Career Story – From Driver to Warehouse Manager, Declan Curtin’s GSLS journey

We are delighted to have a talented workforce across all the key areas at GSLS. In this article, Declan CurtinHead of Coin Warehouse and Road Operations, shares the story of his career journey to date at GSLS.

How long have you been at GSLS?

I’ve been at GSLS almost 17 years! The business has grown so much in that time – I’ve really enjoyed playing a part in that journey. Personally, I’ve had quite a few different roles and worked in different locations over the years too.

  • Driver – Dublin
  • Driver – Nationwide
  • Depot Manager Limerick
  • Warehouse Operations Manager – Dublin
  • Head of Coin Warehouse
  • Head of Coin Warehouse and Road Operations

Can you tell us about those different roles?

When I started out as a Driver, I started just before Christmas in 2005. It was an extremely busy time, so I had to learn fast!! I always really enjoyed driving, so it was a great role for me. I started doing all the Dublin routes. I loved getting to know the routes, but more importantly the businesses and customers we worked with.

I then started driving longer routes nationwide. There isn’t a town in Ireland I haven’t been in. Those were the days before Google Maps and really good motorways – thankfully many aspects of the role have changed and improved over the years. In that role, I had to meet the schedule of cash deliveries to be made to our clients, and of course secure cash collections also.

In 2007, GSLS were growing and opened a Depot in Limerick to support new larger contracts in Munster. I was delighted to take on the role of Depot Manager in Limerick, where I oversaw the operations of the facility, and managed the fleet from the Limerick hub serving a lot of the West, South West and South of Ireland. We had won contracts with large nationwide retailers, so Limerick became an important part of how GSLS could serve the whole country effectively.

In 2011, for personal and family reasons I moved back to Dublin and took up the role of Warehouse Operations Manager. Initially this role was based in our previous warehouse at Carriglea Industrial Estate. That facility had continued to grow and be extended to accommodate the growth in the contracts and customers. Soon enough GSLS made the decision to build a new facility where we are based today. This location is significantly larger, and would give us the opportunity to continue to grow the business and customer base. In my role, I got to be involved in the planning of the new facility, whilst also keeping the operations going from the previous warehouse. It was challenging, but also an exciting time for the business. Over this time the team in the warehouse grew from approx. 10 people to approx. 30 people.

More recently I am responsible for Coin Warehouse and Road Operations, based in our Dublin facility.  My role oversees the people and processes relating to the warehouse, working with our teams to ensure customers’ needs are met. We are always upgrading technologies, processes and security protocols, ensuring our safety standards are market-leading.

My current role also has responsibility for drivers, rosters and route management, working with the transport manager. Vehicles must be maintained and upgraded, and our driving team must be hired and trained etc.

Because there are so many areas of my role, I find it very interesting and varied.

What do you think makes GSLS different?

In every role I’ve had at GSLS, it is really important to make sure that our customers come first. From the time I was a driver I really enjoyed building strong relationships with our customers, and making sure I was doing everything I could to meet their needs. That experience working directly with our customers has really helped me in every role I’ve had since then. Putting the customer first is very important to everyone at GSLS from the most recent recruits to the most senior leaders.

What do you like about working at GSLS?

  • In the beginning, it was my love for driving that attracted me to the job and the company. I also feel strongly that what we do really helps our customers who are already busy running their businesses – it’s good to feel like you’re helping people.
  • The atmosphere at GSLS is definitely a plus. The team here are great to work with and friendly. I don’t think I’d be working here this long if it weren’t for my colleagues.
  • I also really like that I’ve been able to change role and location over the years – it means that I can keep learning and growing in the business.
  • There’s training for people who need to learn different skills if they’re moving job/team, whether it’s getting a higher level of driving licence, or getting training about managing a team, and lots more.
  • Finally I like the fact that GSLS welcomes people’s ideas and opinions about how to do things better, more efficiently etc. This means we can always provide input about improving process, systems, technology – I find that very motivating.

What would be your advice to someone considering joining the team at GSLS?

  • Put your best foot forward – there’s lots of opportunity for people who are keen and enthusiastic and willing to get involved.
  • When starting a role here, I’d suggest to ask lots of questions – everyone will be very helpful. Be open and friendly, and you’ll see that everyone else is too.
  • Last but not least, it’s about communication and respect. Whether dealing with your colleagues or customers, treat people well and the rest will go smoothly.

Of course, all our open roles are available to check out on the Careers Page, where you can find out more.

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