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Jake, Warehouse Operations (former Royal Engineer)

07 Aug

My name is Jake Woodcock. I work for BSS and I am the General Manager at the National Tube Distribution Centre in Coventry.

We have a National Distribution Centre in Lutterworth, Leicestershire which stocks around 20,000 products ranging from boilers, valves, controls, pumps, clips and bracketry and a whole lot more. Then we have a National Tube Distribution Centre in Coventry which stocks over 700 different types and sizes of tube. The tube NDC is very unique and best in its class at what we do. 

I joined the Army in May 2006, enlisting with the Royal Engineers. I carried out my phase 1 basic training in Lichfield ATR for 14 weeks. I then moved onto my phase 2 ‘Combat Engineer’ training at 3 RSME (Royal School of Military Engineering) Gibraltar Barracks in Surrey which lasted 10 weeks. Finally I went on to the 1 RSME, Brompton Barracks, Chatham to do my phase 3 ‘trade training’ where I learnt the skills to become a bricklayer and concretor.

Following on from my training, I was posted to 26 Engineer Regiment in Andover, Wiltshire. In March 2009, my squadron were deployed on OP Herrick 10 for 6 months where I spent most of my time in the Nad-e-ali area of Helmand. We provided engineer support to the infantry operations in the area and helped build and set up numerous patrol bases and forward operating bases. I was also involved in Operation Panther's Claw with the aim of securing control of various canal and river crossings and establishing a lasting international security assistance force presence. 

In May 2010, my regiment deployed to Kenya for a three month tour where we were constructing accommodation for British troops who were doing pre-deployment training. 

After leaving the Army in November 2010, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do until I found a job advertised on the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) websites for a Warehouse Operative at BSS National Tube Distribution Centre in Coventry. I decided to apply and after attending an interview, I was successful in my application and started on the late shift within a couple of weeks.

It soon became apparent and I recognised early on that not only did I have a job, I also had the opportunity for a career if I wanted it. I demonstrated that I was keen to progress quickly and my hard work paid off, as after 12 months I was promoted to a Team Leader in December 2011. 

Approximately 8 months later my Warehouse Supervisor left the business. I had been covering for him for 6 months and had worked hard to prove that if an opportunity was ever to arise to replace him, then I would be well placed and after going through the interview process, I was then successful in securing this  role. 

In August 2016, I was given the opportunity to move across to our other Distribution Centre in Lutterworth as an Operations Manager. My role was to manage and coordinate the day to day operations of the warehouse teams within the National Distribution Centre. I worked across all shifts and managed shifts of 50+ colleagues.

 Then in September 2018 the NDC Manager role came up at Cross Point and I was offered the chance to return back to where it all started but as the General Manager. My role is to provide clear communication and direction to all colleagues whilst liaising with other teams within the supply chain. I give leadership to all operational colleagues whilst engaging them to foster an environment which is continuously improving and adapting to the ever changing needs of the business. Last and by no means least, I have to ensure the warehouse operation is run safely, efficiently, within budget and to deliver the agreed standards of KPI’s and service level agreements. 

Since joining BSS, I’ve had numerous opportunities for personal development with the most enjoyable course being a LEAN Practitioner course, which focussed on LEAN Warehousing Techniques to eliminate waste in processes and remove non value added tasks.

The Travis Perkins Group acquired BSS in December 2010 and the career opportunities that all employees have are endless within the multiple brands of the Group. There are also numerous benefits including a colleague discount card which saves you money at Wickes and Toolstation plus you also get online access to ‘MyPerks’ where you can get discount and cash back off everyday purchases. They offer cycle to work schemes, car salary exchange, share save schemes and so much more besides.

The range of roles available within the Group are hugely diverse and I would recommend anyone leaving the Armed Forces to seriously review the career opportunities on offer. I never envisaged when I started in 2010 as a Warehouse Operative that just over 7 years later, I would be in an Operations Manager role. I have worked hard to get where I am and have received the most amazing support from BSS along the way.

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