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Mainfreight Australia

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Joseph Padua

What's your job about?

Mainfreight is a Global Logistics Company that operates on three fronts – Warehousing, Road Transport and Air & Ocean Transport. Within these high level divisions are the many hands that ultimately work toward shaping Mainfreight’s success.

As part of the Warehousing Solutions Team, I help to create and implement software and hardware changes that improve Mainfreight’s Warehousing Operations. In an average week, I test new software releases that improve our Mainfreight Warehouse Management System (MIMS), I provide support to all of the Mainfreight Australia Warehousing Team using MIMS and oversee a few projects and implementations for future Warehousing Customers.

The most exciting part of my role is when we begin working on a new technology that we hope to apply into our operations. An example of this is our Put-to-Wall System, which is a library based racking system that works with RF scanners to pick and pack orders more efficiently.

I do not come from a background in I.T. and am just your slightly above-average Joe, but the best part of my role is having the freedom to work and create a solution that has a real benefit. The greater the challenge the better. It is a great place to gain experience, which is more valuable than any degree.

What's your background?

I was born and raised in Victoria and growing up I remember being surrounded by businesses. My parents and family owned businesses all with different structures and cultures. This exposure shaped the decision I made to study business related subjects and pursue a career within a business.

Throughout my life I found that the question people always ask you and what I found I asked myself was what do I want to do and where do I want to be? In truth, I was not sure. I knew I liked business and wanted to get some experience under my belt but was always sceptical of where I would end up.

Once I graduated from RMIT I was looking for somewhere I could gain some experience and cultivate a network of learning. I applied to a few places including Mainfreight, who had Graduate roles available and to this day, I still remember the interview with the Branch Manager because of how comfortable I felt.

I have been at Mainfreight for two and a half years now. During this time, I have worked in the warehouse operations, coordinated a team and have now joined the Warehousing Solutions Team.

From my time at Mainfreight, the most valuable lessons I have learnt are:

  1. To create strong foundations in your understanding/knowledge which help you in the future
  2. The right business culture creates a cohesive team that perpetuate a high level of quality.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes. The team members that I work with all have different backgrounds. One even used to be an archaeologist and yet all members have the experience to be able to cover for each other’s responsibilities. This principle of cross training within the team is found across all brands.

A key business principle across Mainfreight is that every team member starts in the operations to create strong foundations and understand how the business operates – from there the sky is the limit. Whilst it may seem unappealing to many, it is where I have learned the most and had the most fun.

If I were to analyse the specific traits one should have I would identify, a passion to learn, attention to detail and good communication as being the three most important. If you have these qualities, you can develop any skill and learn any lesson.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

From my personal experience, I enjoy leading a project and coordinating the processes that will see it complete. It is great to discuss and think outside of the box to come up with the solution to a problem or improve a current process within the warehousing operations.

For example, recently we have looked at how we can improve a process of packing freight for Distribution Centres, which have strict rules and requirements. The task I have enjoyed is working to create a solution that automates this for the team and is ultimately more efficient and effective.

What are the limitations of your job?

There is as much responsibility as you take on – however the best result comes when you take every opportunity that you are given, even if it means you are stretched. The great thing about Mainfreight is that there is always support available to help you learn and grow.

In my personal experience, there have been weeks where I have been very busy however; I have always had help from the team when I ask. There are also evenings on a Sunday where I may be required to do some work for a few hours however, this time will be given back to me on day where I would like to leave early as compensation to balance the workload.  

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Do not underestimate any task no matter how small it may be. Treat every task with a level of focus and give it the necessary time to make sure it is completed correctly. 
  • Find what you are passionate about, become good at doing it and share it with everyone. Everyone has a passion – find out what is and learn how to apply to your career, even in the smallest of ways.
  • Have a balance with everything you do – work, life, education and family, etc. If you do not have a balance in what you do, you will stress yourself out and fail.