Shane has been working for EDME for 27 years. During that time, he has had more than a little experience in warehousing. He was a warehouse operative for 25 years, and for the past two years has been the supervisor.
“There have been loads of changes in EDME since 1993,” says Shane, “but one thing has stayed the same. That’s the need for grains, seeds and pulses – our raw materials - to be delivered; stored in a warehouse; moved to production areas; processed; packaged;collected; stored in a warehouse again; then loaded on to lorries for delivery to customers.
“As an operative, I became pretty familiar with the inside of a forklift truck. Much of the day involved manoeuvring one round the site, shifting pallets from one place to another. Timing and accuracy are crucial. You don’t want to hold up the production line, keep trucks waiting – or provide the wrong thing to the wrong department! It’s all about attention to detail.
“Now I’m more involved in planning, organising the team and the workload and ensuring that everything gets done. I liaise with just about every department in the business: production, engineering, sales, labs & quality control and transport.
Moving quality ingredients
“Before anything leaves the site, it has to be signed off for quality with a relevant certificate from the lab. As well as checking for product spec and quality, we need to be sure we’re loading the right quantity of the right goods and that they are being dispatched on the right day at the right time!
“I have to ensure that the bags are ready and in the right location well in advance of the lorries arriving to collect them. All the lads work closely with the other teams to make sure that our goods are delivered On Time and In Full (OTIF).
“All of the team are fully qualified forklift operators. Between them, they move around 650 pallets a day, having stacked each pallet with around 90 tonnes of raw materials or finished ingredients. Three or four lorries a day are loaded, often with very varied supplies for different customers. It can be a bit like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, making sure everything is in logical order for unloading.
“It was brilliant to be promoted to supervisor a year ago. It gave me extra responsibilities and challenges and I’m lucky to have a good team to back me up. Meticulous planning and being sure to take into account all the different elements involved helps make sure that everything goes like clockwork.”