Time at Kuehne + Nagel: 8 Years
Hobbies: Hockey, Bond films, Walking, Craft Ale
Fun Fact: I was the 5th person to walk onto Plymouth Argyles football pitch this millennium
Why did you choose the Kuehne + Nagel Graduate programme & what was your first impression of the company?
My father was a Captain in the Merchant Navy, and this certainly sparked my interest in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector. After researching the global leaders in this industry, it was clear that Kuehne + Nagel is a leading player in this market, and hence I wanted to join the best! Once I had commenced the graduate programme, my first impressions of the company were how stable, diverse, and resilient it is. With 125+ years in the industry, Kuehne + Nagel is evidently a well-established company with supply chain experts at its core.
What has been your career journey since finishing the programme?
After completing the graduate programme in 2012, my first role was Warehouse Support Manager at one of our drinks logistics sites. I was working on a rotational shift pattern and responsible for the safe and efficient delivery of any given 8 hour shift. During my time in this role, I also supported the London 2012 Olympic project, whereby the site stored and dispatched all beer and cider to the Olympic Venues. It was great to be involved such a high profile project.
My next position was Transport Team Manager, managing a fleet of vehicles and drivers to ensure compliance and that we met delivery KPI’s. I then moved onto a Project Manager role on the prestigious Waitrose contract, looking after large scale, depot wide projects ensuring timely and successful delivery. In 2016 I was successful in becoming Depot Manager for the Waitrose frozen operation in Reading, assuming ultimate accountability for every facet of the site and operation.
What does a typical working week include for you?
Every week is different in logistics! There are a huge variety of factors that can influence the supply chain on a monthly, weekly, daily (and even hourly!) basis; from weather, traffic accidents, major sporting events to new political policies etc. Every day I have an operational update with my team at 08:00. This is where I understand our performance against the expectations of the customer, and any foreseeable issues on the horizon.
On Mondays I have meetings with my Operations Manager and HR Advisor to review long term operational targets/planning, and any people management items that need to be reviewed, actioned and resolved. I also have weekly finance reviews with our internal management accountant, to evaluate our financial performance against budget. In addition I manage our on-site facilities contractors, ensuring that they are working to contract in maintaining the building and its equipment; and I oversee several other aspects of the operation including continuous improvement initiatives, all H+S aspects, training and development of staff, and have regular contact with the customer.
How did the Kuehne + Nagel Graduate programme prepare you for your role(s) since finishing the programme and what advice would you give to those thinking of joining?
The Graduate Programme taught me that building strong working relationships, whether that be with colleagues, direct reports, or your managers is central to being a good manager. I also discovered how diverse the company is, and gained an understanding of each division which certainly supported my learning of the industry when I joined the company. My advice for potential applicants or those already enrolled would be to keep an open mind, be adaptable and challenge the norm! Graduates are the future leaders of the company - challenging the way we do things and looking for ways in which we can do things better is key to our continued success in this industry.