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Life of a Picking Manager

Case Study: Chris Murphy, Liverpool

Life of a... Picking Manager

I joined the business as an order picker in May 2002 when we only had around 21 stores. I was given the opportunity to work as part of the warehouses administration team by Glenn Markham (General Manager) and since then have become involved in a wide variety of the warehouse operations.

Can you tell me a typical day within your role?

A typical day for me always starts at 6.15am when I begin a 1 hour 30 minute commute from Blackpool to Speke. Upon arriving and purchasing a much needed coffee, I then begin to process my emails varying from questions from stores regarding their next delivery to warehouse picking capacities and forecasting.

I then obtain information regarding the operation to provide and present in the daily morning meeting conducted by Mike Benson (Distribution Director) and involving various departmental managers to communicate their workloads and needs for the current and forthcoming day’s workloads.

Working closely with the transports planning department, my team of unsung heroes prepare, print and dispatch the work to the warehouse colleagues in order to meet the busy loading schedule. The warehouse will dispatch around 5000 picked pallets of stock over the course of a delivery schedule to around 200 stores. This makes for a large volume of work for the warehouse to deliver in a very short space of time.

It can be easy to underestimate the size of the operation at Speke. The warehouse is over 660,000 square ft and holds over 72,000 pallets of stock. Those that have visited the distribution centre are always surprised by the sheer size of the warehouse. It takes a lot of managing.

We also process the stores stocktake process, I also oversee the warehouse auditing department including the store claims procedure and the warehouse administration colleagues functions as well as day to day operational issues in order to help keep things ticking over.

I also act as a point of contact for other area managers and stores. The function of the warehouse is to provide a service to the stores. We understand that the stores have a difficult role and we aim to provide support wherever we can. Ranging from stocktake issues to delivery schedules and everything in between, if I don’t know the answer, I will always endeavour to find it out or point you in the right direction.


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