Sam Towns at Coca-Cola European Partners
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Customer Logistics Apprentice Sam Towns
Why did you start your apprenticeship with Coca-Cola European Partners?
After completing my A-levels, I decided that I wanted to undertake an apprenticeship to gain some real-world experience. I also knew that I wanted to work for a large, multinational company if I could, and brands don’t come much larger than Coca-Cola. Their apprenticeship scheme gave me the opportunity to learn more about the supply chain of one of the biggest FMCG brands in the world, whilst still giving me the opportunity to develop academically in order to continue my progression – which was exactly what I wanted.
What has been the most memorable experience of your apprenticeship at Coca-Cola European Partners?
I think the most memorable moment of my apprenticeship for me was going to visit the Wakefield site and actually getting to see the sheer volume of stock being stored, picked and despatched. The scale of operation has huge and it was great to be able to see another stage of the supply chain which I am not usually exposed to in order to build that bigger picture.
What activities do you get involved with in your area of work?
At the Customer Logistics office in Nottingham, we are the face of the customer’s experience from a supply chain perspective. We will check that their orders are compliant with our delivery requirements and ordered within a timely manner, work with their bookings and goods in teams to ensure that those orders are booked in and receipted without issue, and work closely with them to build supply relations and ultimately improve our service. We work closely with the allocation and transport planning teams who then assign each order to a CCEP despatching site and plan the travel routes, acting as the voice of the customer and helping to ensure smooth and reliable service into our customers.
What do you love about working here?
My favourite thing about working for CCEP is getting to be a part of one of the world’s most recognisable brands, and getting to learn about just how that business plan is executed. Coca-Cola has been a part of pop culture and a part of our society for as long as most of us can remember, it’s seen nearly everywhere we go and in every shop we visit, and so for me it’s very interesting to be able to understand just how this is possible and about what must happen in order to make that a reality. There are so many business functions which play their role, which also offers a great breadth of opportunity for those passionate about growing their career. I originally began as a customer services apprentice and I am now undertaking my degree in business management as I look to develop. CCEP are passionate about growing their employees and they’ve given me the opportunity to do that, which is another great thing about working for the company. If you have the drive and the passion, they will help you to unlock your potential.
What advice would you give young people about how to be successful with the application process?
The key piece of advice I would give to young people looking to succeed in the application process would be to be yourself, as cliché as it sounds, and also to think outside the box in any way which you can. This will not only help you to stand out amongst other candidates as you progress through the application stages, but it will also display your passion for growth (which is one of CCEP’s five ways of working) and your ability to innovate, which is another key characteristic for CCEP.
If you could only drink one Coca-Cola product for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Without a doubt, Dr. Pepper! This has been my favourite drink for as long as I can remember, long before I was old enough to be looking into careers at CCEP. It just has the best, unique flavour!More Experiences