Tom Brennan

Summary

An experienced financial professional, who has operated in a variety of senior management roles in Ireland and internationally. Tom has worked in a variety of industries from earthmoving equipment, FMCG’s to greeting cards.

Always willing to take on new challenges in the business environment. Took on major initiatives in the area of Business Excellence and was deeply involved in the Irish Centre for Business Excellence, implementing reporting structures around the European Foundation for Quality Management model.

In addition, Tom has accumulated 20 years+ in Procurement and Supply Chain Management, mainly in the FMCG, Foodservice sectors, and specifically food & consumables in the travel sector (e.g. Airlines), delivering significant savings for clients. Over the years Tom has added manufacturing, supply chain management, marketing and selling to his skill set, and achieved significant market share growth, particularly the highly competitive tea and coffee markets.

An experienced Finance Director Tom Brennan has worked in the SME sector throughout his career. Involved in start-ups and turnaround situations.

He has introduced management reporting, budgeting and forecasting systems. Is well acquainted with rigorous international reporting requirements of multi-nationals, having worked with US based multinationals General Foods, Caterpillar and Hallmark Cards.


Experience

Tom first worked with Alfred Bird & Sons (a General Foods subsidiary at the time). He then qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant. For a new challenge, Tom emigrated to Zambia when an opportunity arose with the Caterpillar Dealership there. He completed two successful contracts before returning to Ireland for family reasons.

His first job on return was with a motor spare parts business and after two years an opportunity arose to join an ex-colleague in the FMCG sector as Finance Director. After a short period, he became Managing Director of the business and successfully turned the business around, leading it for a further 7 years.

Tom later joined the Campbell Bewley Group as Managing Director of its tea and coffee operations, achieving significant market share growth in tea and coffee. He moved into procurement within the Group with responsibility for a spend of €100m. At the time, Campbell Catering Ltd was part of the Group and the largest contract caterer in Ireland, within excess of 300 contracts in education, industry, commerce and hospital settings.

The Group acquired four contract catering companies in the UK as part of its growth strategy. To realise the synergies from these acquisitions, Tom consolidated the supply base into one, delivering significant savings in the process. In 2008, he set-up Prestige Purchasing (Ireland) Ltd and as it’s Managing Director, he has achieved significant savings for various clients operating mainly in the hospitality sector.

Over the course of his career, he has taken part and led:

  • Management Reporting: Developed management reporting systems over the years.
  • Business Turnaround: Improving product quality, expanding product range and taking more control of the Supply Chain.
  • Market Share Growth: By gaining listings in all major supermarkets gained major market share growth in the very competitive FMCG market. Supported by improved product quality, attractive packaging and promotional activity.
  • Business Excellence: Irish Centre for Business Excellence, developed structure for reporting quarterly on non-financial Corporate Objectives. Customers, Employees, Community, Environment and Profit.
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management: developed a one stop shop system to service 300+ outlets on a 3/5 times per week basis. Delivering large savings in the process.
  • International experience: Worked in Zambia for 5+ years with responsibility way beyond my experience and age at the time. Carried out project work in the United Kingdom, Japan, Colombia, Sacramento and Boston.

Case Study

Background

I was approached by a small restaurant company operating in the Dublin area. The company has been in existence for approximately 25 years and during that time had built sales up to €1.3m and had a relatively strong balance sheet with healthy reserves.

As a result of lockdown the company’s customers, tourists, office workers, shoppers and students disappeared over night. The company directors, a husband and wife team, requested a financial review and some assistance with a Business Plan, in an effort to plot a way out of Covid in March 2020. The company employs 10 full-time and 10 part-time employees.

Challenges

The initial issues identified were:
1. Continued viability post COVID.
2. Rent arrears and landlord relationship.
3. The management of tax arrears and trade creditors.

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