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What am I doing with my life...

22 Dec 2017

Mairead McConnell

“It can seem impossible to get goods and services delivered to the customer on time and before Santa has begun his descent down the chimney!” Brightwater’s Mairead McConnell discusses how this can be a particularly stressful and manic time of year for Supply Chain & Logistics Professionals!

As Christmas quickly approaches, swiftly followed by the excitement of New Year, the age-old period of self-reflection is sure to arrive when professionals all over the world question “What am I doing with my life?”, “Should I have made different choices?” but more importantly the desire for a “New Year, New beginnings” vibe takes centre stage. 

For professionals in Supply Chain and Logistics, this can be a particularly stressful and manic time of year.  From treacherous weather conditions affecting driver routes and delivery times, to general sickness and low staffing levels, it can seem impossible to get goods and services delivered to the customer on time and before Santa has begun his descent down the chimney!  Transport Managers are in constant turmoil as drivers leave and join another company at the busiest time of year for a slightly higher hourly rate.  With ever tighter budgets and narrowing margins, a counter offer may not be a viable option in order to retain and attract staff therefore impacting on delivery.  Operations struggling to deliver on time consistently at this time of year can gravely damage the entire company’s reputation, leaving a majority of the New Year a struggle for the Sales and Business Development teams grappling to retrieve back lost custom.  As the Supply Chain Manager or the Transport Manager of a company, the pressure falls to you to ensure effective functioning of the business, securing the company’s reputation as being the best company around.

In today’s market, the level of stress among Supply Chain and Logistics professionals is at an all-time high due to a combination of those tighter budgets, a candidate-driven employment market and continuing increases in material costs.  Constantly being asked to do more with less, feelings of demotivation and being undervalued in the work place, piled on top of longer working hours and tight deadlines are leading to an increase in work related stress and long term sickness across Northern Ireland.  Being motivated is a great asset, but how does one maintain such levels of motivation and determination day in and day out when there are so many obstacles to overcome on a daily basis?   Surveys for 2017 have shown that average weekly working hours among Supply Chain professionals have increased to 58 hours per week in comparison to 50 hours per week for the same period last year.

We all want to work hard but one key question is whether all your hard work, longer hours and increased effort are being recognised and rewarded by your employer?  Are those long hours being put in for an employer who doesn’t realise and value your commitment to the job?  Perhaps a new beginning for the New Year should be top on your Christmas wish list!  Over the last number of years, Brightwater has developed strong working relations with companies across Northern Ireland who recognise that a better working environment for their professionals is equally as beneficial as competitive salaries.   Our relationship with these top employers has grown from strength to strength as we seek to partner with more businesses that understand the value of being a good employer.  With companies introducing flexible working hours for a better work-life balance, implementing dress down Fridays, Brunch Break Wednesdays and adding a range of social/team building events to the calendar, our clients have found staff retention greatly improved and candidates are now actively seeking opportunities with them due to their strong reputation for employee care. 

As we approach 2018 Brightwater has a number of open vacancies open for Material Planners, Material Buyers, Warehouse Supervisors and Warehouse Managers as well as Transport Co-Ordinators and Transport Manager Jobs.  Our goal for 2018 is to continue to help Supply Chain and Logistic professionals across Northern Ireland find and secure their dream job with companies who support, encourage and develop their staff.  If you want 2018 to get off to a brand new start with a company that will support you through the current market obstacles, please give me a call on 028 9032 5325 to discuss your options. Dwell over your life choices no longer, Brightwater can help ensure you get your 2018 off to the perfect start!

Brightwater's Mairead McConnell - Supply Chain & Logistics Consultant
For information about current and future opportunities available within Supply Chain & Logistics which may be of interest to you, contact me on 028 9032 5325 or email  M.McConnell@brightwaterni.com.