Facilities management Q&A
Quest spoke to Kuehne + Nagel Overland site operations and process manager, Richard Hay ...
Hello Richard! Please tell us who are you and what you do
I’m the site operations & process manager at Kuehne + Nagel Overland, East Midlands Gateway. I’ve been here since April 2019, when I moved from Nottingham to this brand-new facility where I mainly look after the warehouse, all the shifts that work within the warehouse, and the site itself for compliance and facilities management.
Talk us through your Army career
Back in 1988 I joined the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Engineers at the age of 16 and spent a year there going through basic training with them. I then moved on to the combat engineering phase of my career at Gibraltar barracks. I worked through the ranks all the way up to Senior NCO, with various different deployments throughout the world (Bosnia, Iraq, visiting various different countries, Canada, the Falklands) and all the usual routine military exercises. I picked up many different licences, had many different careers and courses, and left in 2012 after 24 years.
How was the move from the Army to the civilian job market?
As I was approaching the end of my career, I embarked on the CTP scheme, where I was taken through all the resettlement programmes and was offered all the resettlement initiatives. I took a bit of advice and did the PRINCE2 project management course, a NEBOSH health and safety general course and the drivers CPC Management course, which I believed would set up me for various different opportunities. From leaving the military in Germany, I moved to Lincolnshire, where I bombarded all the industry around that area with my CV, which luckily was picked up another ex-serving officer who got me in for interview and took me on as a transport shift manager. Two years later after being with that company, the same manager then moved to Kuehne + Nagel and headhunted me to see if I would work as the site operations and processes manager there – and that’s where I am now.
Tell us about your career at Kuehne + Nagel
I have been here just over five years. When I first started to apply for jobs in civilian industry I was actively just looking for warehouse operative or driver roles – it was actually Kuehne + Nagel who picked up on the fact that I had more skills to offer, so they brought me straight in as site operations and process manager. Initially I worked in Nottingham, which was an old and tired site, and then we moved to our new flagship site at East Midlands Gateway. I was involved in setting up the whole operation to transition from the old site to the new one. There were lots of challenges, lots of stress and effort, but through the skills I have learned over time we managed to do it all as a team and very successfully.
Why is Kuehne + Nagel a great business for Service leavers?
It’s a very career-driven environment and offers all sorts of opportunities, from starting at the very bottom all the way up to general manager. So, regardless of where you see yourself, Kuehne + Nagel will certainly try to develop and pull out the best from each individual and offer what’s best for them. So if you were driven within the Services to get qualified and develop yourself, then Kuehne + Nagel is definitely a business that will allow you to continue that.
What is it about the East Midlands Gateway Overland site in particular that is great for Service leavers?
It’s a flagship site where many different operations have brought into one location. So we have Eurolink, Securechain and pharmaceuticals, and with that come lots of different career paths: from warehouse operatives, HGV drivers, accountants, project managers and sales professionals to general managers and directors. As well as everything in between; team leaders, supervisors, shift managers, operations managers, quality, health and safety managers. There is a broad brush of all different careers at all different levels, so no matter where you see yourself or what you’re thinking of doing, there is something for you to do here.
What advice would you give to Service leavers looking to join Kuehne + Nagel?
Take full advantage of the resettlement services provided. Look at the different career opportunities available; Kuehne + Nagel certainly offers a wide range. Look at the different courses that will help you, NEBOSH health and safety qualifications are sought after in most parts of the company: everyone needs to have a good understanding of health and safety. Project management is a key function in any career, so PRINCE2. Then you have all your driving licences, forklift trucks, HGVs – get as many licences and qualifications as you can during resettlement. Kuehne + Nagel is a large corporate, global company so if you’re willing to travel and not too fixed on where you are going to settle, then open your mind to where you can go and work. If you bring the right skills and qualifications, and a willingness to travel, you have more than enough to find a good career with us.
To find out more about the work of Kuehne + Nagel click here
For more on careers in facilities management, read our full-length feature here