GPH Builders Merchants have four branches – and all are buzzing with activity. There are nine trucks and two pickups which service the four depots at Inverurie, Westhill, Stonehaven and Ellon. In terms of deliveries, GPH cover a large geographical area and as the service is so popular, there are always trucks being loaded up for the next set of customers.
GPH has a wide range of products, with everything from landscaping supplies to building materials, and it’s the job of the Transport Manager to make sure every delivery goes out in a timely and efficient manner. Here’s what Transport Manager, Terry Ritchie had to say about his demanding role and working for GPH:
Q: What was your background before joining GPH?
A: (Terry): I served my time as a fitter/turner with a local engineering firm. I then moved onto Baker Oil Tools as a machinist in 1975 and latterly as Production Foreman before leaving in 1991 to start in haulage with my father
I decided to hang up the keys in Jan 2007 and in doing so got a job with another local haulier as Transport Manager where I was for 9 ½ years before getting the chance to join GPH in September 2016.
Q: Describe a typical day for you?
A: (Terry): I’m usually in at 6.40am every day. I like to have a wander up the yard to see the drivers doing their walk round checks and checking off their load for onward delivery.
I return indoors to check off the previous days’ deliveries pods, check emails then liaise with Donald (Yard Foreman) for further deliveries. After this, I go on to Safety Cloud and check what’s required with regards to servicing, MOT’s, road tax, hi-ab servicing etc. in the forthcoming days. After lunch, I usually start planning and grouping together the orders for the following day deliveries.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge since joining GPH?
A: (Terry): Every day is a challenge at GPH and no two days are the same. Trying to keep all of the customers and sales staff happy is challenging, but at the height of the season when the trucks are really busy it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see all the deliveries complete at the end of the day and all loaded up for next day.
Q: What has been your biggest professional success/achievement?
A: (Terry): Becoming a Production Foreman with Baker Oil Tools (UK) at the tender age of 25 and also being a successful owner-driver in the haulage industry. I thrive on success and strive every day to achieve this.
Q: What is your favourite thing about working for GPH?
A: (Terry): As I mentioned before, no two days are the same. I love being part of a team which is continually growing, and I enjoy the autonomy of being left to get on with the job in hand.
Q: What do you do to relax/unwind?
A: (Terry): I like golf which I started playing regularly 10 years ago. I still do a wee bit of running but nowhere near the extent I used too – a nice brisk walk is more appropriate nowadays.
Q: What’s the best piece of work-related or personal advice you have received?
A: (Terry): There are no such words as ‘we can’t do’, there is always an option!
Q: What would you say to someone who has never been to a GPH branch before?
A: (Terry): I think anyone who has never been to GPH before will get a pleasant surprise at the volume of products and stock we have. It certainly amazed me when I first started with GPH.