May 12th, 2020

Meet Neal Robinson – our ‘mover and shaker’

You can have the world’s best designers. We have. Your engineers may be best-in-class. Ours 100% are. You could work with peerless manufactures. Like we do. But, if you can’t get things from A to B safely and on time, what’s the point?

 

In this latest ‘Meet the team’ we’re talking to Neal Robinson, our Logistics Manager , the man responsible for delivering our LED lighting solutions around the globe about the complex challenges he can face every day.

Introducing Neal:

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?

After school, I spent four years in the South African Navy onboard small missile boats. As much as I enjoyed it, particularly visiting places like Mauritius, I decided a ‘life on the ocean waves’ wasn’t for me. So, I moved on and started working at a road freight management company. My career in Logistics had begun. During my five years there I qualified in Road Traffic Management and increased the company’s fleet from 5 to 77 vehicles. I was then headhunted by a courier company to run their biggest consumer delivery hub. From there I moved to the Middle East for 10 years, where I worked as a logistics manager for a high-profile security company. Whilst there I also gained more qualifications in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

What made you choose logistics management?

After leaving the Navy and not being a nine-to-five person, I really enjoyed road transport management. It’s a non-stop job, which you either love or hate – there’s is no middle ground. And I love it, especially overcoming the daily challenges you have to face.

Why did you want to join Midstream?

Working in the Middle East was amazing. But, with a growing family, my wife and I decided the best place to bring the children up was the UK. I was also looking for a new challenge, where I could work in a small team environment and contribute to its growth. I looked into Midstream and, as the cliché goes, Alex made me ‘an offer I couldn’t refuse’.

Where are you based and what does your role cover?

I’m based in the London HQ. My role covers the movement of all our goods between third party providers and manufacturers and our clients – globally. This includes being responsible for all the documentation needed to import and export goods most efficiently to meet our end-customers’ needs. I also look after the process writing and flow-chart compilation for all our processes.

How has the company grown in your time there?

Midstream has expanded quite quickly in my 18 months here, and that growth is set to continue. The number of projects we’re working on has rocketed. And in addition to the London office and our R&D team in Italy, we now have people working for us remotely across Europe and in the USA too.

How many countries do we currently ship to?

During my relatively short time here, I’ve arranged shipping to over 41 different countries. Again, with more projects from far and wide coming through, that number is set to grow.

What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Balancing customer expectations with cost-effective shipping isn’t always easy, as some transit processes can be long and complex. Another challenge is customs’ requirements, and their interpretation, are forever changing and becoming stricter. And, if you take ‘your eye off the ball’ you can face hefty storage fines. Something that’s not happened to us yet – and won’t on my watch! Brexit and the free movement of goods will bring more challenges too. Plus, the effect of the Covid-19 virus will have across the world, possibly for years to come, could help make things even more complex. But we’ll face these challenges head-on and make sure they won’t impact on our clients. Because that’s what we do here at Midstream – we only work to the highest standards, and always meet them.

And for a bit of fun, tell us something about yourself that we don’t already know?

Enduro motorcycle racing, an extended cross-country, off-road sport, is my passion – after the wife and kids of course. I’m a keen amateur racer and my dream would be to do a Red Bull event – like the Sea to Sky in Turkey or even the Dakar Rally.

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