Rising Star interview with Norman Macksoni – Central Dispatch & Logistics Manager
19th October 2021Tweet
- Tell us about your role. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?
I manage a team of National Transport Planners, who are responsible for managing the efficient and effective day to day routing of all Copart’s collections, deliveries, and returns for our entire national fleet of transporters and national network of subhauler contractors.
This involves liaising with Transport Managers at all our national Operation Centres to plan the most effective routes for our drivers, in line with the needs of our business.
We use information obtained daily from the Operation Centres regarding availability of transporters, drivers, and subhaulers, to calculate the best routes using route planning software and road data, alongside our collective operational and local knowledge.
The team also deals with any issues drivers and subhauler partners encounter whilst collecting and delivering over 2,000 vehicles per day.
Every day presents its own unique challenges, which is something I thrive on. There are bodyshops and recovery agents we visit every couple of days and there are the specialist collections such as a complete burnout vehicle on the fairway of a Golf Course. You can imagine the challenges that we faced on that one!
- What made you want to work in this industry?
I have always had a great interest in cars, so working at Copart – a company that handles around half a million vehicles a year – certainly feeds that passion and means that I always enjoy my job!
Having previously worked as a Motorway Recovery Specialist and an Operations Manager for an ELV (end-of-life vehicles) recycling company, my career really has come full circle from being the person recovering vehicles at the scene of a road traffic collision, to the final stage of dealing with ELVs.
I feel lucky to work for a company that encourages personal development and offers plenty of opportunities for career advancement.
I started my career at Copart in 2016 as a Dispatcher at the Newbury Operation Centre. I soon knew that Copart was where I wanted to be long term, and with their support I obtained my Transport Manager CPC Qualification in 2017. I then relocated to Bedford to work at Head Office as a National Transport Planner in 2018.
I got the opportunity to make full use of my qualifications when I was promoted again in 2020 to become a Transport Manager for Copart’s Sandy and Wisbech Operation Centres.
In 2021, Copart introduced a new role that was perfect for my skill set and after a rigorous interview process, here I am now as Central Dispatch & Logistics Manager. It’s been an amazing 5 years for me!
- What do you see as the biggest challenge to your industry in the next year?
Across the transport industry, we need to use digital tools to their utmost capacity. We all know the value of time, and by further investing into developing and linking tracking and routing systems, we could give customers and their policy holders improved accuracy on collection and delivery times…perhaps even down to the minute.
When it comes to cutting edge technology, I believe the investment made by Copart in this area already shows the intent to remain global leaders in the online vehicle remarketing industry.
For example, we have deployed all the latest telematics and camera technology across our transport fleet. This not only allows Copart to manage logistics resources – including rapid response capabilities – but it also provides unique data and insight into driving styles and fuel consumption. This helps us to drive continuous improvement and optimal efficiency at all times.
Another key focus for us will be to stay ahead of new legislation in decarbonization, avoiding bottlenecks due to non-compliance.
As a business, Copart has always endeavoured to stay ahead of the curve, like we have done with our investment into electric/hybrid vehicle handling capabilities, so this will be no different!
The business has already invested in 250 Euro 6 compliant transporters which meet the latest government emission standards and we have plans to explore alternative fuel options for future fleet investment.
- How would you like to see the industry improved next year / 5 years / by the time you retire?
I’d like to see complete digitisation across the industry. Fully streamlined system integration is key for optimal visibility of our fleet and subhaul partners and even faster collection. Copart is continually analysing and learning from our transporter routing data, which can only drive our productivity and customer service levels even higher.
Building a sustainable transport network is also going to be a key focus across the industry over the next five years.
An ongoing focus on sustainability is a major aspect of Copart’s CSR strategy, Copart Cares. Our Plan-Net-Zero initiative, launched earlier this year, is designed to address all aspects of our operations against our ambition of achieving carbon neutrality in the shortest possible timescale. This includes exploring the option of hydrogen fuelled vehicles for our fleet going forwards.
There are already several impactful sustainability initiatives underway, including our ‘The Greenest Fleet on the Street’ transport strategy and our ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ commitment.
I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact of this programme, as it delivers meaningful and measurable changes, and I’d definitely like to see this commitment to more sustainable business practices echoed across the wider industry.
I’d also like to see more collaborative communication with drivers, who are at the forefront of our operations and are customer-facing on a daily basis. We need to harness their feedback and ideas on how we can make improvements, as their valuable insights could influence future training and development.
- If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Never stop learning, never hesitate, and never settle!Tweet