I think that one of the great things about ABF is that they take on graduates from many degree disciplines; I studied International Business Management at the University of Lincoln which led me to apply to the ABF Supply Chain scheme because I wanted a real, hands-on, practical insight to the supply-side of business with a company that operates internationally like ABF!
I started the scheme in West Bromwich with Allied Bakeries; so far I’ve been able to split my time into two major placements in bread production and logistics. I’ve had the opportunity to lead and support projects on production efficiency, throughput and ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’ in our production department – and lead a cost-saving project on our customer deliveries in our logistics department. Here I’ve been able to sharpen my problem-solving and continuous improvement facilitation skills whilst building on my people-influencing confidence with the aid of interactive, challenging and informative graduate training sessions. As well as working on these projects, I’ve also been able to learn all about mass & batch bread production, working closely with our Manufacturing Technicians, and how this operation ties in with our huge in-house logistics function! After 12 months I moved up to our Stoke factory to take on more project work in logistics.
Much like the supply chain industry, no day is the same on the graduate scheme. Although I attend daily data reporting sessions, I may find myself working on ad-hoc problem solving and improvement opportunities with departments and professionals I haven’t previously worked with before; collecting and analysing data to fuel important improvement meetings and decisions – so the networking and experience opportunities have been great!
I’ve now moved to Allied Mills in Tilbury, resuming projects supporting transport & distribution that matter to the business and group – this hasn’t felt like a massive change from the graduate scheme as you are always working on things that make a difference; you just get to do more! Moving “off-scheme” was painless and I had loads of support doing so.