CUSTOMERS COME FIRST. EVEN AT 3AM.
Our Castle Donington Distribution Centre was a new venture for M&S when Gurjit joined us. He could see our plans and was excited to be part of the journey we were embarking on. The centre is a huge operation packed with state-of-the-art technology, which now processes around two million single orders a week. So was Gurjit worried about being ‘lost’ in this big machine?
“Not a bit of it! I was expecting Castle Donington to be a well-oiled commercial juggernaut, with opportunities for development, and it has more than met my expectations. The centre has a very personal feeling; you don’t get swallowed up and you can be yourself.”
Gurjit started as an agency colleague, before being offered a permanent contract. He progressed to being a Team Co-ordinator and then Team Manager on the night shift, after a secondment in the role. So while most of the world sleeps, he’s leading a team to ensure that customer orders are packed and despatched, engaging with other functions to ensure we live up to the ‘On Time, Every Time’ standard we have set ourselves.
“We pack a lot of orders that go straight to stores for customers to collect at a time that suits them. That’s great for everyone. The service is free for customers and it brings more footfall to stores, so customers can browse our other products while they’re there,” Gurjit says.
“We’re known for quality, so we take each customer order personally, as if it were our own. We often walk completed orders down to the trailers to ensure everything goes out on time and we can keep customers in the loop. Making every moment special for customers is something we take seriously, whatever the hour, and I’m proud to say that last year we broke our record for customer failure rate.”
While Gurjit goes out on a limb for customers, he has been fully supported in his development at M&S as he’s moved through the ranks. He’s attended lots of courses at our learning and training centre, and received active encouragement from his managers to take on new responsibilities.
But support goes deeper than that. Gurjit points to how we’ve made Castle Donington a very inclusive place to work, and how our charity days and fundraising activities help others. There’s one-to-one support too, and Gurjit has helped a colleague with a mental health condition through a particularly tough time by making workplace adjustments that go beyond the norm.
As a single parent, Gurjit has also been a recipient of our ‘look-out-for-each-other’ approach. “I’m a single parent and had been having childcare issues. M&S made it possible for me to arrive and finish earlier on my shift to look after my son. It reinforces the fact that you’re more than just a number at M&S.”Inside M&S