Savoye is one of Europe’s leading logistics software and warehouse equipment solution providers. Over 600 companies across five continents use Savoye for the implementation of their logistics flows, including such names as Britvic, Next, Nestlé, Shimano and luxury brands such as Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Savoye continues to enhance its offering to the warehouse and logistics industry with innovations in technology in every area of its business; from advances in automated packaging and pallet storage to logistics software.
Martin is based at the company’s UK headquarters in Coalville, Leicestershire.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
It has to be the sheer variety of the job and the mental challenge that each project brings. I get really excited about working as part of a team to develop an integrated solution that brings tangible benefits to an operation.
Who inspired you most in your career?
That’s a tricky one! It’s hard to name names as there have been so many people that have inspired me over the years. I am a bit of a magpie, learning and adopting best practice from anyone!
If you were an item in a warehouse, what would you be?
Being totally conceited, I’d have to say the WMS, as this is the brains of the operation!
What brought you to this industry?
I originally came into the warehouse and logistics industry via an apprenticeship with a storage company called Dexion in Hemel Hempstead. This was way back in the seventies when warehouse managers wore brown overalls. I was fascinated by the movement of goods and their progress through the supply chain.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?
The operational side of things really interests me, so I would have relished the opportunity to actually run a complete facility earlier in my career. I think this would have helped me to bring even more insight into design solutions for clients.
What’s your favourite pastime?
I am passionate about Rugby Union and have been a fan of the game for years. I am also involved with the grass roots game via the Northampton Saints, which runs a very active youth development programme. I love team sports and think a lot of businesses can learn from the strategies used by successful athletes.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
A long time ago a colleague on a warehousing project I was working on was responsible for installing mobile racking into the building. As an EU passport holder, he was used to working in metres (not imperial as we still did back then) and found that his racking was mysteriously three inches out at the end of every row! When we realised his error, we had to pull up the racking and start again!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I know a good pint of cider from a bad one.
Who would be your favourite party guest?
My dream party guest would be Jeremy Clarkson, thanks to his straight-talking nature and ability to get a conversation really going. Like him or loathe him, he’d be entertaining and good company.
What is the greatest luxury in your life?
My greatest luxury is peace and quiet away from the office. I spend most of my time in meetings, on the way to meetings or watching rugby, so those moments of relative quiet are precious to me!
If you won the Lottery, what would you do?
I’d pay off the mortgage, take a long holiday then probably come back and continue to work. We all need a challenge, and this is mine. Alternatively, given the current economic and global uncertainty, I’d buy an oil company!
Who or what makes you laugh?
I love Michael McIntyre or Billy Connolly. I was once based in Glasgow for a few weeks, working for HP (the computer company), and would often bump into Billy Connolly in the hotel I stayed in. He is a born entertainer and would provide humour and laughter wherever he was.
Do you have any secret ambitions?
For Savoye to sponsor the English Rugby team and beat the French at Twickenham! (Who said anything about the Entente Cordiale!).
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
New Zealand or South Africa are both great places to visit.
What’s your favourite music album?
I know it’s an old classic, but quality never goes out of style; Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
What’s your favourite movie?
Avatar was a great movie. I also enjoyed Inception. I like anything with a strong plot that grabs you and the special effects that match. Most films get this wrong and have it the other way round – all effects and no plot.
What’s your favourite book?
I love sports biographies, where we get to understand the journeys of great sportsmen and women. I have been especially inspired by Steve Redgrave’s autobiography.
Who or what do you detest the most?
Middle lane hoggers! I drive a lot due to the nature of our business and get very animated about selfish drivers.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into the industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?
I’d advise them to start at the top. By this I mean, get a solid grounding at a manufacturer first, rather than starting your career with a distributor. This broader experience will be hugely valuable as you progress up the career ladder.
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