In this new career series presented by Thread Hunters, Munro Footwear Group product development manager Amanda Sharp reveals the key pillars to building a resilient team.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start 25 years ago working in reception and administration at Top End Shoes, when the company still manufactured their shoes locally.
This gave me a unique level of exposure to the footwear production process, and I seized this opportunity to learn as much as I could.
I experienced a lot of personal and professional growth at Top End, moving from the position of purchasing officer to production coordinator.
What does your day-to-day look like?
No two days are the same in our department!
I could be doing any mix of scheduling or liaising with overseas suppliers, solving unexpected issues, processing samples with my team or collaborating with other departments.
There is a huge amount of cross-collaboration at MFG, and I believe that this is key to our success.
What is one piece of business advice you’ve been given that sticks with you today?
"Nothing is beneath you," was a piece of advice I was given early in my career, and this attitude still underpins everything I do.
Being willing to jump in and do whatever is required to get the job done builds trust, integrity, and a sense of teamwork with those you work with.
What are the challenges in your role and how do you overcome them?
Working remotely was initially a challenge in 2020.
By nature of our roles the team is quite collaborative, so being apart physically was an adjustment for us.
We overcame this by being open and transparent with our challenges and frustrations and being there for one another through formal or informal check ins.
I can firmly say that as a team we are stronger than ever, and I look forward to building on these relationships further.
What project stands out as a highlight in your career?
Developing a system to centralise the sampling process was a huge highlight for me, as it meant not only the execution of a large-scale project, but it gave me exposure to negotiating with multiple departments and stakeholders to get it off the ground.
It was so rewarding to improve the way we work, but also come together as a team in the process.
What were the biggest challenges in the early days of your career?
Starting out, as it was a new industry for me, there was so much to learn.
I took the opportunity to study and learn from the many ‘old timers’, not just in administration, but the whole process of shoe manufacturing and sales.