Maria Ellen has more than eighteen years (18) years of professional experience in the distribution and logistics business, ten (10) of which were in the field of systems integration and analysis. She started her career in bank operations at Philtrust Bank Ayala and moved on to the field of Marketing Research at Philsteel for two (2) years. She worked at Jaka Investments Corporation in 1992 as a Market Analyst for the Jaka Property Group. After a year, Maria Ellen was chosen as one of its two (2) initial Management Trainees, the program of which was designed by Mr Norberto Belen for The Jaka Group. She was the first to complete the program in 1994 under Mr. Tong Arellano and Gregory Lim. As a Brand Assistant for a year, she handled in-house brands such as Softips and Royal/Emi Mosquito Coils.
In 1995, she assisted in handling known brands such as Gatorade for Quaker Oats Asia and managed the account of Masterfoods Philippines with its Snackfood (M& M’s, Skittles, Mars, Three Musketeers, Combos ) and Petfood brands (Pedigree and Whiskas) for Jaka Distribution Incorporated (JDI), as the exclusive distributor .
Towards the end of 1996, she was tasked to spearhead the evaluation of integrated application packages (SAP, Baan among others) for the organization, given the limitation of the in-house clipper-based system and the information demands of its foreign partners. Eventually, SAP R/3 was chosen. Maria Ellen was appointed as the Project Leader of the Systems, Applications, & Products in Data Processing Release 3.0E (SAP R/3) Project for Jaka Distribution Incorporated (JDI). In this capacity, she led and participated in its business process review, configuration, testing and implementation of the Sales and Distribution (SD) Team. She also took part in the roll-out of the SAP modules in the fourteen (14) warehouses of the company. After the roll-out, Maria Ellen handled all systems presentations to its principals and prospective business partners.
As the Systems Manager, Maria Ellen designed principal/business-partner specific menu with Corporate ABAP-4 Programmers and translated report needs of its partners/principals which include British American Tobacco Phils (Lucky Strike Products), Masterfoods Philippines for full distribution and logistics systems (Effem Asia /MARS Inc., company for MARS Confectionery and Pedigree/Whiskas Pet Food Products), Pacico International Inc. (for Guard and Tru-Shine Shoe Care products and Bluebell Homecare Items) and Sanofi-Synthelabo (Lactacyd, Floucaril, Pyodontil,Gardan). In 1998, JDI linked its major business partners to the company’s SAP system via a dial-up system. Maria Ellen also designed additional monitoring systems such as service level reports involving operating departments to check the internal and external service level of the company as a distributor and as logistics-services provider. She also headed the transition project team of JDI with two (2) of its major partners (Masterfoods Philippines Inc. and Arnott’s Philippines) from full distribution to logistics service relationship including systems nterface. Maria Ellen directed the additional/refresher training of JDI SAP users and continuously created specialized SAP reports for the company and its partners using Report Painter, Query and Flexible Analysis.
For five (5) years, she handled the three (3) main groups of the company namely; logistics/distribution servicing , systems maintenance, and accounts management. Maria Ellen also managed the procurement businesses of the company; from negotiations with vendors (traded goods and freight service provides), product purchase planning to SAP Purchase Requisition/Purchase Order Release. She ensured compliance of the company with its partners’ service contracts.
Maria Ellen attended University of the Philippines, Los Banos and has a Bachelor Science Degree in Applied Mathematics, major in Operations Research. She attended various seminars conducted and organized by AC Nielsen, Philippine Marketing Association, SAP Philippines, Distribution Management Association of the Philippines (DMAP now known as SCMAP).