Commercial Manager

Sophia

Our Commercial Managers lead and manage a commercial team to ensure that the appropriate levels of commercial analysis and evaluation are applied with consistency. They take responsibility to ensure that the business is provided with accurate and timely financial reports and forecasts, and develop business processes and disciplines that ensures the ongoing integrity, accuracy and validity of all financial information. 

Commercial Manager graphic

What is a typical day for you?

A typical day involves: reviewing business cases aimed at optimising the business, initiating business improvements, providing leadership and support to the commercial team who analyse data for the purpose of solving business issues, discussing business and commercial issues with colleagues to collaborate for the best business outcome, reviewing reports such as monthly financial results and profit forecasting information, considering capital expenditure authorisations and drafting board reports.

Describe your experience and what brought you to where you are now?

I studied a Bachelor of Business Science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa before working in investment banking as a Project Finance analyst assessing debt investments in the telecommunications sector in Africa. I migrated to Australia in 2006 and worked in consulting before joining Wesfarmers Limited in business development. I also gained experience in the investor relations and corporate planning part of the business before joining CSBP. My current role is Commercial Manager of the Fertilisers business.

What are the challenges you face in your role?

One of the challenges I face is balancing my work commitments with a young family. The business offers me flexible working arrangements to support this, which I value. A further challenge is innovating and improving in a mature industry.

How would you describe the culture at CSBP?

The culture is open and friendly and people work together for the best business outcome.  

What would you describe CSBP’s commitment to providing flexibility in your role? 

The business is supportive of working from home and part time arrangements, where practical. Ultimately, it is about ensuring the business needs are met and each person continues to add value.

How have you progressed in the company? Describe the journey you've had. 

I began my career as an Analyst in Wesfarmers Limited's business development where I gained experience in financial modelling, research and due diligence. I then joined the investor relations’ and corporate planning team where I was involved in communication with investors and group corporate planning. Most recently, I joined CSBP in the fertilisers business where we service thousands of customers and sell around 1 million tonnes of fertiliser to customers in Western Australia. Each of these roles has been functionally different and has allowed me to develop new skills and be presented with new challenges.

What do you believe has been instrumental to your success at CSBP? 

Continuing to challenge the way we do things to improve the business, which has been enabled by support from colleagues, personal drive and a culture of continuous improvement.  

What advice would you give to someone who may just be starting out in their career?

Do the best you can in your current role whilst continuing to invest in your hard skills, studying further, if there is the possibility. Seek out opportunities to extend yourself and broaden your experience.


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