Skip to main content

A day in the life of a Transport Planner

We spoke to Paul China, who has been with us for 22 years. As well as learning about his role of Transport Planner, we also asked him about his career journey.

Paul China, Transport Planner

Let’s start at the beginning, what was your job when you joined us in 2002?
I started in the North Tawton warehouse de-boxing cheese and then moved onto picking in the warehouse for a confectionery contract.

Today you work in an office, when did you make that transition?
I spent 6 months in the warehouse and then moved into the Transport Office. Initially, I was responsible for load fill planning and booking deliveries for a variety of customers. Then I progressed to Traffic Operator before moving across to plan for a large well-known brand account. Today I continue to work with this customer along with a number of other accounts.

What particularly memorable moments do you have from your time here?
Getting involved in the large well-known brand contract was an exciting time in my career. We built a really strong relationship with their team which led to significant growth. We expanded our service to provide multi-drop loads and with this additional understanding of how they operate, we were able to identify new ways of working that culminated in huge savings.

I really enjoyed identifying improvements and putting them forward to the customer so I then started doing the same for other customers. First getting to grips with their processes and then establishing if, and how, we could operate the contract more efficiently.

This led to me getting involved in the set up of new contracts where I was able to do the same thing – review processes and see if we could achieve the same, or better, output more efficiently. I also helped recruit new members of the team to support these customers, training them up to ensure we keep delivering service excellence and keep looking for improvements.

What about now? What does your everyday look like?
I supervise the team who manage our customer accounts, ensuring everything runs smoothly, resolving any issues that arise, and running and analysing reports. I am always looking for continuous improvement opportunities, as are my team, and I still get a kick when I identify potential CI. I also work closely with our Group Contracts Manager who oversees our contracts – standing in for him whenever he is away from the business to ensure our customers have a continued point of contact should they need it. I also cover when other members of the team are off and help other departments and business areas as needed.

What made you choose this career?
I didn’t choose it, it chose me! Thanks to the opportunities I’ve been given I realised I had a natural aptitude for contract management and have been lucky enough to keep following this path.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Leading the weekly customer service calls knowing that because of the relationships we have built up, we can challenge their thinking and present alternative ways of working. I am able to make a real difference and when the ideas lead to efficiency savings it’s extremely satisfying.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Collating all the information I need from various sources can be difficult at times.

What keeps you coming to work each day?
I am proud to represent Gregory Group in front of new and existing customers. The nature of our business means it is constantly evolving which presents new challenges and subsequently, new opportunities for improvement.

What did you do before you worked at Gregory Group?
I was a field engineer working in London repairing and servicing tills in shops. I then moved to Devon in 1996 and worked in a cheesecake factory as a line operative trainer. My next role was as a field engineer installing and servicing vending machines before starting at Gregory Group in 2002. During those years I was also a semi-pro musician playing electric bass and double bass across a range of genres, from jazz to pop.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
A fireman.

What advice would you give to someone considering this role as a career?
Don’t be afraid to suggest better ways of doing things no matter how small or large the idea might be. You never know where it could lead. And don’t forget that the teams around you are key to your success. Everyone fulfils a role that contributes to yours.

If you are interested in working with us, have a look at our Current Vacancies.

View more news