Transforming Dispatch Operations: How We Secured NatCen's Head of Dispatch


NatCen, a leading social research organisation, sought to fill the pivotal role of Head of Dispatch (Web & Postal Services). This position demanded a proficient individual capable of leading the Web & Postal Unit, delivering high-quality, cost-effective dispatch, printing, and warehousing services. Our mission was to identify and recruit a candidate who could seamlessly integrate into NatCen's dynamic environment, ensuring operational excellence and strategic advancement.

The Challenge

The role of Head of Dispatch encompassed a wide array of responsibilities, presenting several key challenges:

1. Comprehensive Management: The candidate needed to lead a team of 10 permanent staff and a pool of freelancers, manage warehousing and stock control, oversee third-party suppliers, and procure and maintain necessary equipment.

2. Stakeholder Collaboration: Close collaboration with research teams and customers was essential, requiring excellent communication and interpersonal skills to understand and implement their requirements effectively.

3. Quality Control and Compliance: The role required ensuring consistent work practices, leading strategic transitions to high-quality online and postal data collection, and maintaining high ethical standards and compliance with legislative requirements.

4. Innovation and Improvement: Identifying opportunities for process improvement and technological advancements was crucial. The candidate needed to log incidents, learn from feedback, and monitor market developments to enhance the quality and competitiveness of NatCen’s offerings.

5. Financial and Project Management: The candidate was responsible for specifying and costing surveys, managing financial controls, and ensuring tasks were completed within budget and on time.

The Results

After an extensive search and thorough vetting process, we successfully placed a highly skilled Head of Dispatch at NatCen. The outcomes of this placement have been overwhelmingly positive:

1. Enhanced Operational Management: The new Head of Dispatch has effectively led the Web & Postal Unit, improving warehousing and stock control, and ensuring efficient management of third-party suppliers and freelancers.

2. Strengthened Stakeholder Relationships: By fostering strong interdepartmental and stakeholder relationships, the new hire has enhanced communication and collaboration, ensuring research teams’ and customers’ requirements are clearly understood and implemented.

3. Improved Quality Control and Compliance: The candidate has enforced consistent work practices and maintained high ethical standards, leading NatCen’s transition to high-quality online and postal data collection.

4. Driving Innovation: The new Head of Dispatch has identified and implemented several process improvements and technological advancements, logging incidents and feedback to refine operations continuously.

5. Effective Financial and Project Management: The successful candidate has demonstrated strong financial awareness and commercial acumen, managing costs accurately and ensuring all tasks are completed within budget and on time.