Hampshire born and bred Bob Sturt has been General Transport Manager at Meachers for five years, following extensive experience in distribution and transport roles; including 17 years with Alberto Culver in manufacturing storage and distribution of hair care products.
Managing a team of 12 office-based staff, along with the control of 70 to 80 drivers daily, Bob is responsible for the day-to-day efficient operation of the transport department which runs 24/7. He credits Meachers’ family-friendly environment as his favourite thing about the company. “The ease in which the decision-making process works enables us to remain fleet of foot and stay ahead of the competition.”
A typical week for Bob starts with the daily operations meeting with the traffic and warehouse teams to review the order profile along with the resource and equipment planning for the coming week. “We then pick up on any outstanding client issues to ensure these are resolved in a timely fashion. Picking up on some mentoring activity with the team and working closely with other areas of the business to ensure everyone is on the same page.”
During his time at Meachers, Bob is particularly proud of the implementation of a new transport management system for the operation to enable the business to tap into new technologies. “This change has enabled us to streamline processes, reduce the level of paperwork, make everything visible to everyone via the system and significantly improve profitability whilst continuing to provide best class customer service.” The system is something Bob hopes to continue evolving. “I would like to continue to support and expand the system we have implemented as it gives a terrific opportunity to improve further the whole customer experience by utilising customer portals to provide them with real time data and order tracking with instant visibility of PODs along with other exciting developments we can implement.”
Since starting at Meachers, Bob has seen some changes in the industry. “Customer expectations have increased considerably so we have had to become far more flexible in our approach and how we operate. The level of timed deliveries being requested is also on the increase which gives some interesting challenges when working on the delivery scheduling.”
Over the next five years, Bob would like to see Meachers continue to see growth and diversify even further than in the past five years. “Regarding the industry I would like to see some changes that encourage younger people to look at careers in a logistics environment along with something to engage younger people into driving HGV class 1 vehicles.”