With the holiday season approaching, finding the right person for the right role is integral, as Carl Lyon, director of delivery experience at Hermes, explains.
Last month my colleague Ashley Walker wrote a blog post explaining how the retail and home-delivery sectors are preparing for the upcoming peak holiday season, despite it currently being in the middle of summer.
As director of delivery experience at Hermes, I have already started putting plans in place, analysing areas of our network that will need further strengthening ahead of the Black Friday and Christmas rush.
“Those who have previously served in the Royal Logistics Corps often see the home-delivery industry as a natural choice when looking for a new chapter in their working lives”
This includes how we supplement our network of self-employed couriers who will help to deliver millions of items across the UK.
However, delivery operators are also constantly looking to develop their infrastructure and networks each year, in light of increased online shopping volumes.
We have a responsibility to find new team members with the existing skills that can help to further improve the efficiency of our operation, from a variety of backgrounds.
Seeing what fits
For instance, while many ex-servicemen and servicewomen face a difficult decision on which career path to follow after leaving the armed forces, those who have previously served in the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC) often see the home-delivery industry as a natural choice when looking for a new chapter in their working lives.
We recently welcomed Martin Bastow to the Hermes family, who uses his experiences of serving in the RLC to ensure that we maintain a highly effective service at one of our key hubs.
After spending 22 years in the RLC, where he rose to the rank of warrant officer, Martin joined Hermes as a transport shift manager in October 2016, based at the Warrington hub.
“I used to oversee the transportation of tanks on trucks. Now I concentrate on the delivery of parcels, but many of the core principles remain the same”
Martin Bastow, transport shift manager, Hermes
We asked Martin to share some of his experiences of working at Hermes to date. He says: “I left my position with the RLC on Friday and started at Hermes on the Monday, so it was a very quick transition.
“The company was keen to get me on board and I was excited to start this new chapter in my career.
“The Warrington hub handles approximately 650,000 parcels a day outside of the peak period, which rises in excess of a million parcels a night in the build-up to Christmas.
“It is crucial that the network performs adeptly at all times, as we have a responsibility to ensure these parcels are delivered.
“I oversee all the vehicles that arrive at the depot, ensuring the smooth running of the operation, compliance, workers’ hours, and more. It is a highly sophisticated model and it is rewarding to play such an important role.”
He adds: “There are many transferable key skills, including fleet management, forecasting and planning, and getting the best out of people.
“My experiences working within fast-paced operations and under pressure have definitely served me well. One key challenge is adjusting to the commercial nature of the industry, but I am learning more every day.
“I am really looking forward to the future and my ambition is to progress into a more senior role within the organisation. Hermes has been very supportive and so far I have enjoyed lots of internal training, while plans are in place for me to undergo the CPC International transport management qualification.
“I would recommend a career in the home-delivery industry to other ex-servicemen and servicewomen. I used to oversee the transportation of tanks on trucks. Now I concentrate on the delivery of parcels, but many of the core principles remain the same,” Martin says.
With the need to constantly increase capacity – together with a potential skill shortage that could be accelerated by Brexit – it is vital for organisations to attract newcomers to the industry that can immediately hit the ground running.
We look forward to welcoming more people of Martin’s calibre to Hermes in the near future.
- Carl Lyon is director of delivery experience at Hermes