Katherine Turrell underpins a career in planning and logistics with teaching credentials

Katherine Turrell’s interest in travel put her on the track for an international career in planning and logistics.

1. What is your role within Hexagon?

As the UK Planning & Logistics Manager I manage a great team of eight Hexagon employees. Customer orders won by our sales team in Hexagon UK come through my department and I am responsible for planning and managing the product and service delivery in line with the expectations of our customers and our company. We ensure robust systems and processes are implemented to continually improve customer responsiveness and profitability for the UK commercial office. We work closely with the sales, service and applications side of the business as well as the internal and external supply chain to support our customers’ needs and ensure adherence to Hexagon’s company policies and legal legislation.

2. How did you come to pursue your current career?
After travelling in Guernsey, France and Spain, I started my supply chain journey working for a very large tier-one Japanese automotive business. I travelled in EMEA and Japan and benefited greatly from working with other cultures, learning new skills and gaining insight into different methods of supply chain management. I focused on procurement for five years using ERP systems, then transport and logistics for three years, developing milk-runs that resulted in large cost saving methods. Legal legislations continuously change, which is challenging.

3. Is there a mentor who encouraged you?
I had two fantastic mentors, Scott Yamaguchi for six years and then Kenny Inoguchi for seven years and am still in contact with them now, and recently saw Kenny when he was on a visit to the UK. I also stayed with his family in Japan and am close with his wife and children too. I cannot easily quantify the knowledge I took from them both, but it stays with me today.

4. Which aspects of your job do you most enjoy and why?
It’s a very diverse role and I enjoy all aspects of planning execution, the physical flows of goods, the flow of information, processes, financial management, sourcing, logistics, procurement, engineering, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, repair and recycling, business management and so much more.

5. What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

We have to get ready for Brexit and prepare our UK commercial office for potential impacts and opportunities, which involves considering the impact on our customers, pricing, tariffs, import and export lead times and availabilities. The overall legal landscape is forever changing, so when you work in the supply chain it is important to keep up with and understand regulations.
Supply chain covers a range of activities and on occasions other divisions in businesses do not see the benefits!

6. Which professional achievements are you most proud of and why?
Oddly enough it’s not my supply chain experience I’m most proud of, it’s actually my teaching qualifications: PTLLS -preparing to Teach in the lifelong sector, and DTLLS Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. I decided to do these so I could share my knowledge, knowing that delivering the correct message is key to developing understanding and good management.

7. What advice would you give to young women considering a career in your field?
Given the amazing opportunities in supply chain, which spans virtually every industry, I would highly recommend the profession to anyone. Increasingly the success of a company is based on the performance of its supply chain, which opens opportunities. Supply chain management literally has something for everyone, making it a great route through which to fulfil life goals and objectives.

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