James Grindle, Parseq’s IT Director, leads a team of technical experts including business analysts, project managers and compliance. A typical day is usually focused on developing solutions for clients and exploring ways to achieve cost savings and customer satisfaction through innovative automation of communications and payments.
As he goes back to the floor, James swaps technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and machine learning for on the ground delivery.
Here he shares his experience.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your back to the floor experience
A: I was in warehouse fulfilment and facilities for the day. I’ve not had direct experience of fulfilment so it was really good to see what they deliver in more detail. They’re a busy team and cover multiple tasks including various items for packing, hand picking, letters, labelling and storage.
In terms of the facilities team, the level of secure destruction and the handling of secure waste was an efficient and controlled process. This is fundamental given the amount of confidential paper and data that we handle every day. They also combine this with our environmental commitment. Last year we recycled 69,277 kilograms of confidential waste paper, saving 1,180 trees.
It was a good experience to get direct exposure across both teams.
Q: Did you learn anything new?
A: I think the main thing really is the skills and experience required to manage the warehouse and fulfilment operation. There is a big difference between just getting the job done and optimum delivery. It was also evident that a clear working environment and the way in which they organise themselves contributes to their ability to deliver. The teams have undoubtedly mastered this. They’re an effective and highly productive operation.
Q: What impressed you the most?
A: We invest significantly in our people and over the past five years this has reached £275,000 in training, learning and development. Therefore I was really impressed to witness the very training that our employees have received in action. In particular, this was very true in the case of 5S training and the set up of the working environment. Everything has a place and they have created the ‘golden zone.’
I was also impressed about the team’s asset knowledge and how detailed this was. It’s obviously testament to the years’ service they hold at Parseq.
Q: Did you enjoy it?
A: I did enjoy it. As you can imagine it was completely different to my day job. It was good to understand how the investments that we make in hardware have a positive impact on the ground and to see it all from our people’s perspective. I felt closer to the different challenges they face.
Q: Will you be changing roles any time soon?
A: I’m always open to offers but not sure I’ll get any. I’ve also not got a forklift truck license so not sure I’d get very far!
Q: How will your ‘back to the floor’ help you as the IT Director?
A: That will mainly be around future IT investment decisions. I’m always considering the latest technologies and tools to analyse processes and improve performance. Having additional first-hand experience of how it’s then deployed can only help.
A big thank you also goes to our warehouse fulfilment and facilities teams for supporting back to the floor!