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Jeff Roberts

I joined Hatmill in 2014 after a short spell working alongside the team in a professional capacity during 2013. In 2001 I graduated from Northumbria University with a BA (Hons) degree in Logistics & Supply Chain Management and have since worked within the sector in a variety of roles.

My industry background has been largely gained in 3PL and own-account retail operations.

My first role, fresh out of university, was a graduate position for the Simon Group at the Humber Sea Terminal in North Killingholme. Turning up on day one with my brand new suit, clean shirt and shiny shoes I looked more like I was ready for an audition on The Apprentice than to start a career in Logistics. The new suit, however, was soon replaced by a set of overalls and a high-visibility jacket, the shiny shoes with some steel toe-capped boots and matching hard hat. Much of my time was then spent working in a cold, dark, windy transit shed north of Immingham Docklands, something I grew to enjoy and look back on with fond memories. I honestly believe that this position was the best thing that could have happened to me as a graduate as I spent much of my time on the shop-floor working with operational teams, hand-balling containers, shrink wrapping pallets and most valuably gaining an understanding of how things appear the other side of the desk in an operation. I also gained valuable exposure to leading 3PLs such as Exel / Tibbet & Britten and retailers such as B&Q and Homebase.

Following my time with the Simon Group I became the Logistics Manager for Cosalt Ltd, a Marine Safety and Protection company based in Grimsby. Cosalt was my first insight to retail operations. My main objective was to reduce branch stock holding without compromising service levels and streamline procurement, something my CIPS accreditation was useful for.

Despite my love of the North and the awesome Grimsby Fish n Chips, I was keen to seek out other opportunities in logistics and was still convinced there must be a shiny, warm office somewhere I could wear my, still untouched, new suit. This led me on to join the DHL-Exel Supply Chain graduate scheme, starting at O2 in Normanton and ending up at Tilbury Docks working on the UK Fashion Network. The scheme was fantastic as it gave me the opportunity to work within several high-profile accounts and major projects. Some of these accounts and projects included:

  • Implementation of the reverse logistics operation for O2 (£400k new business)
  • Operational relocation and expansion for Reebok
  • Value share projects for Selfridges (£400k)
  • Cost Saving ‘Cluster Project’ following DHL purchase of Exel (£2m)
  • Process Improvement of UK Hanging Garment Fashion Network

Taking a step into consultancy initially led me into Executive Recruitment which was a fantastic way to meet many key people in the industry and build some great long-term relationships. Working at Hatmill means I have the challenge of helping good businesses become better and really enjoy the variety of work that different clients generate.

And as if I am not kept busy enough I also find the time to fly a commercial jet for a leading airline out of Manchester International, something I feel is more of a hobby than hard work.