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A peek into the world of a Depot Manager

Paul Glasspool is one of our Depot managers. He looks after our team at Southampton ensuring everything runs smoothly for three of our customers based on the South coast. Paul explains more about his role and how he became a Depot Manager.

What does the role of Depot Manager involve?

Paul Glasspool, Depot Manager

I am basically the middleman between the customer and the Gregory team delivering the goods. It’s my job to ensure we deliver a compliant, safe, and efficient service to our customers at all times.

Broadly speaking, there are three elements to my job:

  1. Communication – I spend a lot of my day talking! Whether those are conversations about routes, service demands, or compliance, I talk to our in-house teams and customers in equal measures. My goal is to understand what is happening, what has happened, and what is likely to happen. With that knowledge I can ensure we continually deliver an excellent service.
  2. Planning – a lot of what I do is thinking ahead – predicting peaks and troughs in demand and ensuring we have the right equipment and resource to meet our customer’s needs. It’s a constant juggling act.
  3. Compliance and health & safety – I oversee all vehicle and driver compliance to ensure we operate legally and safely. This includes everything from ensuring our drivers have the right training to making sure vehicles are roadworthy.

Please can you give us a snapshot of a typical day?

In this industry there are a lot of moving pieces from peaks in demand to road closures, so no two days are ever the same. But typically, I start my day by checking customer order and departure targets. I then talk to my team to understand specific criteria about our people, fleet, or performance. Then the phone or Outlook usually starts buzzing! The rest of my day varies hugely. It could be anything from making decisions on site spend to getting up to speed on new legislation.

What excites you most about your job?
The fact it constantly changes. I have been in the logistics industry for a long time, and I still find the fast pace exhilarating. I also enjoy the planning. For example, if there are high volumes, I’ll predict the volume uplift and then plan the labour and vehicle requirements to cover that peak. When that plan is executive and all goes well, I find it very rewarding.

How did you become a Depot Manager?
When I was 6 years old my father was a lorry driver delivering timber to various building sites around the UK. During the school holidays he would take me with him and that’s where my fascination with trucks began! I was fascinated by the skill and patience it took to manoeuvre into tight delivery locations. When I was 16 I went to work for a bread manufacturer, originally working part-time as a merchandiser and then, at 18, I became a service driver operating a 7.5t vehicle delivering to shops and supermarkets. Over the years I passed my C and C+E test and when I was 27, I was promoted to Driver Supervisor covering sickness and holidays. At that time, we had 43 radial routes and I had to cover any of them at short notice. When a satellite depot was opened, I was promoted to Depot Supervisor where I ensured the warehouse pick was completed and all routes went out on time. Over the years, I moved on to become First Line Manager and then National Driver Trainer delivering driver CPC courses and conducting site compliance audits. My final role before I TUPE’d across to Gregory Group was Logistics Operations Manager.

When I arrived at Gregory Group 5 years ago, I was a Planning & Admin Manager for 6 months, then promoted to Operations Manager for 2 years, before moving into my current role.

I have experience from all sides of logistics but the joy of this industry is that there is always something new to learn or adapt to.

What do you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career?
When I started driving HGVs, I didn’t consider how I could make a difference, i.e. reducing accident damage or fuel efficiency. Now I have control over spend, I can see how beneficial a good driving style can have on our environment and cost base.

What advice would you give to someone considering this role as a career?
If you enjoy a challenge and like variety, this is the role for you.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
A football player. When I was 7, I was picked to play for Southampton school boys and later I had trials for Bournemouth, Watford, Oxford, and Blackburn Rovers. When I was 27, I managed to go semi-professional, playing three seasons for Fareham Town FC.

If you are interested in joining our team, have a look at our Current Vacancies.

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