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A day in the life of…
Operations Graduate at DHL Supply Chain
Samantha Dick graduated with a Bachelor of Business Management (HR/International Business) from University of Queensland in 2016, and is now an Operations Graduate at DHL Supply Chain.
First alarm of the day goes off. Depending on how I wake up I’ll either jump straight out of bed, wash my face and change or I will snooze till my next alarm at 6:30. This matter of 15mins will also determine the breakfast I partake in that morning. If I’m up at the first alarm, or dare I say it - before it, I will make myself eggs and toast of some sort. Poached, scrambled, fried, or boiled you name it I’ll eat it. If however I find myself thinking an extra 15 minutes of sleep will do me quite nicely, breakfast will consist of a piece of fruit on the road.
Due to living in the City and working at our Transport HUB out west, this means a 40 – 45 minute commute by car in the morning to get to work. Luckily for me the hours I work at the moment are quite flexible so I have the luxury of leaving early and starting early to avoid traffic!
7:30 – 7:45
Arrive at work. The rotation that I’m on at present has me down in the warehouse working in refrigerated transport so this means closed in shoes and high vis vests to be worn at all times. When I get into the office I say a general hello to my colleagues and doc up. I’ll open my emails but before checking them I’ll jump online to see what the temperatures are for our refrigerated trucks (assets) that travelled overnight. There are very strict parameters for this type of transport – temp between 2 & 8 degrees - so you have to be vigilant when checking everything is in spec from load through transit to unload.
Once everything has been checked and any issues followed up I’ll go through my emails. These largely consist of alerts from our refridge trucks regarding temperatures, door openings and the likes. Most of this will have been checked online first thing so I move them straight out of my inbox. Next I’ll look for the daily template to come through from our cold chain team regarding what products will be moving that day with refrigerated transport. It’s from this template that we allocate which assets will be travelling that day. When I know which assets will be travelling for which state I then start to send off emails to the end receivers requesting delivery timeslots. These timeslots help the DHL hub of the receiving state effectively allocate local vehicles for deliveries.
Once I’ve completed the checks I will start to make up the load plans for the vehicles travelling. The load plans will depend on how many pallets spaces the asset has as well as the client profile of those travelling that day. Depending on how many states have assets travelling this will usually take me up to 10:00AM.
After the timeslot requests have come back and the load plans have been updated I email them on to the receiving states.
It’s around this time that I’ll start to feel like a break from my screen. Luckily anytime between 10:00 – 10:30 Lenny the mobile coffee man will come to our site. There isn’t too much in the ways of coffee shops near our warehouse so you can imagine most of the morning is worked in anticipation of this timeslot. Depending on my mood I’ll switch between a cappuccino and a chai latte. Either way it’s great coffee and well worth the wait!
Once I return to the office I start monitoring the assets we have leaving that day. Due to the strict travel conditions for the freight we move via refrigerated transport, assets need to go through a pre-chill process and online checks need to be done to ensure everything is reading correctly. This is usually done as a background task, however if there are any issues with sensors or how the asset interfaces with our online live tracking these need to be sorted ASAP. 2:00pm is when we advise clients they need to be ready for loading but actual loading can occur from any time between 2:00 – 4:00.
12:00 – 12:30
Lunch will usually be leftovers or some sort of salad I’ve thrown together. If I’ve not prepared anything, luckily we have food trucks that come daily with the usual tuck-shop spread or on Wednesdays there’s a Vietnamese food truck that is amazing. Basically if I’m prepared that’s great but if I’m not I won’t starve (always a plus).
I meet with our National Transport Operations Compliance Manager to work on CoR (Chain of Responsibility). It’s in this time that I go over the random and periodic checks on our DHL owned fleets and contracted fleets. There are a certain number of checks and standards that need to be completed to fulfil legal and companywide requirements. I request the information needed from the relevant bodies and compile the data, with one of the main areas being Fatigue Management. Each driver will have a system of some sort to log their work and rest and it’s from this data that I will check compliance against business and legal requirements for fatigue. If there are any issues/breaches I will go back to the contractor and advise as well as provide corrective actions to be taken to ensure reoccurrence does not happen. Other areas that are requested are random vehicle checks, maintenance records and proper induction processes.
As loading of the trucks happens I stop what I’m working on and monitor it as it happens. I’ll log when the assets arrive to our cold chain location, the opening of the doors, loading, when the door closes and then monitor the temperature inside to ensure it comes down to spec. When the trucks are loaded they come back to the transport HUB to be weighed and meet up with linehaul. Once refridge is sorted I check back again with CoR and make sure I’ve finished collating the data collected that day and entering it into our system. I will check and respond to emails as they come in during the day but at the end I make sure to go back on anything that I may have missed and sort my inbox so it’s clean for the next day.
The last thing I do before I leave for the day is make up a to-do list for the next day. If all goes to plan I’ll be out of the office by 4:30 – 4:45. Then comes the 45min – an hour commute home. It always takes the little bit longer in the afternoon but I’m luckily going against traffic as I’m heading back into the city.
Get home and organize dinner. I live with my sister and she’s home some nights so we will cook something together. We’re carnivores through and through so dinner will most like be steak/ribs/bolognaise with vegies. After dinner I’ll put something on the tele and zone out for a bit. Because dinner occurs so early though I’ll find myself around 7 contemplating whether I should join a team sport or sign up for Krav Maga. This line of thinking however usually ends with little action and another episode of Sinner on Netflix.
I’m showered and in bed and scrolling through the internet. Once I’ve got my fix and right before bed I read whichever book I’m currently reading which just so happens to be Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (absolutely loving it). This helps me switch off a little after sitting in front a computer all day, watching tv shows and spending time on the internet. However I’m a firm believer in at least 7 hours of sleep a night so by 10:30 its lights out and off to bed.