Nick’s degree was in Sport & Exercise Science, yet he was so impressed with Lidl at a career fair that he applied for our Retail Graduate Management Programme. Three short years later and he’s worked his way through Sales before transferring to Logistics. It’s where he’s found his niche.
Can you tell me what you were doing prior to Lidl?
I attended the Birmingham University Careers Fair and Lidl was the employer that really stood out to me. I entered Lidl through the Retail Graduate Management Programme. The team at the Careers Fair seemed friendly, approachable, and really sold it, and the fact that it was a new Graduate Programme appealed to me as it felt fresh. I joined in September 2015.
How did you end up in Wednesbury RDC?
I started on the Retail Graduate Management Programme and spent four months in Sales, down in the Bridgend region, as I worked my way from Store Assistant up to Area Manager. Then in January 2016, I transferred across into Logistics, and within a couple of weeks I was offered a role as a Team Manager. I ran the Goods In department down in Bridgend as part of my training experience for a year. I then recruited a team for Wednesbury and was one of three Team Managers that opened the Wednesbury Distribution Centre.
What does your role entail?
I spend quite a large portion of the day engaging with the employees to see they've got what they need to perform their duties, and that we’re giving them the tools to do their job sufficiently. Outside of that it's communication: communicating with associated departments – Goods In and Goods Out – to make sure the stores can be of service to the customer.
What's the appeal of logistics?
Firstly, everything that we do is simple. At the heart of every process is simplicity and real customer focus. And then secondly, it’s about getting to work alongside like-minded people. As a Team Manager in Selection, there are 250 people in the department that I head-up. I get to interact with those people, develop those people, talk to those people and that's a big part of the role for me.
What’s the environment like?
Dynamic - no two days are the same. The volumes change, depending upon the season and store requirements. You have to be prepared for that. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across three shifts, and it's all about that teamwork; handing over shifts in the right manner, that ultimately promotes great customer service by getting the stock to the store on time.
What qualities does someone need to do what you do?
I think patience is key. We're dealing with a team in excess of 250 people and just trying to understand what they do, how they do it, so you can manage them effectively is important. I also think communication is vital to our success not only as a Region, but as a business.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about working here?
I think the biggest one for me is the opportunity and the growth. We're growing at a rate of knots. We’ve just confirmed plans for the 17th warehouse in the UK and we've currently got 12. With that comes a massive need for recruitment, but there’s huge scope for internal progression as well.
Why do you stay at Lidl?
Lidl gives me 100% and I give them 100% back. I communicate effectively with the team, I give them development where they need it, I trust them to do the job that they need to do, and they deliver every time for me.
What are your plans for the future?
I think I found my niche within logistics. Within the next couple years, I'd like to establish more of a structure beneath me, so that I get to a level where I’m almost not required! I’d like to be a Head of Department, maybe even a Regional Director in time. We’ll see. For now, I’ll continue to give 100% and I know those opportunities will present themselves in time.
Can you think of four words to describe Lidl?
Dynamic. Simple. Forward-thinking. Planning-ahead.