My journey so far
Access all areas
Having started as a Despatcher in our Paignton depot, I’ve been fortunate to work in all areas of our warehouse environments as an Operator, before becoming a Supervisor. After that I spent a few years working on projects around the network and then secondments to our Birmingham Regional Distribution Centre, before taking the role as Operations Manager in Paignton. I then furthered my experience in larger automated sites in Bristol and now Ruislip.
Striving for operational excellence
I now manage a site with 235 colleagues who are involved in the receipt, replenishment and management of a stock file with a value of £27 million. I manage the production shifts, which provide over 12,500 orders every day to a customer base of circa 4,000 pharmacy locations. I lead and manage these people to deliver a service that meets all KPIs and customer expectations seven days a week, while developing the teams to become better and strive for operational excellence.
My day-to-day role involves meeting with my team of supervisors and direct reports, to ensure the daily performance is in line with business needs. I’m there to support their development and coach them to become better leaders. It requires contact with all 235 colleagues on site, to ensure they’re engaged and understand what they do and the part they play. I have to lead the site on critical business objectives, and continually drive to support the changing needs of the customers, patients and industry.
Creating an environment of trust
By providing an operation that our customers can rely on and have trust in, allows them to give the very best advice and treatment to patients. Delivering the consistent, reliable and flexible solutions to their needs is challenging when balanced with the needs of the business.
It’s important to have a site that’s considered operationally excellent – and sustaining that means the business can be bold and step into new areas within the industry.
I think the thing I like most about my role is the responsibility we feel to patients, and the difference we can make to peoples’ lives. Working with such a diverse team who all have the same passion is the reason I do what I do.
A culture of pride
Along with myself, there are so many people here who have long service, so the company must be doing something right! It’s challenging; some days very difficult, but never boring. The role we play within the industry I find exciting, and the culture is one of immense pride in how good we are at what we do. More recently, I think the constant need for change also allows colleagues to keep progressing and developing, and feel like they’re part of something that’s always moving forward.
I’m lucky right now to work in a site that has an unbelievable mix of people from different culture backgrounds, values, opinions. This allows me to manage in different ways and adapt my style often, which is great. The people are very passionate about what they do, and really want to do it right every day.
A personal achievement
I was proud to be in a position to deliver urgent medication to medical professionals during recent incidents in London such as the Grenfell Tower fire, London terrorist attacks, vaccination requirements for our armed forces, and global health issues like Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
On a more day-to-day level, I also take great pride in developing members of my team into more senior roles as supervisors and managers in our business. I’ve also been lucky to have been recognised by the business for my personal contribution, and also that of my team.
A strong bond for life
No day is ever the same here, and it keeps you fit and healthy. I don’t really need to exercise as working here gives me more than enough! I’ve also managed 18 years without a day off sick, so there must be something about the work that keeps me engaged… getting up every day to do the best for our customers and patients.
Working here has provided me with strong working relationships across the whole organisation, and also some friends for life. This bond has been made because of the teamwork required when things get tough, and our ability to come out the other side better and stronger.