Read the full story of Shane Williams’ varied and diverse career, as told by our UK General Manger, Anthony Taylor.
Back in 1997 Shane Williams decided to take a summer job as a laborer and stores person with a company called Oasis Arts and Craft Products. That decision proved to be the starting point for an Illustrious career with Colart that now celebrates 25 years. For in 1999, Oasis was acquired by Colart which was the defining moment and catalyst for Shane’s progressive path of career development.
Within weeks Shane joined the Colart warehouse team, as a picker/packer, trained to drive a fork-lift truck (FLT) and Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) truck and was subsequently transferred to the high bay storage department. Shane undertook his VNA training in Wealdstone, the base of our previous Distribution Centre and his visit and experience is one that Shane recalls vividly. “It completely changed my understanding of Colart and what a huge Company it is. I finally understood how important our goods were to people and really bought into the Colart values from that moment on.”
Shane was promptly rewarded for his efforts and work ethic and was promoted to the role of Goods Inward Team Leader, with responsibility for running a small team to unload and process container deliveries from one of our international manufacturing plants. Shane speaks fondly of this time reflecting that, “This was the first time I was given the opportunity to run a team, I loved it and from the positive feedback I received from the management team, it was an attribute that Colart noticed and were interested in exploring with me.” With increased responsibilities, Shane was promoted to Charge Hand with even more input in the running of the warehouse. “This time was massive for me personally; the management team showed me a lot of trust and appreciated my enthusiasm.”
Shane’s manager at the time, Richard Stapleton, was noticeably impressed with Shane’s use of spreadsheets, statistics and the way Shane used them to create targets for general improvement and increase efficiency. Shane was soon to be entrusted with the running of the Carousel and its warehouse management system and was sent back to Wealdstone to work with their Carousel Supervisor for three months before it was relocated to Kidderminster – the location of our current UK Distribution Centre. This experience helped Shane gain a basic knowledge of the Carousel so that he could run it on go live day. A brief time later he was promoted to the position of Carousel Supervisor. Suitably empowered, Shane chose his own team and set targets for both personal and professional development. Shane recalls of this time that “The trust in me really helped to build my confidence, express myself and made me feel that the Carousel was my piece of Colart. “
With a changing of the guards, Paul Woodward took charge of the UK Warehouse and became Shane’s new manager and someone he thinks of as an important mentor during this period. “He shared my passion and commitment for getting the job done no matter what, taught me about the Colart heritage and why we must maintain the quality that our customers deserve and expect, while nurturing my innovative side. He always believed in my pursuit of turning the Carousel into an “exact science” leaving no stone unturned, improving every aspect of the Carousel from picking errors to the team’s morale, therefore creating a happy, hardworking, and productive environment. He inspired me to aim high because with hard work commitment and belief, there are no limits within this company.”
When Paul retired in 2020, Shane was promoted to Site Manager of the UK Distribution Centre reporting to Anthony Taylor the UK General Manger. As a member of the UK Senior Leadership Team, Shane has played a key in role in creating strong inter-department synergies, collaboration, and connectivity as we worked to create a One UK team culture that aligns to our global Colart values. Shane has also been at the forefront of devising and implementing with the team a program of great initiatives that deliver against our sustainability agenda. And more than anything else, Shane has worked with professionalism to ensure the safety of our people and our operation at the UK Distribution Centre. This has enabled us to provide uninterrupted service of delivery to our retailers and ultimately the consumer as we deliver on our vision to inspire every artist.
“It has been an incredible journey so far, with many twists and turns along the way. But even now, after 25 years, I’m given new opportunities to develop and improve within Colart. Anthony recently put me forward for a supply chain degree so, even after all this time, it still feels like I’m at the beginning of the journey with this great Company. I’m so grateful for all of the experiences so far and the great people that I’ve met along the way.”
Congratulations Shane for twenty -five years of service and dedication to the Colart business living and breathing our Colart values.
UK General Manager