Day in the life of a CTS Operations Coordinator
Katie works closely with drivers, management and the administrative team to coordinate CTS’ specialist logistics assignments across the world. The role is integral to CTS’ delivery of service excellence.
She explains more about what’s involved…
What did you do before joining CTS?
“After graduating from university with a BA in Education Studies, I worked as a supervisor in the retail industry. Retail operations share some similarity with logistics operations in that you need to be an excellent communicator with strong yet adaptable organisational skills. A proactive attitude and efficient multitasking abilities are also essential.
“Those early days in retail helped me develop strengths in these areas, standing me in excellent stead for my logistic operations career.”
Describe a typical working day
“Very fast-paced and varied. A massive range of tasks must be completed to an extremely high standard.
“CTS is a leading provider of secure logistics solutions for government, defence and other sensitive cargo travelling by land, sea and air. We handle multiple dangerous, delicate and difficult projects nationally and internationally. There’s absolutely no room for error. My job requires sharp focus and I take that very seriously.
“One moment you’ll be discussing high profile work with a senior-ranking army officer, the next you could be booking hotels for long-haul drivers to stay in overnight, so no two days are the same.”
Tell us about your key responsibilities
“Predominantly, I take care of all aspects of planning and crewing CTS’ road transport assignments. That involves managing customers’ expectations, keeping the scheduling board up to date in real time, and ensuring driver welfare.
“It’s vital that I am situationally aware of the whole scheduling board , and I communicate with both drivers and customers frequently throughout the day.
“Operational excellence depends on exemplary teamwork, so I spend a lot of time building and maintaining relationships with customers and colleagues.
“Quoting for work is another significant part of my job, so I need to be commercially aware to ensure CTS maintains a market position that’s competitive as well as high-calibre.”
Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
“Each day there is a new challenge to overcome and learn from. I view every experience as an invaluable development opportunity that helps me become better and better. With the fast pace and variety, you’ll never hear me complain about being bored.”
“At CTS, we learn from each other too. Knowledge is shared and problems are solved together. Fellow staff are friendly and supportive.”
What qualities are required to succeed in a busy operations department?
“Your organisation skills must be second to none. The ability to think dynamically and respond to challenges quickly is critical in this industry. A calm and collected mindset really helps with that. You can’t lose your cool – there’s too much at stake.
“Good communication skills are a pre-requisite to getting the job done well. I pride myself on being approachable and polite. You need be a “people person”.
“A willingness to learn and a hunger for meaty challenges will get you far in specialist logistics operations.”
Did you need to do any specialist training to become an operations coordinator for CTS?
“Yes. This is no ordinary logistics role. I’ve completed training in dangerous goods and radiation awareness, an IOSH course, vehicle familiarisation, and cargo security.”
Share your advice for someone looking to enter a career in logistics
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and look for all opportunities to learn. Think outside the box and share all of your ideas. CTS is a company that truly inspires you to do that and to reach your highest potential. Ambition is recognised and rewarded.”