Steve Shaw, Perfect Trip manager

Job Title: Perfect Trip Manager

Organisation: CHEP Europe

Years in Job: 1+1/2

Qualifications:  M. Eng in Mechanical Engineering – University of Central Lancashire Chartered Engineer (Institute of Mechanical Engineers)

Zia Rahman : Your job role is Perfect Trip Manager (but you don’t work for a travel agency) – please explain what you do.
Steve Shaw : It is an unusual role, certainly something I had never expected to be involved with when I first thought about my career. Essentially it involves looking after the goods of our clients as they travel from source to destination and working on a model of continuous improvement in terms of operations and logistics.

ZR : Let’s find out what has got you where you are today. What subjects did you study at A Level and why?
SS : I took A Levels in Maths, Chemistry, Physics, French and General Studies.

ZR : Why maths in particular?
SS : The Maths and Physics were important as I actually wanted to join the RAF as a pilot and they wanted Maths and Physics. My father worked for British Aerospace, and I was in the University Air Squadron, which are training units of the RAF, to fly as a junior officer. I was also sponsored by the RAF through college for my studies so I guess the influence was essential for my career choice.

ZR : How do you mean – why is maths so important to employers?
SS : Maths demonstrates aptitude, logical thinking and analytical processes which are essential skills in any industry not least the armed forces. It trains you to develop problem solving skills for example even now I am working out distance speed calculations.

ZR : So you are actually using the maths you learnt?
SS : Absolutely – I worked for British Aerospace on the Typhoon Fighter project and we were using computer systems to identify what components were likely to break down using numerically controlled processes. At CHEP I am using maths everyday!!! For example – statistics is vital to our operations which involve moving 3 million pallets of goods a day. I need to sample the pallets and containers and determine repairs and inspections. Another thing I look at is when a change in process is implemented – I look at the spread and dispersion of performances between different centres and ask ‘has an improvement been made?’

ZR : How has maths helped inspire you to be where you are today?
SS : Without maths I could not have done anything.

ZR : What is it like working with CHEP?
SS : It is a dynamic company. Most of my colleagues are between 20 and 30. It’s a young company and there are always progression opportunities. You need to keep your passport handy – I am always travelling. A typical week might be Monday in Weybridge, Tuesday in Belgium, Wednesday in Budapest, Thursday in Weybridge and Friday working from home. The company is supportive in the work that we do with Christie’s Hospital who are a charitable organisation. We offer free consulting services and enjoy helping out. I am also looking forward to doing more ambassador work – its great fun.