Fantastic facilities alone will not achieve great results, it’s the passion of your workforce that really counts, finds Hermes’ Jon Ormond.

Such is popular culture that when it comes to evaluating the success of a sports team or a rock band, it is only natural to direct those plaudits towards one individual.

Would Barcelona have won the Champions League last year without the talismanic Lionel Messi, or would Coldplay be set to headline Glastonbury for the third time this summer if it were not for the musical talents of Chris Martin?

However, as we reach the climax of the Premier League season, it looks odds-on that lowly Leicester City will clinch the crown; a remarkable achievement for a team deprived of multi million-pound superstars. The club’s success is down to perfecting the art of teamwork, taking to the pitch each week, not as 11 individuals, but as one well-oiled winning machine.

Success is down to perfecting the art of teamwork

At Hermes we have enjoyed sustained success over the past few years, twinned with a remarkable growth in volumes, up to 245 million last year. From the outside looking in, many industry commentators may attribute that success to the investment we have made at our ‘superstar’ flagship hub in Warrington, where we recently doubled capacity to almost one million parcels a day by adding a secondary sortation tier.

However, as a company we realise that to truly succeed our entire depot and hub network must operate as one finely tuned unit, from Warrington down to our regional warehouses.

Therefore I wanted to highlight the investment we are making in other areas, including strengthening our infrastructure across the south west of England by moving our parcel-processing operation in Portbury to a new-build facility in Avonmouth, located near the city of Bristol.

Volume growth

We took the decision to leave Portbury after 21 years so we could increase capacity across the region in light of projected parcel volumes for 2016. Our Avonmouth facility measures 43,000 sq ft, which is more than double the size of the previous depot, and provides an ideal operational layout that allows loading on three elevations, as well as efficient lean working practices.

As a result, it is anticipated that our 50-strong team of employees will be able to process around 9.5 million parcels per year.

I’m also excited to share that we have bolstered our infrastructure along the south coast by relocating our depot in Southampton. We used to occupy a 28,000 sq ft facility in Nursling but recently transferred operations to a new depot in Hedge End, which is 43,000 sq ft and approximately nine miles away.

The high specification facility was built in 2011 and incorporates a mix of dock levellers and drive-in doors. It now houses a team of 60 Hermes employees and annual volumes are expected to surpass 10.8 million.

Their contribution to the company’s ongoing success cannot be underestimated, while those across operations, IT and central support delivered these moves within a week of each other – a superb demonstration of agile delivery management. Fantastic facilities alone will not achieve great results, it is the passion of our people that will maximise these facilities to deliver exceptional customer experience.

Whilst we made headlines earlier this year upon announcing the construction of our £31m Midlands super hub in Rugby, we understand that you need more than a team of superstars behind you to be the best in the business.

  • Jon Ormond is head of depot operations at Hermes