WLN – What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Authors winning prizes for outstanding books.

Julia Swales, Head of Publishing, Kogan Page

WLN – Who’s inspired you most in your career?

Emeritus Professor Martin Christopher, author and chair of Kogan Page’s Logistics Advisory Board – he’s been at the forefront of new thinking and research in supply chain for 30 years.

WLN – If you were an item in a warehouse, what would you be?

A compact EK-X which offers picking heights up to 6300mm in guarded and unguarded aisles – anything is possible, no challenge is insurmountable.

WLN – What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

On my first day in a former job, I walked into the men’s toilet by mistake – and straight into the CEO in a surprising position. He said, ‘Do you think you’re in France?’

WLN – If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

Read the sign on the door.

WLN – Who or what makes you laugh?

Monty Python.

WLN – Do you have any hidden talents?

My life is an open book.

WLN – Who would be your favourite party guest?

John McEnroe. He possesses artistry and skill which, teamed with a sense of humour and a large dose of attitude, gives you all you need to succeed in business.

WLN – What is the greatest luxury in your life?


WLN – What is your favourite guilty pleasure?

Containers – I’m fascinated by the way they are recycled and used in innovative ways outside the industry.

WLN – Do you have any secret ambitions?

To be the captain of an ocean liner.

WLN – What’s your dream holiday destination?

New Zealand – beauty and escapism.

WLN – What are your three favourite movies of all time?

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Godfather, any Almodóvar film.

WLN – What is your favourite book of all time?

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Its themes – inequality, the role of women, the difficulty of relationships – can all be applied to the modern-day workplace. That and Warehouse Management.

WLN – What’s your favourite pastime?

Travelling, exploring new places.

WLN – If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

Buy a vintage VW camper van.

WLN – What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into this industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?

Do it.


As Head of Publishing, Julia Swales is responsible for commissioning content in the areas of Logistics, Supply Chain, Procurement and Operations Management, along with devising and implementing publishing strategies. She also runs advisory board meetings and attends international conferences for academics and practitioners. Established in 1967, Kogan Page publishes leading books covering operations and supply chain management, procurement and transport. From award-winning and internationally renowned professors and professionals, to former and current top executives of well-known brands, Kogan Page’s portfolio displays the most diverse and expansive expertise in logistics, supply chain, procurement and operations management.

To take part in Quote Unquote please call: 01923 272960 or email: james@warehousenews.co.uk