It’s all in the planning

As Planning Centre Manager, Jade Coggins and her team are responsible for ensuring products are delivered to M&S Food stores nationwide.


Every day Gist colleagues strive to provide consistent, high-quality services to our customers, and Jade and her planning team play a key part in supporting our customer, Marks & Spencer.


Jade and her team of two team managers and 11 planners are responsible for planning all M&S Food deliveries across the UK from eight Gist depots to more than 1,000 M&S Foods stores.


As Planning Centre Manager, Jade takes on a strategic role, using data analysis from Gist’s planning system to help inform decisions. Every day the team create the most efficient transport plans whilst adhering to strict service and legal requirements.


Six years ago Jade joined Gist as part of an industrial placement in Gist’s Consulting team where she was first exposed to data analysis, working on new business tenders and work for Gist’s parent company, Linde.


Following completion of the placement, Jade returned to Loughborough University to complete her studies and returned to Gist, enrolling on its graduate programme. Jade explained: “My first placement was in Spalding as Transport Team Manager and after one year I moved to become a Business Process Manager, before becoming Site Operations Manager at Chesterfield. After a year, I moved to Gist Head Office in Basingstoke to become Primary Planning Manager and in September 2021, I took on the role of M&S Centre Manager, overseeing the secondary planning team for Gist’s M&S Foods contract.”


The current role features both people management and data analysis, which Jade enjoys. Mid way through the year Jade is already working on delivery schedules for the Christmas peak period. Using data from previous years and adding in expected volume change, Jade is able to calculate the number of loads each store requires, and therefore create the delivery schedule to make sure product is on the shelves at the required time.


Jade commented: “This role has been a big learning curve but it’s been great to broaden my experience.”


In May, Jade was invited to take part in a panel discussion about data analysis to celebrate Just IT’s Women in Tech Week. During the talk Jade was keen to discuss with women wanting to get into the industry that data analysis is used in a variety of sectors and not just within IT roles.


Talking about her own career experiences Jade’s industrial placement with Gist really opened her eyes to data analysis, Jade said. “I love the challenge of someone asking a question and having to gather the facts through data analysis before presenting a solution.


Jade is keen to develop her career with Gist and is currently one year into a three-year MBA course with Loughborough University.