Three cheers for Chorley!
Chorley Vehicle Operating Centre drove off with the award for National Linehaul Unit of the Quarter in the Q3 CEO and COO Awards recently. Zoe Walker caught up with traffic office manager, Denise Sim, to hear the secret of the Lancashire-based unit’s success.
How do the Chorley team feel about the recent CEO and COO Awards win?
The drivers and mangers had been surprised by the award - we had a very busy period due to the pandemic and trying to work around the PPE requirements. It was good of Nick Dunn, national distribution director, and Allan Rennie, area distribution manager, to come down and speak to some of the drivers, and for them to spend some time listening to what they had to say.
What size is the team? Have you all worked together for many years or are there a mix of old and new faces?
We have 49 full-time LGV drivers and four part time, three traffic office staff and two managers. We come under Damian Ratcliffe, the head of distribution for the Belfast, Carlisle and Preston VOC cluster. Most of our drivers started with Logistics at the old Streamline office at Wingate’s, then moved to North West Regional Distribution Centre (NWRDC) and S62, the sister office for NWRDC. We had a few mail centre class one drivers come over once we got fully opened. We are a Vehicle Operating Centre (VOC) on the side of a Parcel Force (North West Parcel Centre) so we have a range from 40 plus years’ service to two years’ service. We have 30 units and 70 trailers.
What’s the best thing about working there?
We have been able to start afresh and make the office how we would all like it to be, we have numerous offices coming in to drop and pick up. Everybody is treated the same and generally we have no major issues.
How have you faced the challenges of the pandemic as a team?
Drivers have certainly pulled all the stops out through this difficult time - customers cancelling at short notice, then needing collections again. We have been able to sometimes, at the drop of the hat, cover Covid-19 kit collections and get them to where needed.
How has the pandemic changed things for you as a team over the past year?
I think we have adapted well and changed how we do things when we have had to. It has been a long and hard year with no real let up. It almost feels like we have had a year of Christmas pressure, but with the vaccination, we all might get a well-deserved rest, or at least a lull, before we carry on over the summer!