Dixon Transport News
Monday 12 April 2021
Dixon Employee Q&A – Terry Bleeks
For our latest employee Q&A, we caught up Terry Bleeks, recently hired Business Development Manager at Dixon International Logistics.
Terry has been with us for just over 2 months and is now well settled into his role, so it will be interesting to learn a bit more about him.
- What interests you about the Transport/Logistics industry?
The industry itself is not one I would have been drawn to or ever really seen myself working in a couple of years ago. However, now that I am working in the industry, I thoroughly enjoy the dynamism and different facets that contribute to it’s make up. Seeing first hand the work that goes on behind the scenes to help bring everyday supplies to our shelves really gives you an appreciation of the importance of the transport industry.
I also think there are some great opportunities within the industry far beyond the basic truck & trailer on the road.
- Tell us a little bit about your career to date.
I studied Marketing at Ulster University, and graduated in 2014. For my placement year, I got to travel to USA for a year’s work selling coach tour vacations to Ireland for CIE Tours. Following my graduation, I moved into a lead generation role in the technology industry. Whilst this wasn’t the most glamorous of jobs, it did teach me quite a bit in terms of selling techniques and identifying opportunities and decision makers.
I then moved back into the coach tour industry for just over 3 years. I had the interest in this industry from my placement year and thoroughly enjoyed this work. Being involved in the planning aspect of the business also gave me sound knowledge of driving hours, ferry schedules & costs, route planning etc, skills which have been transferable to the transport industry. As I progressed into General Management during my time in the coach industry, I was able to gain good insight into all aspects of running a business from sales to accounts to managing people. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, the coach tour industry is now currently non-existent and I therefore had to move on.
I have now been working in the transport industry for just over 1 year.
- Now a month into your role at Dixon, how have you found your time so far and what will your main role and responsibilities involve?
To date I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Dixon. All of the staff have been more than welcoming, and I’ve been given all the necessary tools and support to carry out my day-to-day work.
My main role is very much customer facing, which is not straight forward given the various lockdowns at the moment. I am responsible for maintaining and developing business with our current customer base, whilst also introducing our company to new potential customers.
In addition, I am also strongly involved in increasing our social media output and improving our web presence.
- What challenges do you see the supply chain industry encountering in the upcoming year(s)?
The obvious answer here is Brexit and the Covid pandemic, which everyone I am sure is well aware of and fed up talking about at the moment.
I think looking longer term, the big challenge for the industry is going to be around green initiatives and operators reducing their carbon footprint.
As we have seen, both the Irish and UK governments recently announced aggressive plans to vastly reduce their carbon footprint in the coming years. Looking at the transport industry, it is still heavily dominated by diesel powered trucks, travelling daily on multiple ship crossings.
The challenge long term is that operators are going to have to move away from the traditional vehicle types and towards more environmentally friendly equipment to reduce their emission output. This will result in a big shift in the behaviour of transport operators from how and when they purchase vehicles, to route planning etc.
The lack of sufficient infrastructure to support environmentally friendly trucks is also a major challenge hauliers will face over the coming years.
I can very much see a big change coming in how transport business in carried out in 10-15 years compared to today.
- How do you think Dixon can combat these challenges/difficulties?
Luckily enough, steps have already been taken here at Dixon as part of our sustainability initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. I would definitely see the company as a thought leader in the area of sustainability. This is evidenced by the CNG gas powered trucks already in the fleet, solar powered offices and fully electric company car fleet.
We already have plans to continue to grow our CNG powered truck fleet this year and will indeed add Electric Powered trucks when they come available.
- What do you feel is unique about Dixon Transport?
As I touched on previously, the sustainability initiatives being implemented at Dixon are quite unique within the industry. The willingness to invest in new technologies with a long term view is also very refreshing.
What is also unique is the great pride all of the staff takes in their workplace and the cleanliness of everything from the trucks to the offices to the warehouse and even the garage. This starts from the top down, as I know our MD Michael takes great pride in having a meticulously clean fleet and offices. This is very much reflected by the efforts of the staff to keep things tidy.
- What is your goal for the upcoming year? (Personally & professionally?)
I suppose given the uncertainty around a lot of things at the moment, goal setting isn’t as straight forward as maybe in the past. Having become a father for the first time last year, my personal goals have certainly changed. Before it might have been to get my golf handicap down, whereas now it might be something more like helping teach my child to crawl or walk.
On a professional level, I am motivated to raise the profile of Dixons and to strengthen existing client relationships, whilst also increasing awareness of our presence within the UK.
- What keeps you motivated?
My motivation would be very similar I suppose to most everyone else’s in terms of wanting to have a decent living.
I am very much motivated to continue to progress within my profession to ensure security for my family in the future.
Also, I am acutely aware of the hardships of many people because of the pandemic, and therefore am motivated by simply having a good job and appreciating the value of continued employment.
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to play (badly) and watch golf. Luckily at Dixon’s there are a few golfers in the staff, so I will have no bother getting a few games after work the odd evening. I have been advised not to take on Michael for money though, so I think I’ll pair up with him if there are any matches going.
I also like to do some running 4-5 times a week to help keep physically and mentally fit.