Amy Zhu has recently joined CCL’s Business Development Team as Assistant Manager. Amy brings with her a wealth of business marketing and communications experience. We checked-in with Amy to find out how she’s getting on.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities
My main job is to support the Business Development team by clearly specifying the fundamentals of each project, including processes, objectives and finances. Our aim is to ensure that everybody understands what is required to execute each client’s requirements efficiently and cost-effectively, as well as to ensure that we document and invoice correctly. We define these understandings as a project’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). I work mainly with CCL’s Chinese clients.
With my background in digital marketing, I’m helping out in this area too, which is injecting plenty of variety into my day. I hope that being a bridge between these two important parts of the business means I can deliver some extra value and understanding.
As I’m new to global logistics, I’m also taking time to learn as much as I can about every aspect of the industry. One thing I’ve noticed is how many acronyms and abbreviations there are!
Tell us a little about your background in business
I have been studying and working in the UK for over 10 years. I graduated with a degree in marketing and, for the last 5 years, I’ve been working with Chinese digital marketing agencies in the UK. These agencies are dedicated to helping British brands get started in China, building their understanding and developing their online presence in the Chinese market.
Whilst it’s not logistics, there is plenty of crossover between my previous role and my new role. I’m used to client-facing account management and helping my clients achieve their objectives. And at CCL, I’m still very much focused on the Chinese market and clients.
What do you think your USPs are, when working with CCL’s Chinese clientele?
Being from China myself, I have native language skills and an appreciation of the work culture. From my earlier client-facing roles in the digital agencies, I learned the importance of having clear communication and expectation management skills, and this also stands me in good stead with CCL’s Chinese clients.
I have worked with the 7-8 hour time difference between the UK and China throughout my career to date and I know how to get the most out of it. I can leave messages at the end of my UK working day, knowing that my Chinese clients will be able to respond at the beginning of their working day. In this way, we can keep things moving and minimise wasted hours.
CCL is committed to building strong relationships with its Chinese clients and providing a high standard of service. It’s important to be able to communicate in ways which they both understand and trust. That’s why there is such a dynamic group of Chinese nationals working within the CCL Business Development team – and I’m proud to have joined them.
What do you particularly enjoy about working at CCL?
Logistics is very fast-paced. It’s a 24/7 environment as every minute of the day, somewhere in the world, someone is working – and shipments never stop moving. I’m finding it exciting and very motivating.
Lead times are short and every project needs us to be super-responsive. That requires quick thinking and decisiveness – it’s challenging, but very enjoyable. The whole team works together to meet the demands of this rapid-turnaround environment, and everyone is very supportive.
What’s it been like to start a new job in the middle of a global pandemic?
Starting a new job during the pandemic is a unique experience. Whilst I would normally expect to work in the office, I am, like so many people right now, working from home. I met just a few of my new colleagues face-to-face on my first day. Since then, I’ve got to know more people, but all online, through Zoom and MS Teams. Joining a new company online has made me appreciate and value everyone’s time much more.
I’m very focussed on what I need to learn to be successful and effective. I want to understand how the industry works and what Brexit means, and so much more. So far, everyone has been really helpful and supportive, which is lovely.
Lastly, beyond business, what do you love to do?
I love art and I enjoy visiting museums and art galleries very much. Of course, it’s not been possible to do this during lockdown, but instead, I’ve had more time and opportunity to appreciate, value and discover a world of art beyond curated exhibitions.
I paint too, when I have the time, often from my own photographs. The experience of painting a photo allows me to walk through and re-live each special memory again. This teaches me the importance of appreciating what I have. It’s a great counterbalance to the world of commerce and logistics.