As the new Coles Chilled Distribution Centre (CDC) located in Laverton, Vic gears up for completion and operation by May this year, Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services (a joint venture between Swire Cold Storage and Costa Group) is busy preparing for the job of managing the colossal distribution centre and finding a sizeable workforce to man it. Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services will be supplying all Coles supermarkets with dairy meat and freezer products in Victoria and Queensland. The operations will be located in Laverton, Victoria and Parkinson, Queensland and will service approximately 431 stores.
According to Polar Fresh, the sheer size of the facility is mind boggling around 42,000 square metres with over 92 dock doors. CDC looks even bigger now because it is still empty. Future staff will be impressed with the amenities that include restaurant like meal areas complete with plasma TVs and free internet café. The new in warehouse operating equipment will also be on offer, brand new forklifts, low level trolleys and single level picks. Staff will be using new warehouse management systems, the Manhattan Open System, and enjoy a safe workplace with safety features built into of the operation.
According to Polar Fresh, its main challenges will be in ensuring that the productive pick paths are created and that a disciplined and accepted regimen of inbound timings and store transmissions is followed. Polar Fresh also needs to find the right people for the job and is currently busy recruiting and training potential employees. Polar Fresh has temporarily moved into a small DC in Campbellfield Victoria complete with materials handling equipments and WMS to assist with the training process. Polar Fresh wants to train its staff in a good environment and without the added pressure of store picks for them to think of.
Polar Fresh has adopted the Character first approach to recruitment, which in a nut shell means that people will be recruited for their character, and then trained with the skills they need for the job.
Character first recognises that personal character and professional skills need to be equally developed to achieve good results in the workplace. By recruiting people with the right character, Polar Fresh believes that employees will work together more cohesively and understand each other better. Polar Fresh is currently accepting applications for Victoria and Queensland.