Staff profile: Brian Gutierrez
Brian first came to Priority Freight in 2015, through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme. KTP is a UK-wide Government-led programme that promotes partnerships between universities and businesses, enabling joint projects that improve competitiveness and productivity.
KTPs are a cost-effective way of enabling companies to benefit from the skills of a recent graduate as well as accessing the expertise within a university department. Brian joined us via a KTP collaboration with the University of Kent to develop a tool to configure co-loads via our SIRUS platform, and he’s now our connection to the University’s valuable knowledge base. The project is part of our commitment to minimising the environmental impact of our service, making sure we make the most efficient use of every transport.
Before joining Priority Freight, Brian was with the US Air Force for four years, as an Armament Specialist and Operations Controller. His work took him to Greece, the Czech Republic, and Abu Dhabi. Whilst working full-time he finished his Business Administration degree, and then, after leaving the US Air Force, completed an MSc Logistics degree.
Brian told us: “As an Operations Controller in the US Air Force, I was responsible for data entry, monitoring, and customer solutions all rolled into one. As part of my Logistics degree, I experienced developing tools and analysing data; notably, I developed a scheduling tool to support a distribution company as part of my dissertation.
“Whilst I was doing my business degree, I wasn’t too sure which area I wanted to specialise in. When I moved to a more logistics-oriented job in the Air Force, I realised the logistics industry’s significance and opportunities, and especially enjoyed working in a diverse environment, working under pressure to support an operation.”
On a day-to-day basis at Priority Freight, Brian’s work changes as the project evolves, but generally involves programming and testing the consolidation tool, or ‘G’, and supporting the Operations or Supplier Management Team with analytical work.
Earlier in the project, he held a test-period for ten weeks with live data from SIRIUS, putting a year’s worth of work to the test for the first time. During the test period, 14% of 1,500 jobs in the Dover office were identified by ‘G’ as co-load or transhipment opportunities. In the same period, just 4% were identified manually. By using ‘G’ 113,000 kilometres could have been saved – almost three times the circumference of the Earth.
Brian said: “It was gratifying to see the positive results and feedback from ‘G’ and the operators. Several benefits were realised during this test-period, which helped push some constructive changes and direct the next steps.”
Together with Neal Williams, Brian presented the test findings at a recent Kent Business School networking event, showcasing not just the project’s aims and latest results, but also highlighting to Kent businesses and the University’s academics the benefits of a KTP project.
He’s found the opportunity to develop his public speaking abilities through events like this, an invaluable addition to his growing skills set, and told us: “There are always opportunities to learn and grow at Priority Freight. It’s a diverse, dynamic and exciting place to work, particularly because of the multi-cultural, multi-lingual teams – there are always different opinions and points-of-view. I particularly enjoy making an impact on the decision-making process through developing these tools and analyses and always come away with lessons learned and new perspectives.
Brian’s advice to anyone looking to join the logistics industry is that clear communication and understanding are vital to successfully identifying any logistics solution. With the logistics industry being so broad, he thinks it’s a good idea to get some work experience in different areas to discover and learn about their specific functions.
And project ‘G’? The next step will be to incorporate predictive technology and to deploy it throughout the group to support the operations teams, enabling Priority Freight to both save costs and reduce CO2 emissions.