Spotlight on Tom Luff

Tom Luff – Consultant

This month we put a spotlight on Tom Luff, recently promoted, who talks about life as an ex ” Graduate Consultant” and why he would trade places with Tom Brady!

What did you enjoy about being on the FourPL Graduate Program?

The Challenge:

The graduate program has forced me to step out of my comfort zone every day. No two days over the last 12 months has been the same, meaning that I experienced something new which always challenges my skills and knowledge.

The People:

I have been very lucky to come into a graduate program where I am surrounded almost entirely by an extremely experienced team at FourPL, meaning whenever I was entering a new challenge I always had someone willing to show me the ropes and support me.

The Travel: Being a consultant for FourPL has meant I have had the opportunity to travel to different cities and countries. I love that there is that opportunity and whilst it can be difficult being away from home, it is great having an office that can always be in different places. In the last year I have been to Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Manila.

What were your 3 key learnings as a graduate?

Warehouse Management:Warehousing was a reasonably foreign concept to me before I joined FourPL, I started my program with a two-week JDA WMS boot camp which I really enjoyed and have since been involved in the implementation of a WMS and also on the sales side which I have really enjoyed.

Transportation Management: Prior to joining FourPL my idea of what “transport” consisted of was very narrow. Since then I have been able to get a perspective from a number of different transport companies to see their different business and service models which has significantly improved my knowledge and perspective.

Consulting: Learning to be a consultant has been arguably the biggest learning curve for me over the last 12 months. It is very different than simply “working for the customer” and it is easy to fall into that pattern when on a customer site for an extended period, but you must always think objectively and or differently to provide perspective and value and that is not always an easy thing to do as it takes a good level of confidence, understanding and communication.

What are you going to do differently as a Consultant?

Not necessarily what I want to do differently but more so what I want to do that is new.

Learn: Expand my learning, it is very easy to get too focused on what you are working on with your current client, so I’d like to make sure I am getting out and learning new things that will help me down. FourPL provides great support and opportunities on this which I’d like to take advantage of.

Seek Advice: As mentioned the FourPL team is fantastic and experienced, Going forward, I am hoping to lean on more of the team more regularly to seek out help and advice.

What were you challenges, being a graduate?

Being inexperienced has been difficult, as a consultant the client is always looking for you to provide value in some way, so having to learn new concepts and provide that value at the same time can be challenging. The transition from student life to work life. They are two very different worlds, I was always a very laid back student and ensured my timetables allowed me to sleep in and have long weekends, Brett doesn’t quite give me that level of freedom! Travel, whilst I enjoyed being away for an extended period for a project, it was also difficult being away from friends and family, missing out on the occasional social event, but most importantly I missed the comfort of my own bed!

What traits and skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in the role you do?

Patience: Not something I possess in spades, but I think if you have the temperament to learn complex systems, processes and requirements you will go a long way.
Communication: It is really important to communicate with the business and other consultants about your ideas, concerns and opinions, it is central to providing value as a consultant. People Skills: I found when I was on client’s site over the last year life became a lot easier when I was able to build a relationship with their teams and end users

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, can seriously pull of a suit, married to a supermodel and filthy rich. Perfect. Who was your favourite Spice Girl? Who are the Spice Girls? A bit before my time perhaps.