British Council-Logistics

British Council

British Council-Logistics



Transcript of the podcast

Andrew Whitehead: We produce computer accessories, printers above all. My job is to plan all the processes leading to the assembly of the printers, and then their eventual delivery to wholesalers. I’m based in the UK, but many of our parts are produced in China. The printers are assembled in the UK, and then sold worldwide. I work closely with our inventory staff – people like Angela

Angela Beale: I’m in charge of the warehouse here in the UK, but not the assembly plant. It’s my job to work with Andrew, who is head of logistics, and make sure that we know exactly what parts we have at any time, and what orders we have coming up. We don’t have much space here, we can’t afford it, so it’s important that we only have in stock what is absolutely essential. When a big order is coming up, I have to order the parts we need

Andrew Whitehead: Obviously, Angela is a key colleague. But we also depend on our warehouse staff – people like Rob

Rob Steward: Basically, I unload deliveries, and make sure they’re stored in the right places in the warehouse. Then when I get a call for them, I have to box them up (if necessary – a lot of them come ready boxed), put them on a pallet and ship them out again! They go off to whichever assembly plant we’re using at the moment. There’s a lot of lifting, it’s quite a physical job

Andrew Whitehead: I’m keeping track of this all the time. Our company had its own logistics software designed to help me follow exactly what we’ve got, and who’s doing what at any given point in the process. After Rob and his colleagues have located and boxed the right parts, then they go off to someone like Terry

Terry Riley: My job’s pretty straightforward really. I have this big truck, I drive it to the warehouse where it gets loaded up, I’m not responsible for that, fortunately! Bad back! Can’t lift things… Then I take them where they’ve got to go. There are some short drives, around Britain if they’re using a local assembly plant. But most of my trips are around continental Europe. I’m often on the road for a week or so. I never come back with an empty lorry – I have to collect empty packaging for recycling, and products that are being returned to the manufacturers for whatever reason

Andrew Whitehead: Yes, we’re concerned about cutting our CO2 emissions, so we try to use local assembly plants if it’s economically viable. Then we also make use of reverse logistics – as Terry said, bringing things back! There’s no point in having empty trucks driving around. People like Terry are also responsible for delivering our finished products to wholesalers, and sometimes even retailers

Graham Eggers: Yes, in the past I had to deal with a wholesaler, or make massive orders. This wasn’t good for the kind of small shop I have. I didn’t want to have lots of my capital tied up in stock, nor do I have space to store lots of stuff. That’s why working with Andrew is good – their logistics are so good that they can make financial sense out of delivering even only two or three items at a time to me. I get what I want, when I need it

Andrew Whitehead: And I guess that – “what you want, when you need it” would be the best way of summing up my job


a.AB, b.GE, c.TR, d.RS, e.AW

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