School students find out about cool opportunities in warehousing and distribution
Wow that was really cool! Walking through the fridge room at the Ocado warehouse felt like stepping out into the Arctic wilderness – except we were surrounded by ice cream packs! It was another surprise, on a visit that took a ice axe to our assumptions about warehousing and distribution.
We are very grateful to Ocado for agreeing to host a group of young people at their warehouse and fulfilment centre. The visit by the students from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was the culmination of several weeks preparation work. All of the school students were hugely impressed by this technology driven business.
Why visit a warehouse?
Red Potato works closely with many schools in Hertfordshire. Also because of our work as an Enterprise Adviser we knew that many businesses, like Ocado are really keen to welcome young people into their business. So we were really happy to connect the school students with the Ocado team.
So what is the big deal about the “fridge room“? Well, going into the freezer room was a challenge laid down by our Ocado guide as he showed us around the warehouse and fulfilment centre. We were with a group of 16 & 17 year old school students who readily accepted the challenge. It has to be said that the adults were less keen! The challenge of walking into a freezer to voluntarily get extremely cold – even if you are surrounded by ice cream, didn’t sound good. We all did it of course. But, walking into the fridge room at -18 degrees was an experience that most people won’t repeat in a hurry!
The scale, pace and sophistication of the warehouse surprised everyone. We were also given a privileged view of the software behind the operation, which was also very interesting. Technology is driving major changes in warehousing and distribution. It would be great to think that this visit has influencing future career choices. Will some of the students who visited Ocado, one day be designing the next generation of warehousing and distribution companies? We sincerely hope so. But, predicting what is going to happen in this sector is fraught. What we can say is that our shopping habits will change. As our shopping habits change, so the warehousing and distribution sector will also change as it attempts to keep up with us as consumers. We feel very lucky to have had a glimpse at some of the exciting developments at Ocado and how this company is planning for the future.