Depot Focus : Lincoln
Lincoln is a small depot with a reputation for a friendly and family atmosphere – here, we take a closer look at the site and find out more about some of the staff.
Lincoln depot – in numbers
- 49 members of staff
- 32 vehicles
- 3,000 average daily deliveries at peak
- 1,500 average daily collections at peak
Lincoln is one of the top performing depots in the country, covering 34 routes and delivering on average 3,000 parcels a day during peak. It ranked fourth for its service quality last year, which operations manager Andy says was largely down to having customer-focused employees.
“The depot has a genuine belief that the customer is our priority,” says Andy, who will be celebrating his 30th year at Parcelforce this year. “We hardly ever fail any parcels at Lincoln. During December, only 30 out of 65,486 items were not delivered on time.”
Andy also trains employees across the Midlands in the areas of health and safety – for example, on how to be a yard marshall. “One of the biggest strengths at Lincoln is that half of our people have been here for over 10 years, with some clocking over 30 years,” he says.
Delivery and collections manager, Phil, has been at Parcelforce for 14 years. He runs the afternoon shift from 11am to 7pm, ensuring all the collections are done and checking the administration staff are happy.
He also monitors the drivers when they come back in the afternoon and makes sure that the parcels are offloaded correctly. “It’s a very organised and efficient depot. I like managing groups of people. Every day is different.”
Phil also gets involved with health and safety at the depot. He says: “We’ve had superb audit scores over the last few years. Everything we do is very good.”
Transport DRP (designated responsible person), Richard, spent his first 11 years at Parcelforce as a driver. Now, he looks after the maintenance of the vehicles, ensuring they are roadworthy and in good condition.
His shift starts at 6am and finishes at 2pm. “I come into contact with the drivers every day and they tell me of any problems they may have,” he says.
Richard, who has been in this role for the last three years, also covers the deliveries and collections in the morning when manager Colin is off.
He says: “I like the variety of the role. It definitely suits me.”
Thick – skinned
Customer services advisor, Sarah, feels like an investigator when she is hunting parcels down for customers who don’t have tracking numbers.
“I enjoy it as it is good to be able to give them the information that they need. I see each phone call as a challenge. When you pick the phone up you don’t know what they are going to say. You have to be thick-skinned.”
Sarah has been at Lincoln for seven years and receives calls not just from local areas such as Spalding and Boston, but from across the country and even internationally.
“I also work on the front counter when the customers come in, doing drop-offs or doing a new job for them.”
Driver Iain has been at the depot for 23 years, and knows most of the routes inside out. He delivers around 70 to 90 parcels a day, covering areas such as Lincoln, Mablethorpe, Spalding and Skegness.
He recently won Employee of the Year for Lincolnshire and the East Midlands for his hard work and knowledge of the area.
“When I’m not out on a route, I can help with office cover or assist with any vehicle breakdown. It is a fantastic company to work for,” he says.
Customer service advisor, Gary, has been dealing with customer enquiries on a daily basis for the past four-and-a-half years.
According to Gary, it can be difficult at times when all sorts of problems come up, “but you just have to resolve the issues the best you can to help customers when they have a grievance”.
He used to do night work where he offloaded parcels from the trailers and loaded vans ready for delivery the next day. He says: “I prefer being in the office and it’s a good atmosphere working with the people here.”