Paul Fuller – The Depot Manager for Events
I am the Depot Manager for the Winchester Events Depot, which means I oversee client relationships, scheduling and logistics and the day to day running of the depot.
We are a small team, so I am involved in pretty much everything that goes on in the depot. As well a Hire Controller and an Office Manager, we have four staff in the yard (where units are prepared for going out to clients). One of the Yard Operatives has worked in the cabin industry for over 40 years. We were both inherited 12 years ago from Selwood Plant Hire. After a couple of years at the Selwood depot in Chandlers Ford, the depot moved to Winchester.
I originally trained as a chef which was unfortunately short lived as I developed an allergy to fish which made working life a bit difficult! After that, I went into corporate entertainment. One of our biggest clients cancelled their contract immediately following 9/11 and the whole team was subsequently made redundant.
I did what anyone with no ties would do with a redundancy pay out and travelled around Australia for 18 months! That was followed by a couple of years in retail, before I went back into events. As much as I enjoyed retail and event organisation, the unsociable hours proved to be a challenge. While we can generally operate with a 12 hour day during the summer at Wernick Events, it’s rare that I need to answer calls in the evenings or at weekends.
My role heavily involves logistics, as we can be sending out 100 lorries and 200 cabins some weeks in the summer. We can have cabins coming back into the depot and back out again on the same day and when we are really busy, I’m speaking to other depots to arrange additional stock for our clients. Our schedules go through rigorous checks and we can get through several versions of a schedule before we are happy with it. The next step is breaking that down for the foreman in the yard and making sure that the team has everything they need to complete the booking.
Due to our location, we have been asked to send cabins to festivals on the Isle of Wight. I can now tell you all you need to know about ferry loads and maximum dimensions for sending cabins by sea! One day I could be liaising with monks at a Buddhist Community Centre and on another I could be asked to attend a meeting at Southampton Football Stadium. You never know what’s around the corner.
I’m immensely proud of our work with one of the biggest live music organisers in the country running a number of events including the recent Rolling Stones tour. I would say that this contract stands out as a personal achievement. We originally lost the contract to another supplier – who subsequently let them down at the last minute. We agreed to help as part of a five year contract that I drew up. Five years on and we still have a great relationship with them. Their requirement for cabins and toilets has increased to over 200 for one event.
I have an excellent support structure here – we are a close team and I have the support of the other Depot Managers around the country. I can also speak directly to Executive Chairman David Wernick at Head Office directly and frankly about what’s going on. I respect the family values of the company; it means a lot to have the support of the Wernick family rather than reporting to a faceless corporation.
Outside of work:
My passion is carp fishing – I go to France with friends every year. We’ll get on the road and pitch up somewhere. This year we were in the Champagne region. At home, you’ll find me spending time with my family – my wife Tori and two children William and Emilia, and supporting Southampton Football Club.