The jobs they do, from the shop floor through support services and management, are crucial.
In terms of careers, the warehouse has far more to offer than picking and packing roles (although, it could not function without these). There is something for everyone.
Career choices range from engineering and operational management through to health & safety and compliance. What’s more, each professional support function you might expect in an office environment – finance, HR, IT, communications – is also represented.
One of the benefits that a career in logistics can bring over other markets is the ability to progress into leadership positions far earlier. At Wincanton, staff join us straight from school at 16, as graduates and mid-career from other industries. We have senior managers on site who started out picking and packing in their school holidays. It is not unusual for an entry-level warehouse worker to progress to first line manager within a couple of years and be responsible for a large team.
The warehouse isn’t a 9-5 environment and this suits many people. Whether it’s a part-time or full-time role, shift work can fit well around family life.
The majority of roles in the warehouse are active ones. The positions are not deskbound in the same way they might be in an office and can easily exceed the recommended 10,000 steps-per-day.
The work can be incredibly rewarding. Each and every person becomes an essential part of a customer journey – from order to delivery. The results are often literal and visible; we all work to specific goals and have sight of when they are met. You work with the knowledge you are supporting a 24-hour operation and one that is critical to the customer.
Automation is becoming increasingly common in the warehouse to increase the speed and accuracy of repetitive tasks. It expands the capability of workers, allowing them to achieve more and deliver a better quality work in a shorter space of time. In many ways, automation gives us the opportunity to upgrade work. It brings new skills and with that opportunity for professional development and new roles for our people.
There are multiple career paths in the warehouse and workers commonly take their skills developed in one function to move to another. At Wincanton, the attributes we look for in our people are the same; whether employees work in the warehouse or elsewhere in the business. We want people with passion, drive and the ability to work in a team; who show entrepreneurialism and motivation to serve a customer, whatever their role. And in return, we offer a fulfilling and varied career.
- Warehouse colleague: primarily manual work. Picking, packing, forklift driving, loading. The very foundation of the warehouse.
- First line manager: looking after 10-40 people. Responsible for everything from their welfare and performance to attendance and conduct.
- General Manager: Responsible for the site as a whole, managing every function. Looks inwards to control cost, safety, reputation, compliance, while being the face of the business to the customer at management level.
- Support functions: Site finance, HR, payroll, IT, communications