NATIONAL warehousing, logistics and courier company The NX Group is keen to encourage more women to consider careers in the logistics and transport industry. From recent school-leavers or university graduates to those who are contemplating a career change, the transport sector offers a broad range of roles and progression opportunities for males and females alike.
As The NX Group continues to expand - it currently employs 79 full-time staff, 17 of whom are female - the firm is committed to raising the profile of the industry for women, with a view to attracting prospective employees who may previously not have considered logistics or transport as potential career paths.
Jo Lawlor, Team Leader and Account Manager at The NX Group, says: "There is a need for more women higher up in this industry."
The company's top three tips are as follows:
1. Explore all available options.
Take time to look into the many roles and routes the industry has to offer - from driving to data management - and see which one appeals to you.
Jo Lawlor said: "People think truck drivers are all men, and while this certainly isn't the case, there aren't as many female truck drivers as there could be."
Helen Chick, who has held the position of Marketing Manager for The NX Group for almost two years, added: "Since joining the Northamptonshire Logistics Forum I've grown more aware of how diverse the industry is in terms of gender. So many women in so many roles attend the Forum, from driving and finance to HR and marketing."
Hayley Thomas, who joined the company a year ago as Warehouse Administrator, said: "It's varied work and it's also extremely rewarding. For instance, my role enables me to combine my two passions for logistics and computers."
2. Be yourself - the right person for the job.
The logistics and transport sector offers a great many opportunities for staff with the right skill set to thrive, climb the career ladder and realise their ambitions from the ground up.
"Liaising with the other departments within a company helps you understand how the business works as a whole, from the perspectives of male and female employees," said Helen. "In doing this, I've been able to establish my department and learn how best to market the business."
Both Jo and Hayley agree that patience, multi-tasking, prioritising and learning to find prompt solutions to all problems are skills that are integral to their respective roles. Transferable skills such as these, if acquired in a different career, could prove invaluable in this sector.
3. Just do it!
If in doubt, talking to people in the industry - both men and women - should answer any questions you've got about the sector and help you to take the plunge.
"Don't be put off by stereotypes," Hayley urged. "Times are changing and it is becoming increasingly acknowledged that warehousing and logistics workplaces are in fact gender-neutral, and that men and women can do the same jobs."
"If you feel that you have a strong personality, are patient, assertive and can wear many hats and change them quickly, go for it," added Jo.
NX Courier is a Northants-based, UK-wide same- and next-day courier operation which forms part of logistics firm The NX Group. The division started out as National Link Couriers, which was formed in 1987 near Wellingborough.
For the next 23 years the company's fleet travelled up and down the country providing same and next-day courier services to a broad range of customers. Excellent, attentive and personal customer service was its absolute priority from the very beginning.
In 2010, National Link was re-named NX Courier when it was brought under the umbrella of the NX Group brand. With the brand change came progress in the form of steady growth. Courier deliveries now operate out of the firm's base in Northamptonshire, covering all major road networks and positioned less than 100 miles from London and 40 miles from Birmingham, making them ideal locations from which to respond to urgent same-day delivery requests. Vehicles range from a Ford Transit Connect to a 3.5 ton Luton Taillift, which can carry up to a ton of goods.
In February 2016, NX Courier solidified its operations with its appointment of Russell Thompson to the post of Operations Controller. After starting out as a driver for the business, Russell was promoted to the role as a result of his demonstrable enthusiasm and work ethic.
Reflecting on the current climate for courier firms, Russell said: "It's a thriving market - there's huge demand for courier services, a lot of one-man bands and healthy competition. I like to think that our belief in great customer service and focus on quality give us the edge."
Speaking about how the courier division has changed over the last 30 years, Neil Powell, Managing Director of The NX Group, said: "It has changed in many ways - the branding, the range of services offered and our approaches to selling - but one thing that hasn't changed is the professional and personal service that every customer, regardless of their spend or regularity, is provided."
Echoing Neil's words, Russell added: "Customer service remains our highest priority. Making a great first impression, keeping on top of communication with constant responsiveness and updating the ETAs of deliveries is all absolutely essential."
Asked about his plans for the future of NX Courier, Neil said: "We will continue to stand by our values of trust, honesty and bespoke services. I have no doubt we will continue to grow and attract the customers who demand that little bit extra from a same-day courier business like ours. The aim is that if anyone needs a courier, it will only ever be NX Courier."
Mike Powell, Chairman of The NX Group, confirmed: "As with the firm as a whole, our aim with NX Courier is to continue to grow profitably by providing customer service of the very highest standard."
The NX Group is a comprehensive suite of supply chain solutions for businesses that require an extra level of quality and care for their products, including brands such as King of Shaves, incognito®, Asvina and IT Luggage. Based in the Golden Triangle of Logistics in Northamptonshire, its distribution, warehousing and courier divisions have grown year on year, thanks to its emphasis on customer service and its personal approach. The firm operates a dedicated transport service providing security, reliability and an efficient service to customers.
A LOCAL primary school has been presented with a £2,500 donation from logistics, warehousing and courier firm The NX Group, which will enable the school to transform its playing field into an interactive outdoor learning area.
The Crick-based firm has pledged £2,500 towards a new £6,000 play area for its neighbour, Crick Primary School. The new equipment will sit alongside the current play apparatus and give the school's field, which at present has a large amount of open space, an exciting revamp. With the updated play area set to be ready in time for the new school year this September, pupils from Reception to Year 6 will have access to the new equipment, along with Crick Pre-school.
The school has already raised an additional £2,000 towards the playground, and is working hard to raise the remaining £1,500 before the summer. Thanks in part to The NX Group's donation, the school will be able to provide its 194 pupils with a range of new play opportunities in a dynamic environment, with a view to encouraging outdoor learning both during and out of lessons.
Neil Powell, Managing Director of The NX Group, met with Headteacher Vikki Lack at the school last month to present the cheque for almost half the equipment's cost. They were joined by the School Council of 10 students from Year 2 to Year 6, who are very much looking forward to their new play area.
Vikki Lack said: "We have been focused on improving outdoor learning as part of our School Development Plan, and we are hoping to be able to offer all of our pupils regular forest school experiences. We would like to thank Neil and The NX Group for their very generous donation, which will go a long way towards helping us reach our £6000 goal."
Neil Powell added: "We are happy to be able to help Crick Primary School fund their play area development. Supporting our local community here in Crick is very important to us, and we will continue to do so in whatever ways we can."
For more information about The NX Group, visit www.thenxgroup.com. You can also follow the company on LinkedIn and on Twitter via @thenxgroup.