Alan Douglas, Sales Excellence Team Leader (Ruminants UK)

Tell us a little bit about your background? What has your career looked like so far?

I grew up just outside Glasgow in an industrial area, and while I’ve always liked the countryside and farming, I didn’t have many ties to it. After spending a holiday with my parents on a working farm, and spending time with the couple who ran the farm, I knew agriculture was where I wanted to be. I then spent most of my weekends and school holidays travelling down to work on their farm, before going to SAC (now SRUC) to study rural business management.

I started working for ForFarmers in June 2015, joining the co-products trading team where I was responsible for the trading of brewers' grains and draff in northwest England and Scotland. After a few years, I moved into the role of CRM key user for the north and then to my current role of Sales Excellence Team Leader.

What does your role involve?

Lots of spreadsheets! I take the data we already have from various sources and turn it into something that the sales teams can find useful. When ForFarmers first brought in the new CRM system, I became interested in the data and insights we could gain from it. In the end, I became a bit of a champion for the system and so it eventually became my full-time role.

As well as our ad-hoc reports we have regular monthly responsibilities and I also spend quite a lot of time thinking about future challenges and exploring solutions using the data we have.

What do you like about your role?

I really enjoy being able to help my colleagues out and I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that I’ve helped them out with a problem. I love the challenge that comes with the role – I get bored of repetitive tasks quickly so having lots of variety really suits me.

What do you like about working at ForFarmers?

The people are fantastic and really make the job for me. Working with committed and engaged colleagues who you can also have a laugh with is really important and is something I get in abundance at ForFarmers.

ForFarmers has also been very supportive in letting me explore different opportunities and in helping me find a role that suits my interests.

What do you do in your spare time?

Afbeelding: Alan Douglas -Goddaughter out about
Alan & his Goddaughter

I really enjoy spending time out in the countryside with friends and family. My five year old goddaughter means there is never a dull moment! One of my friends is a grouse keeper so I spend a lot of time up on the moors in Cumbria helping him out and getting things ready for the season.

The Great Yorkshire Show also holds a special place in my heart and I always take a week off to go. I first went to the show in 2005 and it was one of the things that ignited my love for agriculture. Ever since then I’ve tried to go back every year to catch up with the friends I have made there over the years.

Alan Douglas - Whernside square
Alan at the top of Whernside
Alan on the grouse moors
Helping out on the grouse moors