Name: Craig Wheeler
Title: Chief Customer/Commercial Officer
Organisation: Shipper & Aloshop
Craig Wheeler is currently the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of Shipper & Aloshop, he is responsible for the company's commercial initiatives, including Sales, Marketing, Partnerships’ and Running the Aloshop e-commerce enabler business. Craig has played a key role in the growth of Shipper, bringing a focus on building long-lasting (and profitable) customer relationships, partnering closely with the product team to drive the digital supply chain with easy UX in Shipper, and launching/heading the Aloshop e-commerce enabler - that leverages form both his 20 plus years omnichannel. retail experience but also shippers' advanced e-commerce supply chain capabilities.
As a leader Craig is focused on shippers' values, including “Customer first”, whilst building and developing a strong experienced team to ensure Shipper adapts quickly to change in the market and build skill sets that are unparalleled in the supply chain sector.
Prior to joining Shipper, Craig Wheeler led the Digital and Omnichannel transformation program at Kanmo, resulting in digital sales growing by over 40 times within two years. Under his leadership, Kanmo launched over 80 marketplace stores, 8 new websites, and 2 new apps and helped drive major sales through social selling (mostly Whatsapp). He was responsible for all aspects of the online presence, and Kanmo Circle loyalty program; and driving omnichannel cohesion through integrated campaign planning, digital marketing & CRM, built on a solid foundation of scaled omnichannel product, technology, and customer experience teams.
Before coming to Indonesia in January 2020, Craig had been a key team player at many retail/e-commerce startups as well as major retailers in the UK and selling across Europe, the USA, and Asia. This included a couple of years driving Rakuten's (Japan's one Marketplace) European and US expansion in logistics and marketplace selling.
Craig considers himself a retailer at heart, having driven organization and digital change,
optimized operations, and helped many retailers cope with rapid growth.
He still shares this passion today as Shipper/Aloshop helps retailers and FMCG brands grow
their omnichannel operations through their enablement, operational, product, and supply chain expertise.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Craig's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging thing for me as a leader is having to make the tough decision to reduce headcount, sadly something I have experienced again this year.
Telling hard-working, good people that they are going to be without a job and an income is heart-wrenching and difficult even if you know it must be done.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I a not sure you become a leader, I think for most leaders this is natural and something we have been doing from a young age.
I enjoy helping others be successful and have always supported those I work with today, have worked with and those in my social groups.
Being a leader does not mean you are best at doing something, it means you can help teams and others achieve being the best they can be.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Having worked around e-commerce for over 20 years - every day is a working day - and starts and ends with ensuring all emails, slack messages, and WhatsApp have been answered - I strive to have a clean inbox every day to be sure nobody else workload is being helped up by me.
I am well-planned with my diary tends to be full a week ahead, with enough empty slots for urgent matters, I always use my journeys to and from home to be sure key tasks have been done by me and my teams.
When at home I am always available to my work colleagues as I am to my friends, and manage to blend family time with making sure I am always up to date.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I read a lot of online material on leadership, and use this often to remind myself to not let situations change who I want to be.
I recently had some feedback from other leaders, and it reminded me that I must take more time to explain my thoughts and not so easily believe people are on the same page as me.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I really like Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard - I have managed to apply this approach to building teams in a number of my roles - every time it has led to much happier teams, delivering more and allowing for significant personal growth within the teams.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Let people fail, support them, and help them learn from their mistakes, they can't learn from yours
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
It's a story that has been repeated many times; I have joined several businesses and been given feedback on my new team.
I am often told certain team members are poor performers or have bad attitudes - I have learned in most cases these people have not been managed well or are in the wrong role but are high performers.
My learning is that people are too easily labeled as poor, yet with the right leadership and motivation, and put in the right role, most people can exceed our expectations.
Never write any off!