Swift's Logistics Senior Operative
‘Spotlight’ is a series in which we profile some of the amazing people from our company, our clients and our community. By talking to the people who make us what we are, we want to give an insight into how Swift works as a business.
This month, we spoke to Andrei Atudorei, Swift’s Logistics Senior Operative. Andrei is part of the team that has central responsibility for Nuvias UC, a major specialist IT distributor.
Andrei and the team process and fulfil all customer orders from our Newbury site and Andrei is the fulcrum of the operation. As a senior operative in the warehouse, it’s vital that Andrei maintains close alignment between Swift’s management and workforce. The fact that he also communicates directly with Nuvias UC and their customers makes Andrei’s role somewhat unique: he the central link between client, customer, management and warehouse. We think Andrei is a great example not just of a diligent and skilled team member, but also of the calibre of people our clients can expect to work with.
Andrei came to the UK from Romania around six years ago. He had completed a degree in Business and Information Science and wanted to find a role he could apply himself to and a salary that reflected his qualifications. He applied to Swift via a recruitment website and was offered a permanent position as a Warehouse Operative. His work ethic and potential were obvious from the start and Andrei was soon rising through the company and accepting more responsibility. It is certainly disappointing that leaving the EU will result in it being far harder to extend employment opportunities to high-calibre people from Europe.
Andrei is busy and he runs a tight ship. To arrange an appointment, you need to email him at either his Swift or Nuvias UC address (he uses both). By having a Nuvias UC email, Andrei is able to communicate as necessary with Nuvias UC internally, as well as with its clients; he is not just an integral part of Swift’s operation, he’s a vital part of Nuvias UC’s, too. Andrei readily accepts that his job is challenging, though he is quick to appreciate that no two days are the same: he looks at this as an ‘opportunity to learn new things.’
As we tour the warehouse, it’s clear that Andrei is a team player who never asks anyone to do something he is unprepared or unable to do himself. He understands and carefully controls every process: no stone is left unturned when it comes to delivering for his clients. As he walks through the picking process, he is quick to point out the procedures in place to prevent mistakes; if a team member gets the quantity wrong, the system will alert them. Wherever you are in the warehouse, a quick scan will tell you exactly what is there, and operatives find everything they need quickly. As with all software, its effectiveness depends on the accuracy of the data entered into it: Andrei makes sure that everybody is as diligent as he is.
There are a lot of processes going on in the warehouse: Andrei and the team manage all returns, field customer service enquiries and provision the goods for the end user. This allows the client to trust Andrei and the team to handle several critical sections at the customer end of the supply chain. Every item is delivered ready for use and region-specific firmware is uploaded at the point of sale. Although there are a lot of processes to track and no room for error, Andrei does say that his job is made easier by only having to deal with colleagues: provisioning, returns, delivery and all other fulfilment processes are carried out by his workmates.
On the day of our visit, Andrei was working with the team on implementing Waerlinx, a powerful cloud-based Warehouse Management System that Swift and Nuvias UC had invested in jointly. He describes it as ‘like a book’ and demonstrates how quickly he can access exact information on purchase orders. While software integration is never completely plain sailing, it was clear that Andrei was enthused about the advantages of the upgrade. As he was explaining an order, he flagged a tiny detail that could result in picking the wrong item: it was clear the system was working when his colleagues had already noted the potential issue and prepared accordingly.
While it becomes clear very quickly how organised Andrei is, what truly sets him apart is his approach to work, his clients and his time management. He is also an excellent motivator: he encourages everybody he works with to adopt the attitude that working hard on one day only makes the next one easier and that you should never put off till tomorrow something which can be dealt with today. When he speaks about his clients, it is easy to tell that he practises what he preaches. If an order is queried, he is able to check the stock for a discrepancy. On rare occasions, he does discover that an error has been made, and rectifies the situation immediately. More often than not, though, the error has happened outside of his jurisdiction. Andrei points out that this does not make any practical difference: the issue still gets fixed and ‘the customer is always right’.
Andrei has worked with Nuvias UC for more than six years: throughout this time, the client has had a reliable, consistent and single point of contact. He is always available to help and is clearly committed to his profession. As Adrian Smith, Swift CEO, puts it, ‘You can’t do a job like Andrei’s if you don’t embrace the new way of working. His approach and his work ethic are fantastic and he plays a vital role in connecting us with our clients, and our management with our workforce.’
It’s easy to see why he is so highly valued by Swift and everyone who works with him. As we approach the end of the allotted time, we have to skip formalities as the Group Operations Director approaches, ‘Sorry to interrupt, Andrei…you’re needed.’