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Lisa Journeaux, dispatch coordinator at WPI’s Tangiwai Sawmill: “I am able to use what I have learnt every day to better manage my tasks”

Lisa Journeaux – “I have a new view on things”

Living in the central North Island, it was perhaps inevitable that Lisa Journeaux would wind up in the timber industry, but it was from an early role as a dispatch clerk and a love of ‘organising things’ that she discovered her passion for logistics. This is her story.

Growing up, I always liked the idea of working in some kind of administration roll. After leaving college I sat a national certificate in business and administration. My first job after the course was as a receptionist for a big logging truck company, which eventually led to a role that was more involved with helping the dispatchers with their daily tasks and also relieving for the dispatchers when they took leave. This is where I discovered my love for working in logistics and organising things. Unfortunately due to a restructure, I found myself without a job.

In late 2007 I moved back to my home town of Raetihi and in early 2008 I was offered a part-time data entry job at WPI’s Tangiwai Sawmill. WPI is one of the largest employers in the central North Island and especially around our small rural community, so I accepted the job. After around six months in the role there was an announcement of a restructure and I was worried I would be out of a job again, but this time I was offered a full-time position as the receptionist and accounts payable clerk, which I accepted without hesitation.

It wasn’t long after settling into this role that I found out that the dispatch coordinator had resigned, and I saw this as my chance to get back into a logistics role again, which is what I really wanted to do. I approached the boss and asked if I would have a shot at the job. I was successful and was offered the position – and I’ve been there ever since, and am still enjoying it to this day.

Gaining new skills

When I first started in the dispatch coordinator position, I was responsible for organising the daily dispatching of the finished timber to our customers via trucks and rail. The role has since expanded and I am now responsible for managing the logistics of the products through the secondary processes to the dispatch stage.

My boss encouraged me to complete a certificate in sawmilling along with a materials handling course, and after that there weren’t any more courses I could sit through the sawmill. I was keen to carry on with studying though, to help increase my knowledge and gain new skills to help me improve in my position. I approached my boss who gave me the go-ahead to explore other options and look for a course that would suit. I stumbled across the CILT UK Certificate in Logistics & Transport that is offered in New Zealand.

After showing the course details to my boss, he felt it fitted perfectly with the requirements of my role, so I emailed the Logistics Training Group for more information, to which Tessa Glass responded, asking for some information about my job. Before I knew it, I had started the course.

Working two jobs

Working 10.5-hour days and studying at the same time wasn’t easy. I had to put in some long hours to complete my study, but it felt so good to hand every assignment in and to get the response back with a ‘clear’ (a pass).

The work around the online virtual company on which the course was based did make it feel like I was working two jobs from time to time, but the course was very well set out and easy to follow, with all the essential information and data to complete the courses being easy to find.

Since completing the course I have again gained more responsibilities within my role and I believe this is due to the company recognising my increased skill-set and my improved business practices and communications which the course developed.

Improved performance

I feel the course has helped me understand so much more about logistics and supply chain management. I am able to use what I have learnt every day to better manage my tasks, and I’ve improved my performance by having a new view on things. My increase in knowledge in supply chain management has also helped in setting up new procedures within the processes I am responsible for.

Although I am glad to have my free time back since completing the course, I am still considering taking the next step and enrolling for the diploma.

The CILT UK Certificate in Logistics & Transport is offered in New Zealand by the Logistics Training Group; for further information, visit www.ltg.co.nz

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