Daniel Muir of Supply Chain Scotland talks about his advice and resource consultancy, which supports businesses to deliver projects or goods and services to their customers.
How and why did you start in business?
I’ve gained a lot of great experience across manufacturing businesses in my career to date, and I’m enthusiastic about the idea of bringing the skills and knowledge I have developed to help smaller companies deal with their supply chain challenges.
How did you get where you are today?
I studied engineering at the University of Strathclyde and my first job after graduating was as a continuous improvement engineer at Polaroid in Dumbarton.
I moved from there to Highland Spring to work on the business software side of a knowledge transfer partnership programme.
After that I moved into IT at Highland Spring and that is where I really started my supply chain journey.
After 14 years at Highland Spring, I was ready for a change of scene and the opportunity came up to join Macphie of Glenbervie as head of supply chain.
I left there earlier this year and decided to launch my own venture and focus on helping other businesses.
Who has helped you along the way?
In my early career I was lucky to have very supportive managers, and also university mentors.
Later, I always had good relationships with the directors I worked for and felt respected and valued.
More recently since starting my own business I’ve received really helpful support from community-based enterprise support organisation GrowBiz. I signed up to some of their webinars, attended a drop-in session and have had one-to-one support from experienced enterprise facilitators. Throughout it all, I’ve had great support from family.
What was your biggest mistake?
A couple of times during big projects I have found myself being sucked right into the detail, which at the time seemed necessary in order to complete the project but proved to be detrimental to my career progression.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
In career terms, probably leading a team to set up the European supply chain for Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough and successfully balancing supply and demand through some very volatile times.
Hopes for the future?
I want to establish Supply Chain Scotland as a trusted provider delivering projects large and small that really help solve problems, improve operations and profitability and facilitate growth for its clients.
Beyond that, I’ve got some ideas about extending in a few other directions.
Do you want to recruit in the future?
I’d like to grow the business to the point where I need to recruit a team, yes.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Just now, I think it’s prioritising activity.
There are so many things to work on and different ways of spending the available time.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Be sure about your proposition and make sure it’s something you care about.