From boardroom to box room, Chris Boyes exemplifies how it’s never too late to transition to a work / life balance.
An accountant by profession, the Newcastle native worked his way up the ranks to CEO after a career running RSL, golf and bowling clubs.
Faced with ever-increasing pressure and round-the-clock responsibilities, as well as commitments in support of his “sports-mad” son, Boyes left the club industry in 2009.
He started work as a picker, packer and delivery driver of 12,500 pharmaceutical, nutritional and merchandising products for Australasian veterinary distributor Provet, since acquired by the Henry Schein global business.
Call it itchy feet, but after a year, Boyes took a temporary assignment at a local golf club. Provet kept in touch, and he returned to their Cameron Park warehouse. “They said, ‘Do what you want to do’, and I said, ‘Well, great!’ I named my own hours.”
As a goods inwards storeman, Boyes works autonomously to unpack, check, count and book incoming orders into the stock control system, and report discrepancies.
“Basically, in the warehouse I have done the whole circuit,” says Boyes. “I tell the boys, ‘Look at me as a mentor and role model’,” he jokes – but is serious about his “good work ethic” and
how his responsibilities serve the business.
Being qualified can open doors for career progression to any Provet warehouse in Australia and New Zealand.
Being well-organised and diligent is essential: “You’ve got to be on top of it. If I don’t check the dates and there is older stock going on the shelf, it affects the pickers, it affects customer service,” he says – adding that timeliness is vital to operations.
If a vet or an animal doesn’t get pharmaceuticals on time, “it can mean life or death. If a vet loses a horse or a dog, the owner won’t be happy, and word gets around.”
He enhanced his warehousing skill-set by completing a Certificate III in Warehousing Operations last year, under the National Workforce Development Fund.
The qualification, developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council, has been beneficial in many ways, Boyes says. Being qualified can open doors for career progression and transfer to any Provet warehouse, of which there are 10 in Australia, and three in New Zealand.
But Boyes is happy to stay put, grateful for the opportunities Provet has given him, including the flexibility to ferry his son between cricket, league and union matches across the Hunter region.
“Newcastle is a great place. I’ve travelled and I’ve always come home. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
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