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In the Spotlight with Lauren Pullin

Pall-Ex prides itself on doing things differently. From empowering our licensees with advanced technology to our unique hub-and-spoke system, we are always looking for ways to improve the logistics industry for our clients and end users.

Meet Lauren

Data analysis is one of the disciplines we have invested in to achieve this success and Lauren Pullin is the bright mind behind the department. We had a chat with Lauren to learn more about her, data analysis, and how data can be used to improve Pall-Ex’s palletised freight services.

What is your role at Pall-Ex?

I work with a small team to carry out data analysis and support the entire Pall-Ex Group of companies, including our International Master licensees. Our department is relatively new and we are usually deployed to analyse data and provide advice or support on commercial or logistical decisions. A large part of this work is taking data and presenting it in a way that bridges the gap between the internal Pall-Ex teams and partners across the globe.

What qualities would you say are integral for anyone looking to work in analytics?

I’d say an eye for detail and a natural curiosity. If you’re the type of person who asks what if we did it differently, or what can we do better, then analytics may be for you. In our industry (logistics) it also helps to have good communication skills as every day brings with it communication between a wide range of people from partners on the other side of the globe to stakeholders at the top of the organisation.

Data is a complex subject that many people might not understand. Can you briefly describe the process from raw data to actionable outcomes?

First and foremost, we need to understand what the person wants to achieve. This information helps us tailor the data and consider the best way to present the information.

Once we understand the reason, we use tools and reports to capture the raw data and analyse it. Once we have actionable information, we present the data in a form that is usable and effective. Depending on the data set and purpose, this could be anything from heat maps and graphs to basic spreadsheets or facts and figures.

Every case is unique so we have to approach every project differently.

With Pall-Ex expanding at an impressive rate, is there a country that Pall-Ex delivers to that you’d like to visit on holiday?

Everywhere! I want to go to all of them and tick off the list.

Although, I may be going on a little city break to see Athens next.

What benefits do you think data brings to an industry like logistics?

Large organisations need data to make informed decisions. Logistics, as an industry, is still a bit behind when it comes to data analysis compared to other industries but it’s starting to make changes.

Logistics operations are often focused on the day to day business so data analysis allows us to investigate projects and processes as a whole and make suggestions based on trends. This can be anything from route optimisation to automating office processes.

For example, we can identify where trailers aren’t used to their full capacity and suggest changes to reduce the number of trucks or trips required. These changes can help save time, money, and reduce our carbon footprint.

How would you say analytical insight can help with strategic planning, and do you have any examples from your time at Pall-Ex?

We’ve worked on a lot of projects but the main project for me has been the rate builder. We’ve simplified the rates for customers and helped partners make logistics more transparent for the end users which is beneficial for everyone.

Our partners can also use tools like Nexus for invoicing which can reduce the need for 3rd party software and save more money.

Another real-world example is our work around trailer fill. We analyse trips and suggest optimised routes where one truck filled to 100% capacity can do the work of two trucks each filled to 50% capacity.

What is the strangest consignment you have heard of or seen in the warehouse?

Strangest? I’d have to say the one that surprised me the most was airport ladders. They are really tall and take up a lot of space in the warehouse so it makes you think about how they transport all of those.

Congratulations on being nominated for the Rising Star Award - Logistics UK. What is the award for and how does it feel to be recognised for your efforts?

It all happened so fast. My manager, Michelle, nominated me which was really nice. Michelle is really supportive so I appreciate that. I also like to keep my head down and work so it’s a bit of a surprise really and I am sort of lost for words. It feels great though.

As a nominee for the Logistics UK awards, do you have any advice for anyone with an interest in analytics on what it takes to succeed?

Being inquisitive is a must. You need to be the person to ask questions and look for ways to improve. Questions like, ‘is there something I can be doing better or differently?’

In my career, for example, I fell into analytics. I was interested in it, taught myself, and went from there.

What challenges do you think the international logistics industry will need to overcome in the next 10 years and, if so, how can analytics support solutions?

The challenges to the environment are the biggest for me as people’s expectations for fast 24-hour deliveries grow. However, the network that supports this consumer culture is expensive, requires planning and takes time to manage. This also means optimising trips and using greener alternatives where possible. The cost of living also has hit all parts of the industry. So we’ll have to see how costs and the economy change over the next few years.

Luckily, in my role, we can look at being as efficient as possible to reduce costs, reduce gas emissions, and find the scenario that fits best for everyone. It’s a constant balancing act.

It was great sitting down with Lauren to learn more about data analysis and how her work helps the Pall-Ex team. We’re so proud of her nomination and can’t wait to see what the data analysis team accomplishes in the future. If you’re interested in finding out more about our leading palletised freight services or how you can become part of the Pall-Ex team contact us today.


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