CLIMB­ING THE COR­PO­RATE LAD­DER

The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - MAKING MOVES - BY KAYRA WIL­LIAMS

Shanelle Mc. Vane-Ful­gence has quite the suc­cess story to tell, and it has ev­ery­thing to do with per­sis­tence, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and never giv­ing up. Six­teen years ago she started work­ing with Ren­wick & Com­pany Lim­ited, one of Saint Lu­cia’s best-known dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies. At the time, she held the post of re­cep­tion­ist, hav­ing moved on from a sales-re­lated post at Colom­bian Emer­alds. Fast for­ward five dif­fer­ent pro­mo­tions at Ren­wick, she’s now the com­pany’s Sales and Mar­ket­ing Man­ager with re­spon­si­bil­ity for six busi­ness units as well as the pro­cure­ment, mer­chan­dis­ing and pro­mo­tions, and mar­ket­ing de­part­ments. For the pur­poses of this fea­ture, Shanelle shared with us her jour­ney of change, op­por­tu­nity and un­ceas­ing growth, un­der the um­brella of one of the most pro­lific dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies on is­land.

CAN YOU TELL US A LIT­TLE ABOUT REN­WICK’S HIS­TORY? WHAT ARE ITS MAIN PROD­UCTS AND SER­VICES TO­DAY?

SHANELLE: Ren­wick & Com­pany Lim­ited, a lead­ing dis­trib­u­tor of a wide ar­ray of prod­ucts, was founded 51 years ago by the late Christo­pher Ren­wick. Ren­wick & Com­pany is one of the ma­jor dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies serv­ing the Saint Lu­cian market, rep­re­sent­ing over 100 sup­pli­ers of prod­ucts all over the world. We em­ploy roughly 110 team mem­bers, are heav­ily rooted in the com­mu­nity and en­deav­our to con­sis­tently pro­vide ex­em­plary cus­tomer ser­vice to foster long-term re­la­tion­ships with clients. Our of­fer­ings in­clude con­sumer gro­cery goods, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, con­struc­tion and build­ing ma­te­rial, of­fice fur­ni­ture, sta­tionery, agri­cul­tural in­puts, snacks and liquor, and it is still ex­pand­ing.

HOW DID YOUR CA­REER WITH REN­WICK BE­GIN?

SHANELLE: I started at Ren­wick & Com­pany as the re­cep­tion­ist back in 2001. Prior to be­com­ing em­ployed with Ren­wick & Com­pany, I worked as a sales as­so­ciate at a jew­ellery fran­chise in Pointe Seraphine. I made a de­ci­sion to move in or­der to be­gin study­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. How­ever, hav­ing set foot at Ren­wick I made a de­ci­sion to pur­sue a ca­reer in mar­ket­ing in­stead. Ren­wick & Com­pany af­forded me the op­por­tu­nity to not only hone my own in­trin­sic ca­pa­bil­i­ties but also to grow along with the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

WHAT’S A TYP­I­CAL DAY LIKE IN THE OF­FICE FOR YOU?

SHANELLE: A typ­i­cal day of work at a com­pany our size is al­ways busy. There’s never a dull mo­ment at our of­fice and most cer­tainly each day af­fords a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence with new op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn and grow.

Ren­wick & Com­pany Lim­ited, a lead­ing dis­trib­u­tor of a wide ar­ray of prod­ucts, was founded 51 years ago by the late Christo­pher Ren­wick.

AS HEAD OF SALES AND MAR­KET­ING, WHAT TYPE OF TEAMS DO YOU MAN­AGE?

SHANELLE: I cur­rently over­see a body of 60 team mem­bers, in­clu­sive of Van Sales, Pro­cure­ment, Mer­chan­dis­ing & Pro­mo­tions, Mar­ket­ing & Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Cus­tomer Ser­vice, as well as the heads of our six brand di­vi­sions.

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM’S SALES STRAT­EGY FOR SAINT LU­CIA?

SHANELLE: Our team strives to be the best in the market, of­fer­ing ser­vice, de­liv­ery and over­all cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. We do have a strong so­cial con­science and we sup­port sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties of a non-profit na­ture year­round. Our fo­cus con­tin­ues to be build­ing a cul­ture of ex­cel­lence.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY RE­CENT SUC­CESS?

SHANELLE: Com­ple­tion of our busi­ness plan for fis­cal year 20172018. One would ask why this may be a suc­cess. It’s a suc­cess when it’s done for the very first time; af­ter that it be­comes a walk in the park.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CHAL­LENGES?

SHANELLE: Prior to this cur­rent role I man­aged one of the largest busi­ness units in the com­pany. I would have to say that what I found most chal­leng­ing was the tran­si­tion from man­ag­ing a sin­gle busi­ness unit to now as­sist­ing with man­age­ment of the en­tire com­pany at the ex­ec­u­tive level.

IN RE­CENT YEARS, WHAT IS THE MOST IM­POR­TANT EVO­LU­TION IN SAINT LU­CIAN CON­SUMER BE­HAV­IOUR?

SHANELLE: The in­flux of e-com­merce. Many of our cus­tomers are or­der­ing prod­ucts di­rectly from all over the world. To adapt to this change we have in­cluded some val­ueadded ser­vices to our of­fer­ing and we con­tinue to be ex­tremely vig­i­lant in our quest to shop the globe for the prod­ucts that our cus­tomers want.

HOW IS REN­WICK AP­PROACH­ING THESE NEW OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES?

SHANELLE: Ren­wick & Com­pany has al­ways prided it­self on its adapt­abil­ity to global tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions and we are par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about the emer­gence of e-com­merce on the lo­cal market. We are cur­rently in the plan­ning stages of ac­quir­ing this new av­enue for reach­ing our cus­tomers.

IF THERE WERE ONE THING YOU COULD CHANGE ABOUT DO­ING BUSI­NESS IN SAINT LU­CIA, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

SHANELLE: Con­duct­ing busi­ness in Saint Lu­cia un­doubt­edly has its share of chal­lenges, as well as gain­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties. If there were one thing that I could change about do­ing busi­ness in Saint Lu­cia, it would be to re­visit some of the bu­reau­cratic re­stric­tions placed on im­por­ta­tion.

WHAT’S ON THE HORI­ZON FOR THE RUN UP TO 2018?

SHANELLE: What would any suc­cess story be with­out a goal? We be­gan a trans­for­ma­tion and restruc­tur­ing exercise in 2016 with a three-year plan. Our goal is to see the com­ple­tion of this plan in 2018. We con­tinue to labour each year in the hope of achiev­ing this ma­jor mile­stone.

ARE YOU OP­TI­MISTIC ABOUT THE ECO­NOMIC OUT­LOOK FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?

SHANELLE: The plan­ning process of Ren­wick & Com­pany’s Sales and Mar­ket­ing team en­tails an in-depth ap­proach to market re­search and eco­nomic trends as well as con­tin­gency pre­pared­ness mea­sures. We have seen some good trac­tion in some sec­tors and, as such, we re­main op­ti­mistic about the eco­nomic out­look, not just for the rest of the year but well into the com­ing year.

From sec­re­tary to ex­ec­u­tive, Shanelle Mc. Vane-Ful­gence has risen to be­come Ren­wick & Com­pany’s Sales and Mar­ket­ing Man­ager

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