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Corey Hartley receives the 2017 CILT NZ award for the top graduate in the CILT UK Professional Diploma in Logistics and Transport from Dr Walter Glass – Photo by Greg Kempthorne

Corey Hartley – “We’ve reshaped our lower NI distribution network”

In 1996 as a young man, Corey Hartley received a reply from the plant manager at the Tui Dairy Company confirming a temporary position as a technician in the blending plant for a period of two weeks. Twenty-two years later, he’s still there. This is his story.

Since that lowly start, I am now the distribution centre operations manager, responsible for the Pahiatua and Manawatu region, for New Zealand’s biggest exporter, Fonterra. During my time, I have largely worked in the manufacturing process of the operation, from milk treatment through to packing and palletising, with supervisory roles amongst the mix. I moved to the distribution centre in 2010 as a supervisor and quickly transitioned into management roles over the next two years.

In my first management role I was responsible for overseeing the Manawatu/Hawke’s Bay region which included five distribution centres as well as three third-party distribution centres which held our overflow product during peak months. 

My manager at the time, Scott Bennett, was completing his postgraduate-level CILT UK Professional Diploma in Logistics and Transport with the Logistics Training Group (LTG) in Palmerston North, and as part of my development plan, he put me in touch with Walter and Tessa Glass to investigate my suitability to do the same diploma programme.

Once confirmed and enrolled, I did wonder what I had gotten myself into, with having to go back to studying and completing reports to meet deadlines – something which I’d not had to do for a number of years.

Great insight

During my diploma study period, Fonterra expanded our Pahiatua site. We added a 15 metric tonne per hour milk powder drier as well as a new distribution centre, taking our total storage onsite to 30,000 metric tonnes. I was responsible for ensuring the delivery of the $32 million build. 

The management modules of the diploma gave me a great insight into refreshing the structure of our operations teams to meet the more efficient rail and road connections. The site has now become one of the most effective distribution centres in the company. 

During the build I was studying my two elective modules of transport and warehousing. These electives were extremely well suited to our project on optimising the new distribution centre’s internal movements and storage strategies, plus the transport movements to and from the site.

The knowledge from the diploma also helped with the reshaping of our lower North Island distribution network and inventory allocations. By holding more products at onsite distribution centres, we were able to reduce the requirements for offsite storage and reduce the total operating costs, in turn adding value for our shareholders.

Creating a sustainable business model

Since completing the diploma, I have been involved in removing waste from our operations and optimising operational efficiency. By having the skills and knowledge I gained through the diploma, my team and I have managed to reduce our operating cost as a supply chain and gain efficiencies throughout the network. 

With a broader understanding of the entire supply chain and by working collaboratively with our business partners Dairy Transport Logistics, Kotahi, Coda and KiwiRail, we have simplified our network to enable a sustainable business model.

An added bonus of completing the diploma was being selected as the top graduate in New Zealand in the 2017 CILT UK Professional Diploma in Logistics and Transport programme, and also as a finalist for the CILT UK Student of the Year award in London.

As a final note, I would like to thank Walter Glass of LTG for his mentoring and commitment to the diploma and to my learning. Walter was always available to answer any queries I had, and to provide a different (more experienced) lens on the situation. Also a big thank-you to Tessa Glass who kept me on schedule with constant reminders about assignment timing – I was only late occasionally!


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