Careers in Hardware – Irish International Trading Corporation

For this issue of The Hardware Journal we spoke to Brian Murphy, Hardware Manager at Irish International Trading Corporation (IITC), about his career highlights to date, and his advice for anyone interested in a career in the sector.

What were the main ‘career decision’ milestones in your life so far?

When I started working for IITC I was in goods inwards. Over the last 21 years I have been granted plenty of opportunities along the way. I have worked in different departments fulfilling different roles, from picking orders, dealing with company logistics and salt sales, to internal sales. I have worked most of my career in the Hardware department. My biggest decision and milestone to date was being offered and accepting the position of the hardware department manager, my current role.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes, I believe I have a good balance between work, family and leisure. Being able to work remotely when required helps to maintain that balance.

Describe a typical working day.

Each day brings its own challenges, no two days are ever the same. A typical day would involve managing the staff, attending department meetings, setting targets and communicating with suppliers and clients.

What are your main tasks and responsibilities?

I am responsible for the entire Hardware department, both in Cork (head office – where I am based) and our central
distribution centre in Osberstown Business Park, Naas, Co. Kildare. Some of my many duties include managing the Hardware staff, working with our experienced buying and selling teams, sourcing new products, overseeing promotional brochures that we run throughout the year, and managing stock levels.

What are the main challenges?

There are many challenges I could encounter throughout the year. Those could be fluctuating exchange rates, breaks in the supply chain, shortage in raw materials or unexpected price increases. Most recent would be the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the shortage of empty containers in Asia, compounded with shipping lines restricting their services and, in some cases, increased shipping costs.

What do you really like about your role?

Some of the most rewarding parts of my job are: launching new products, signing exclusive distribution contracts,
traveling to trade shows, meeting and working with international companies.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Experience at this stage is one of my leading attributes. I have over 21 years of experience in this field and I was
fortunate enough to join IITC, where hard work and dedication is recognised and rewarded with progression within the company. Skills that helped me along the way are attention to detail, completing tasks efficiently, having a positive attitude and working well with people.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Having an interest in the wholesale side of business, people skills and the ability to work well under pressure.

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