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Graduate Programme

Contents Page 4


Page 6

The Ocado Story

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Outline Course Content

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Graduate Profiles

What is Ocado and how are we different? Ocado is an innovative, exciting, independent business that is changing the way people shop for their groceries in the UK, and is now the fastest growing e-grocer in the country. We built Ocado from scratch to be able to serve the needs of busy people. Everything is designed to deliver the very best customer service. Food retailing is a massive industry (half the retail spend in the UK) and more and more people are shopping for their food online. We created a new way of serving this growing demand with a dedicated warehouse model, and a large fleet of custom-built vehicles. The proposition is a simple one: give the customer exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. However, behind this simplicity lies an enterprise that is extremely complex to operate and grow. The IT and operational infrastructure that support what we do, the analytical detail behind the business decisions we take, and the speed of change all demand entrepreneurial, motivated people. We think we are building a world-class business offering a world-class service to our customers. If you want to be part of this journey, please come and talk to us.

Jason Gissing, Co-Founder

“Everything is designed to deliver the very best customer service.�


What are we looking for? Well, first and foremost we need smart thinking, analytical people with an ability to think well laterally, challenge the norm and be willing to roll their sleeves up and get really stuck into our business. We want to find the future managers of our company, so leadership and motivational skills are key. Ocado is built on innovation and we need our graduates to be part of our continuous expansion and success, inspiring others, leading teams, and generating ideas. We accept candidates from all disciplines, whether you are a recent or current graduate, or are looking for a change from your current employer. You should have ambition, confidence and share our zeal for delivering an exceptional service.

The Ocado story






Tim and Jonathan meet at Stepping Stones Nursery School, North London.

Jonathan and Jason meet while at university.

Tim meets Neill at Goldman Sachs during Summer work experience.

Tim and Jason meet on their first day of their first job after university at Goldman Sachs in London.

Jonathan joins Goldman Sachs and works in the same team as Tim, Neill and Jason.







Tim, Jonathan and Jason go on holiday together to talk about starting an online food retailer.

Jonathan rents a single roomed office in Victoria, London and the Ocado story begins. Neill joins a month later.

New Offices (in a very old warehouse) in Hemel Hempstead.

The first ever Ocado delivery is made locally.

Ocado makes its 5 millionth customer delivery.

Tim Steiner

Jonathan Faiman

Jason Gissing

Neill Abrams

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Chief Operating Officer & Founder

Chief Financial Officer & Founder

Chief Legal Officer

Outline of Course and Content Do you want to make a difference, make your mark and don’t mind getting stuck in when needed? Can you rise to the challenge of constant change, advanced technology and rapid growth, whilst influencing and managing people, and still keep sight of the end consumer? Then we can offer you a stimulating and dynamic environment that will enable you to progress as fast and as high as you want to go. You’ll work with the top people in the industry, receive training and development to help you succeed and be in a real job with real people from day one. It isn’t just the unique challenge of our business that should motivate you. We have a programme of support for each individual: Specific Corporate Induction – A feel and flavour of all aspects of our business from joining one of our drivers as they make customer deliveries, to designing our new radio ads. Social Induction – The opportunity to meet our current and future stars and a chance to discuss their real-life experiences with Ocado. Tailored Off Line Training – Of course you’ll have some of the basics, so we tailor the training to meet your needs. We focus on Teamwork, Leadership, Problem Solving and People Management as well as the specific skills needed for your specialist area. This is provided through our in-house training team, in conjunction with ‘Away Days’ designed to take place off-site and facilitated through external providers. Your Placement – You will be inducted into your area where you will learn from the experts around you. Depending on your expertise and our business needs you will be rotated through the other key departments. This will enable you to get a real feel for the business and what we do. During placements you may be set some self-directed learning or business projects. To guide you through, you will be assigned a mentor to support you and to provide a regular health check that both your and our needs are being met.


Here’s some more about what we do We are fortunate at Ocado because we can offer you many different work experiences all at the main hub here in Hatfield. Our aim is to develop and stretch you so it might also be appropriate for you to experience some time at one of our 5 spokes spread out across the country. Whichever option you choose, we can guarantee that the key skills you already have will continue to be developed and any that you do not have will be quickly added, making you an all round manager of people, productivity and task in the slickest technological fulfilment centre anywhere in the world.

What happens at the hub? Here at our Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC), we employ in excess of 1000 people, they receive, pick and deliver up to a million grocery items a day. We utilise cutting edge technology and need to be constantly at the forefront in the design and implementation of business solutions to deliver our staggering growth plan. The CFC, across 4 floors, has one million square feet of production capacity (we’ll certainly improve your fitness levels and stamina while teaching you about the business). You will find yourself working alongside experts in IT, Engineering, Logistics, Supply Chain, Marketing, Project Management as well as some very enthusiastic and hands on Directors.

The spokes Once the groceries leave the CFC they are freighted to one of our spokes. As our business grows, you could find yourself working in any one of these spoke sites. The spokes are renowned for their strong team identity, competitiveness to fulfil order targets and reduce bottom line costs. As a new Manager, planning, time management and change will challenge you. But perhaps your biggest and most rewarding challenge is the management of a socially diverse workforce.


Graduate profile Jon Rudoe Cambridge University, Geography Harvard Business School Started at Ocado: June 2005 (Intern), 2006 (Permanent) Head of Marketing and Trading Ocado is a fast-paced, demanding, ever changing, but highly rewarding place to work. The challenges that we face right across our business are problems that have not been solved before; we are a pioneer in the industry in which we operate. There is no instruction manual and few other players to copy. Ocado is a young company, full of smart, highly-motivated people, a meritocracy, and one where finding the right answer for the customer and hence Ocado is more important than who you are, how long you have worked here, or what your job title is. I came to Ocado with an MBA (masters business degree), having previously worked as a consultant (at Bain & Company) and for a venture capital firm that invested in a wide variety of sectors, including marketing, food, food-retailing and food-logistics businesses. This background sparked my interest in Ocado back in 2005. My initial role was working on a project basis on various issues across the business, and since then I have moved to run the Trading & Marketing teams. The Trading team decides what we sell, and works with suppliers to arrange product promotions and website placing and features. The Marketing team is responsible for all customer communications (everything from weekly emails, direct mail and press adverts to television commercials) as well as the analysis of customer buying habits – which informs decisions about customer communications as well as ranging decisions and even how we work with the IT team to design the website. I enjoy the fast-paced environment, the people, and the learning environment that we have here at Ocado. I think that Ocado is a fantastic place for a young graduate to come and work – you will learn at a rapid pace, and be given plenty of responsibility to make a real difference to the business and to the customer. Your career can grow as our business continues to grow. That pace of learning, potential to make an impact, and fast-growth environment is something that I think is tremendously rewarding.


Graduate profile Kat Insall University of Manchester, BSc (Hons) Computer Science Started at Ocado: April 2005 Software Developer I’m a software developer working on the Management Information System (MIS) in the Warehouse Management System (WMS) team. The WMS is the system behind the Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) operation; we develop web applications, which display information on practically every part of this system. These provide an interface to the system for the users, who include everyone involved with the CFC, from warehouse operatives through to the company directors. When I came for the interview I was impressed with the effort made to give me a taste of what working here would be like. I was introduced to several people and given an enthusiastic tour of the CFC by my future manager. I was fascinated to see the complex warehouse operation, and the informal working environment in the head office really appealed to me. The CFC and its systems are constantly growing and changing so there’s no time to get bored. I enjoy the fact that the work is not always predictable. My role is largely based in the head office but I have frequently found myself in the CFC perched at the end of a conveyor with my laptop. On a very busy day we may even be needed to leave our programming for a couple of hours and go help pick the customers’ groceries, so we do get to see our work in action! We have a few little perks, which make all the difference to office life, such as a minibus to collect us from the train station and a supply of tea and toast in the kitchen. The informal atmosphere suits me well; there is no dress code and for many IT roles the working hours are flexible. The company directors are directly involved in every level of the business and periodically brief us on how the company as a whole is doing. People at Ocado are flexible and work hard. Everyone is busy but always approachable when asked for help.


Graduate profile Mark Fryer Aston University, BSc (Hons) Engineering Management and Business Administration Started at Ocado: January 2006 Stand Up Operations Manager Having a scientific/engineering background made the automation and mechanics of the site an immediate pull, although this is by no means a precursor to effectiveness here. People management is key, especially through the rapid pace of change that is consistent in the drive to improvement and growth. These factors, particularly the opportunity to manage higher up the chain and experience change management were driving influences for me. As an Operations Manager I have to ensure that the site and all its components are working coherently to complete the plan, whilst driving improvement and productivity. To co-ordinate the inbound and outbound management team from receipt, pick to despatch. It is both a process and people management role; achieved through tiers of management, effectively having responsibility for between 200 and 500 people on peak shifts. I manage a very mixed group of people, creating lots of challenges but also benefits due to diversity. Working with a multinational workforce definitely provides the opportunity to develop people skills. There are a lot of extremely talented people at Ocado, from the top obviously, but significantly down through all levels. This makes a difference and means that the rate of change can be sustained. The knowledge that if you lack understanding or have a problem there will always be someone who can assist is reassuring, especially at the beginning of a career, although this is applicable at all levels. Since joining in January 2006 I have progressed through the roles of Section Manager, Flow Manager up to Operations Manager presently. Each position has necessitated a rapid learning curve. Key personal developments for me have been improving my people management skills, particularly managing peers and at management level. It can be challenging, but it is certainly the most interesting and rewarding place I have worked, and not just within the logistics industry. 17

Graduate profile Kara Walton Oxford University, Modern History and Politics Started at Ocado: February 2007 Strategic Marketing Manager Ocado had immediate appeal for me, being a young, innovative company that is growing so rapidly. It is really refreshing to work in an environment where you can put your ideas into practise and very quickly see the results of your work. I found Ocado to be a relaxed yet challenging environment to work in. My role is fairly broad but mostly involves devising, testing and implementing new strategies for attracting and retaining customers. This can range from analysing and segmenting our customer base, right through to working on bag packing strategies in the warehouse. There are a huge number of opportunities to improve both our communication and our service – so there are a number of areas in which I can get involved. Ocado is a place where everybody gets stuck in and is willing to help. Most of my team are the same age as me, which makes the office a fun and exciting place to work and we’re all still eager to learn. My knowledge has increased dramatically since I’ve been here and I have gained invaluable experience regarding, big projects, how to handle the unexpected and how important it is to structure your work. One of the best things about Ocado is that there is no micromanaging going on. Once you get a task assigned you’re expected to come up with your own solution. There are some very smart people in the business, which makes working here a constant learning experience. There are always people who will challenge and stretch you - that’s the benefit of being part of such a dynamic firm.


Graduate profile Danny Swann Aston University, BSc (Hons) Logistics Started at Ocado: July 2004 Project Manager, Technical Services  

Ocado is a very new and exciting company. The attraction for me was that they were trying to do things that other businesses would not even consider and especially in the retail sector where competition is fierce. This desire to succeed rubs off on the people in the business and everybody has a desire to succeed and make something of the business. When you are a graduate, this is a huge attraction, to be part of something that is different and new. As a Project Manager in Technical Services I am responsible for the technical upkeep of all of the businesses spokes around the country. In addition to this I have a joint responsibility for the sourcing and procurement of new sites, which the business uses to grow volume out of its main warehouse. I am also involved in other building projects and the development of fleet assets to improve our transport efficiency. The amount of new projects and work to get involved with gives you a great amount of autonomy. This enables you to get out and be independent and have a huge influence on the projects you work on. Without the autonomy, the company wouldn’t be so diverse and the success wouldn’t be so great. Everybody is extremely friendly and everyone puts in a huge amount of effort for each other. Ocado is a believer of promoting people within and this gives everyone huge drive to succeed. When you have the support of everyone around you, it makes coming to work so good. Ocado also promotes a healthy professional/social balance and the flexible approach works really well for everyone.


Your chance to deliver is waiting. To apply please e-mail your CV and covering letter describing your leadership skills to, or post it to: Ocado limited Customer Fulfilment Centre Gypsy Moth Avenue Hatfield Business Park Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9BD tel 01707 228 111 fax 01707 228 122

Ocado - Graduate Programme Document  

Ocado - Graduate Programme Document

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