Andrew Stout tells us what he loves about the logistics and transport industry, his top tips to students looking to make an impact and how you should make use of your CILT membership sooner rather than later.
Transport and logistics are industries that are unfortunately stigmatised as neither sexy nor glamorous, but it is an industry which is essential to our everyday lives. What I love about transport and logistics is that it is the ultimate game of strategy and planning; it is an ever moving and extremely enjoyable industry to be in.
I have been a CILT member for 10 years, yet unfortunately, I have only recently started to get more out of the Institute over the last three years. Sitting on the sidelines for so long is definitely one of my biggest regrets.
It is fair to say that I did not appreciate all of the benefits that my membership involves. Now, not only have I made some good friends, developed lots of new contacts and broadened my knowledge, being a member of CILT has been invaluable in allowing me to learn something new at every event, every presentation and every course I attend.
Transport and logistics is an interesting, rewarding and highly enjoyable career where you have the opportunity to add value, continually develop and learn new skills. My advice and tips to students wishing to pursue a career in our industry would be:
- Use CILT to help you manage your career – I wish I had done so earlier!
- Make the most of every experience
- The power of networking is invaluable
- Develop your skills and experiences through the training courses, qualifications, projects and key speakers that CILT provides
- Your career and development is your responsibility so push yourself
Like many people, I simply fell into the industry. I studied Business and HR at University before applying for positions that interested me, rather than degree specific jobs, which led me to work on the Operations Graduate Scheme with Calor Gas.
I spent two years working in the distribution office where I learned all about what was involved, meeting customer expectations, drivers, vehicles, the planning element and most importantly the fact that this is an industry that is ever changing and most definitely never dull.
I then assisted the central distribution function. This was an opportunity to learn about transport and logistics at a more strategic level, which involved travelling around sites, auditing, implementing best practices and sharing skills, knowledge and experiences.
Later, I achieved my first depot management role, which gave me the opportunity to use all my skills and knowledge gained by managing my own fleet, drivers and staff by becoming the 'O Licence' holder.
Training has always been important to me and I have been fortunate along the way to attend various courses that have expanded my knowledge and opened more doors for my career path.
As my career moves on and I continue to develop I would like to keep learning alongside my company and the Institute, keep motivated to push myself and work towards achieving a senior position in my organisation.
Being a member of the Institute holds a certain prestige and value that reflects your commitment to professionalism and motivation to build the industry that will allow me to further influence the transport and logistics sector, whilst developing other people in the transport and logistics industry.