoy it.

What’s the best part of your job?: 

The people, having conversations with people and understanding what makes them tick is something I love about this role.

What are the biggest challenges you face when working as a regional ops manager?

Trying to balance everything; in operations is you have an ever growing list of things to do and making sure you can balance these effectively is one of the biggest challenges

Can you tell us about something you’ve enjoyed working on recently?

We are just putting together some Standard Operating Procedures for branches which I have been involved in. This has been something that has been very exciting and hopefully means branches have a bit of a cheat sheet on how to do everything they need to do in their day to day jobs.   

What makes the agriculture sector exciting to work in? 

I’ve only been in the sector for a few months but the thing that has excited me are the amazing people working in it, from our customers and colleagues, even our competitors! If I have a question about anything, people are more than happy to spend time with you and explain something to you. 

What three key skills would you say you need when working as a regional ops manager?

  1. Being able to prioritise
  2. Being able to understand and communicate effectively with your team
  3. Being able to anticipate problems before they occur

What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in a role like yours?

Ask questions, the best piece of advice ever given to me was to ask questions about everything. People are willing to help and offer advice even if it seems like a silly question. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, everyone makes them it’s how you react to them that defines how big a mistake it is.

What makes The Billington Group stand out as a great place to work?

From the short time I have been part of the group it’s been great to see how many fantastic people work in it, who are more than willing to lend a helping hand if needed. 

Now a bit more about you….

Coffee or tea? Coffee

What’s your favourite guilty pleasure food? Cheese

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home? Fajitas

Favourite weird food combinations? We love salt and vinegar crisps and chocolate, or the famous/infamous McDonald’s fries dipped in a milkshake. 

I love mayonnaise on anything

What do you get up to outside of work? From hobbies to commitments like being a member of a sports team, we’d love to hear about it! 

I have been trying to play for my local rugby team unfortunately I am perpetually injured so have not yet managed to step on the field!