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Jake, Warehouse Operations (former Royal Engineer)

07 Aug
My name is Jake Woodcock and I currently work for BSS Industrial at the National Distribution Centre in Lutterworth as a Warehouse Operations Manager.

BSS are a specialist distributor in pipeline, heating and mechanical services equipment. We have 59 branches which are serviced by two distribution centres. BSS NDC stock around 20,000 products ranging from boilers, valves, controls, pumps, clips and bracketry and a whole lot more. We offer a guaranteed next day delivery service (subject to stock availability) if an order is placed before 5pm in our branch.

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. I was then posted to 26 Engineer Regiment in Andover, Wiltshire. In March 2009 my squadron 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 that area and helped build and set up numerous PB’s and FOB’s. I was also involved in Operation Panther's Claw which the aim was to secure control of various canal and river crossings and establishing a lasting ISAF presence. In May 2010 my regiment deployed to Kenya for a construction tour where we spent 3 months constructing accommodation for British troops who were doing pre-deployment training. Finally I decided to leave the forces in November 2010.

After leaving the Army I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do and I found a job advertised on the CTP website. It was for a Warehouse Operative at BSS National Tube Distribution Centre in Coventry. I decided to apply and after attending a interview I was successful in my application and started on the late shift within a couple of weeks.

From when I started at BSS as a warehouse operative in November 2010 I recognised early on that not only did I have a job I had a career if I wanted it. I demonstrated that I was keen to move up and my hard work paid off just after 12 months as I was promoted to a team leader in December 2011. After around 8 months of being a team leader 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 to arise to replace him then I would be well placed. After going through the interview process I was then successful in getting the Warehouse Supervisor role. I was then a warehouse supervisor for the next few years. In August 2016 I was given the opportunity to move across to our other Distribution Centre in Lutterworth as a Operations Manager.

My role as a Warehouse Operations Manager is to manage and coordinate the day to day operations of the warehouse within the National Distribution Centre. I have to provide clear communication and direction to all colleagues whilst liaising with other departments.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 we 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.

During my time in the Army I feel the 6 core values really did become a part of me and have helped me both in my work and personal life. The core values are very similar to the TP Groups 5 cornerstones which is why I feel a lot of ex-military could be very well suited to work for the TP group.

Since joining BSS the opportunities I have had to develop myself by doing various courses and qualifications have been second to none. My most enjoyable course was a LEAN Practitioner course I attended in Leeds where I was taught basic LEAN Warehousing Techniques to eliminate waste in processes and remove non value added tasks. I believe you can really build a career within the TP Group if you want too and you should see any job within the business as a foundation to start building it.

At the time when I joined BSS we were then part of the BSS Group. Travis Perkins Group acquired BSS around December 2010. Immediately I could see a lot of benefits from the take over. The career opportunities that employees now have are endless within the multiple brands of the TP group. There is also colleague discount card which saves you money at places like Wickes, Toolstation and TP. You also get access to MyPerks where you can get discount and cash back off everyday purchases. There is also Cycle to work schemes, car salary exchange, share save schemes and much more.

The range of jobs available within the TP group are really diverse. I would recommend anyone leaving the Armed Forces to seriously consider a role within the group. I did not envisage when I started in 2010 as a warehouse operative that just over 7 years later I would be in a Operations Manager role. I have worked hard to get where I am but the support I have received from BSS and the TP group has helped me a lot along the way.
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