Andy Kaye: From Graduate To CEO

Nearly 30 years ago, Andy Kaye started his career as a Business Studies graduate. Today he is a well-known entrepreneurial leader in the logistics industry.

Renowned for his passion and dedication to transforming the development of young talent, Andy reflects on what he has learned along his journey and why he is keen to inspire the next generation of professionals.

Andy reflects back to his own education, and states that courses and programs were mainly related to individual activities, such as transportation and warehousing. There was little attempt to integrate and balance these activities and there was not much of an opportunity to learn about the broader concepts within the overall supply chain sector and its role in modern businesses.

After completing his BA Hons in Business Studies at Nottingham Trent University in 1989, Andy was the only one out of 72 on his course who had fallen into a logistics role. After joining Exel Logistics as a graduate trainee he undertook a number of roles before becoming Director of Logistics at the Storehouse Group. A role that led him to lead and implement the strategy to integrate the supply chains of BHS and Mothercare.

When the internet bubble burst in 2000, he went on to join a start-up dot com business which unfortunately went into liquidation, however unperturbed this downfall inspired Andy, and with his flourishing career behind him, he set about founding and developing the ’Bis’ business before managing a merger with George Henderson & Partners to form Bis Henderson Group Ltd – the provider of choice for the supply chain and logistics industry, offering fully integrated, future-fit solutions under four specialist divisions: Consulting, Recruitment, Academy and Space

Bis Henderson academy, was designed to engage with those individuals who are looking for apprenticeship level training, from Intermediate to Higher level. Andy’s mission is to address the growing ‘skills gap’ and to develop motivated, engaged and well-equipped leaders of the future.

In 2013 Andy identified a gap in the market to attract talent into industry by providing degree courses which specialise in supply chain and logistics management, backed by the chance of placements and jobs with leading bluechip companies. Andy founded the Novus Trust, a not-for-profit organisation which works with numerous universities and company sponsors to design and deliver degree courses, offer students the opportunity to take part in summer work experience, provide third year work placements and finally provide a guaranteed offer of a graduate job on graduation, should the student achieve a 2:1 or better.

To further support his mission, Andy joined the board of Think Logistics in 2014 – a body of industry professionals who come together to support the continued expansion of opportunities within the industry. The team works hand-in-hand with Career Ready to offer young people mentoring, master classes, workshops, workplace visits and paid internships aiming to raise the profile of the logistics industry and increase their awareness of the career pathways available to them.

Over the years, Andy hasn’t seen much change to the way logistics is perceived by younger audiences and believes that as an industry we should be doing more to promote the roles available.

He says: “Without logistics, how would we have medicine in our hospitals, food in our fridge or music equipment at our festivals?”

The next professionals of the future may not be considering a career in logistics, but they may fall into it, and with Andy and his teams’ support along the way, they too are likely to prosper.

Andy’s determination and success to grow and shape the industry, scooped him the Lifetime Contribution Award at the 2018 Talent in Logistics awards ceremony. For 2019, we have changed the name slightly to Industry Ambassador Award and as one of the judges for this category, he will be looking for the people that have gone the extra mile to make a difference, shown innovation to gain the best results and those with a clear vision to improve the industry.

To find out more about the 2019 Industry Ambassador Award, click here.