Welcome to our Spotlight series, where we delve into the stories of our Alsco Uniforms employees; exploring their experiences, career trajectories, and the unique insights they’ve gained along the way. This interview features Shihan Alam, our Business Support Analyst at Alsco Uniforms. We sat down with him recently to unpack his time within the company and gain valuable insights into his professional journey
How long have you been in the company and when did you start?
I officially started with Alsco in November 2018. The reason I say officially is because I actually started as a casual – then Alsco eventually made me permanent. At the beginning of my career, I was working in production and did that for around 8-9 months. I then moved onto a Service Delivery Driver role, which I did for a little over a year. After that, I saw that there was an opportunity/opening within the admin team as an EDP operator (Electronic Data Processor). I managed to get that role, which I also did for around 8 months.
After doing the EDP role for a bit, I saw an opportunity to work at out of our Support Centre as a Business Support Admin in the Sales and Marketing department. At the time, I was working mainly with our internal systems as well as customer care, and product/price admin. Finally, I moved into the Finance department, in which the role morphed into more analysing/data analysis and reporting and that eventually became a full-time role, and is what I’m still doing now! So this role will be my fifth role within Alsco so far.
What is your favourite part about working for Alsco?
Well I’ve worked in many different departments, and pretty much everywhere I’ve found that people are really friendly, really helpful, and if you don’t know anything or if you need any help, there are a lot of people here who are happy give their time in order to get you on track. The company culture also provides opportunities for career advancement as I said, so this coupled with the friendly environment are some of the highlights of working for Alsco Uniforms.
Have you received any training or qualifications through Alsco?
Yes I have. So far, I have completed the Level 2 Retail Sales training back when I was a Service Delivery Driver. I felt that it helped me so much, because one of our KPI’s was to generate sales, not just simply delivering tea towels, you’ve gotta do some sales as well! That training covered in detail how we could go about doing this and how to approach, which gave me a lot more confidence in the role.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement in your career with Alsco?
The biggest project that I’m currently working on now is around automation using a new software platform. This software has helped a lot in consolidating and streamlining our information processes, particularly in handling invoices. So for example, if we had 70 or 80 customer invoices, that process used to take about a month to do and now it only takes less than a week, which is really good!
This has been really beneficial for my personal growth, as I’ve had the opportunity to work with this new tool, but also for the organisation as well. We’ve saved a lot of time and man-hours by implementing this.
I also did a project for the Auckland Branch’s store team. So previously, we had been putting all of the stock/products on different shelves within the store without having a tracking system in place. Meaning no-one was able to track a products whereabouts. So when I was working in the IT department, I actually added in all of the product and stock codes into one of our internal systems, and configured it to store all sorts of information such as the bin location number, so each shelf and isle would have their own unique code/barcode.
That way, we had an identifier for each individual shelf, and we were able to assign and locate every single product to that particular shelf. Whether it be a stocktake, or simply wanting to find an item, the process became a lot more streamlined and improved efficiency a lot. This project was something that I fully conceptualised and implemented.
What advice would you give someone considering a career with Alsco?
I would say if you get a chance to work with Alsco, definitely start doing whatever role you can get your hands on! The reason being is because Alsco can give you the opportunity to move up and progress in your career. This allows you to transition from a job to the job that you want. Which is something that I have personally experienced during my time at Alsco.