Team focus: Life as a warehouse operative

At Fagan & Whalley, our people are at the heart of everything we do… But what is that, exactly? You may be familiar with the Fagan & Whalley name having seen our trucks on the roads of the UK, but how much do you know about the people behind our operations? 

In this series of articles, we speak with staff members across all departments to shed a bit of light on what’s involved with their role, and the part they play in terms of the grander scheme of things here at Fagan & Whalley. 

“The work of a warehouse operative is always varied,” explains F&W warehouse manager, John Durkin. “With a large team of warehouse staff split across our two core operational sites - our purpose-built warehouse at Burnley Bridge and our latest investment at Frontier Park - they’re responsible for managing the storage and distribution of our customers’ products on a day-to-day basis, which can, and often will, change in accordance with customer requirements and demand. 

“As we always have to ensure we are responsive to client needs, there’s a lot of communication with our customer service and administrative teams, who will liaise directly with our customers, identify their needs, and then allocate tasks and organise staff members in accordance with those needs. 

“Seeing that we’re responsible for managing the stock of around twenty of our customers across both sites, you can imagine how often things will need to be swapped and changed around in order to fulfil customer priorities, so it’s important for each of our warehouse operatives to remain flexible and adaptable in their work.

“Because we offer our transport and distribution services for groupage, full-load and part-load consignments, our warehouse operatives also have to remain on the ball. Groupage consignments involve products from various customers being loaded onto the same trailer ready for distribution, and full loads see one trailer dedicated entirely to products from one customer. We also run collections, which will involve us liaising with third-party logistics providers to incorporate client stock into our warehouses. 

“Due to the nature of the services we offer and the industries we work alongside, no two days are the same for our warehouse operatives, and as a result, the majority of the team is entirely multi-skilled and qualified to operate the range of vehicles required for the job, including VNAs (Very narrow aisle trucks) for picking, PPTs (powered pallet trucks) for loading, and FLTs (forklift trucks) for loading in dock-levelled bays.

“As a department, we’re required to maintain regular communication with various departments across the company, including our customer service team at Albion House, who will keep us informed of any changes to customer requirements, our operations team at Site One, who keep everything organised for our artic vehicles and Palletforce deliveries, and our transport team, who manage our biggest resource - vehicles and trailers - and play a vital role in helping us to get things moving from our warehouse and out on the road.” 

Q&A with Warehouse Operative, Scott Jackson! 

How long have you been working at Fagan & Whalley?
I started working here in February 2019, so almost three years now! 

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I lead a diverse group of individuals, each with their own talents, who never fail to come together as a team in order to deliver the best customer service possible, and this is definitely the best thing about my job. 

What are some of the challenges you face in your role?
The fantastic thing about the company is that it’s continuing to grow and evolve at an impressive rate, which is always wonderful to witness and be a part of, but as you can imagine, it does bring with it some challenges. Part of the challenge comes with making sure our team members are constantly learning and adapting to the shifts in our operations to deliver better practices and enable everything to run smoothly. 

Did you have to undertake any formal training to become a warehouse operative?
I did indeed, and since I started I’ve been fortunate enough on many occasions to be granted the opportunities to continue learning and developing my skill set. 

How do you manage the variation in your day-to-day responsibilities?
I think it comes with having a strong work ethic. It’s important to be organised, set clear goals and know the actions you need to take to see them achieved, and I enjoy doing it! My time so far with the company has been both interesting and enjoyable, and I really look forward to my future here. 

Interested in becoming a warehouse operative here at Fagan & Whalley? View our current vacancies and apply online today!