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Pulling Back The Curtain

The world of consumer retail strongly appeals to me, not only as a consumer and member of the target market, but as someone interested in the industry’s entire value chain.

I’ve never been a fan of magic shows. There’s something about the saying, “a good magician never reveals his secrets” that frustrates me. I sympathized with Dorothy for wanting to look behind the curtain. And while this may spoil some of the magic, I just want to know how things work and operate. I want to know how the cheese is made. Growing up, I used to love the show “How It’s Made”, where I’d follow the manufacturing process of everyday items from raw materials to finished goods.

The show pulled back the curtain and revealed the magic behind products I know and use such as:shoelaces, belts, pantyhose, and even candy canes.

At A&M’s Consumer & Retail Group, I get to live out my childhood passion of looking, “behind the curtain” to understand how every day products are made and delivered and the impact I have on businesses as a consumer.

Then I became a consumer and made the transition from in-store, to online, to mobile shopping. I watched how a single celebrity’s tweet about a lipstick shade could completely deplete a company’s inventory within hours. I wanted to know what companies are doing to stay flexible now that consumers are driving demand and are really in the driver’s seat.

I studied industrial engineering to learn how to make processes more efficient, to continue to understand what happens behind the curtain, and later received my MBA to go one step deeper as I learned that processes and systems extend beyond the manufacturing floor and into the boardroom. My added focus on operations connected all these parts together.

At Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer and Retail Group, I am now not only living out these episodes of ‘how it’s made’, but also learning ‘why we made it’ and ‘how it gets to the consumer’. A&M’s CRG combines my passions and pulls back that curtain as we work with brands I know and support. Now when I see a TikTok for the best workout leggings go viral and read the comments complaining about them already being sold out, I’m thinking of our clients and how we would position them for this situation.Any time I buy a product, I am not just simply thinking about when the item will be delivered to me. I am thinking about the logistics of the item; where it’s coming from, the amount of inventory currently available for the company, any guaranteed shipping promises. Every purchase I make I now see with my A&M CRG lens, just to make sure I only read positive comments about our clients on TikTok.

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