People Campus is an innovative model which facilitates colleagues working across complementary workflows over a variety of customer contracts. Skills and knowledge-sharing has built confidence and improved efficiency within our operations.
The nature of the logistics industry
Logistics is renowned for being a fast-paced, around the clock operation which has generally relied on fixed shifts which are relatively inflexible. This has posed many issues for the industry, displaying a workforce that is not always representative of the surrounding communities.
The shortage of labour in the UK means there has never been a more important time to find a way of introducing flexibility into the business and to ensure that a career in this industry works for everyone.
Solving the lack of flexibility
Against a backdrop of increasing labour market competition and Wincanton’s desire to make a career in supply chain and logistics, one that is more inclusive, flexible, and rewarding, the concept of a People Campus was developed. The solution has met four key goals:
- Wincanton has become an employer of choice in the local market by being able to offer shifts and times of work that can work around team members’ personal circumstances, driving up team retention, and reducing reliance on temporary recruitment agencies.
- Increased diversity, with greater female representation and improved engagement with the communities we work in.
- Increased the agility, resilience, and efficiency of our customers' supply chains, by creating an innovative and collaborative people-focused solution.
- Developed a highly skilled team by offering a variety of work across multiple locations within the local area meaning fresh challenges and building great relationships across multiple teams.
Mobilising People Campus
The first Wincanton People Campus launched in Doncaster in March 2022, covering four Wincanton customers, across three warehousing locations, all within a seven-mile radius. Crucially, these sites have complementary peaks providing natural synergies, ensuring productivity increases in line with peak demand.
The second Campus, located in Northampton, went live in October 2022, and covers 200 colleagues across seven sites. The concept will then be expanded into Northampton East in March 2023 which will take the total amount of sites the People Campus will cover to 11 sites.
Our use of exclusively part-time and flexible colleagues maximised engagement with jobseekers in the local areas to provide the flexibility to our customers' needs. By providing colleagues total flexibility to work around the hours they are available, Wincanton is reaching people who cannot work full time due to commitments outside of work.
The team has its own management and support structure, which works with the site planning teams to ensure our Campus colleagues work when our customers need them and are supported throughout their employment.
Providing flexible work patterns, representing our communities and developing our people
100% of the People Campus colleagues are on part-time permanent contracts, compared to 3% across the UK warehouse sector, and 25% across the whole of the UK. This gives people the security of a permanent contract while having the flexibility over the hours they work.
People Campus is fast bridging the representation gap. Within the Northampton Campus, 46% of colleagues are from an ethnic minority, compared to 6.21% at other local sites and 12.95% in the region. This flexibility is also catering to the student community on restricted work visas and as a result 15 colleagues who attend university in Northampton have joined People Campus.
We have upskilled 25% of the Campus colleagues on Material Handling Equipment (forklift, reach and very-narrow aisle trucks) and 80% are low level order picking (LLOP) trained. As well, two colleagues within the team have been promoted into managerial roles since joining the team, allowing another route of career progression in our business.
Delivering for customers
This innovation has not only offered a more flexible working option for our colleagues but also aids the demand for work fluctuations our customers face.
The close geographical proximity of some of our sites presented an opportunity for cross-site working with our new flexible working colleagues allowing customers to request more labour during their peak periods and have access to a range of skilled workers.
We have managed to flex labour with peaks of demand ensuring operations can run as smoothly as possible. One example of this is the Jubilee weekend in June 2022 where People Campus was able to mobilise 50 colleagues within 24 hours in order to manage capacity in an operation. This was a testament to the success of the launch of Wincanton’s People Campus.
By providing a more secure, inclusive and rewarding workplace, we also create a more productive and committed workforce. This is reflected in both pick accuracy, up 20%, colleagues learning times 80% faster than other agency colleagues.
Jo Pick- People Director, Wincanton
“People Campus puts our people strategy into action in a number of ways. It is helping us to embed an inclusive culture that respects our colleagues, ensures they sustain work, grow their skills and enhance the career opportunities available to them. We have harnessed the power of listening to peoples’ needs and placing this at the forefront of how we resource our contracts. Our colleagues on the Campus have told us how much they value a flexible work pattern, to better fit with their personal life choices. It’s a win-win, because it also means we can attract people from much wider areas of our society."