From jazz muso to shift supervisor

2016-07-05 06:00
Michael Cavanagh, Compass night shift supervisor. Photo: supplied

Michael Cavanagh, Compass night shift supervisor. Photo: supplied

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LATE nights are not a problem for Compass night shift supervisor, Upper Highway’s Michael Cavanagh, who works weekdays from 2pm to 10pm.
After playing in a jazz band for over four years, Michael is leaving the Compass KZN Westmead office to go home to his wife, Shervon, and two girls, Ché and Micah.

Cavanagh grew up in Austerville, now Wentworth and then studied performing arts, majoring in music, at UKZN. At university Cavanagh and three musos started a band called, “Big Idea”, and played jazz, hip-hop, fusion and R&B. They performed at CT International Jazz Festival, Oppie Koppie, Splashy Fen and Rocking the Daisies, and produced a CD, Hot Box.
The band continued for four years after Cavanagh qualified, during which time he worked in a recording studio.

“Family responsibilities and financial commitments took over and the band unfortunately dissolved. However, with a small studio set up at home, I always find an excuse to have friends over for a jam session,” he said.

Cavanagh started his corporate career at Cipla Medpro Pharmaceuticals as a trainee, where they discovered his strength in logistics. He was then head-hunted by R&R Trucking where he worked for two years before joining Trans Freight, a company which managed a fleet of 20 vehicles.

“I enjoy a challenge which is why, when I saw the job at Compass advertised, I applied immediately,’’ says Cavanagh.

He joined the Compass family on 17 May, 2015 and a year later he has made, and seen, substantial growth.

“With Compass being a national company comprising 502 staff, it has been an adjustment for me to communicate with a number of departments, but it is what makes the job dynamic and exciting.’’

Cavanagh has introduced a driver-performer assessment programme, which evaluates Compass drivers on consistently and efficiently completing allocated routes in accordance with the transport arrangements, completing waste manifest documents accurately, ensuring safety and compliance and practising good customer service.

Points are allocated for each assessment criteria and the monthly assessment programme has had a positive impact on the drivers says Cavanagh.
“They often pop into my office to see how many points they have accumulated and in which areas they can improve.

“In addition, it helps us determine which drivers need additional training, and in which areas. It is a very targeted approach to upskilling our staff. It has also improved our service to customers as it has encouraged our drivers and general workers to communicate more regularly with the distribution team at the office.
“If they are running late for a collection due to unforeseen circumstances, they let the office know immediately so we can notify the customer and access whether another vehicle can get to them quicker.”

Working at Compass has been exhilarating for Cavanagh.
“No day is ever the same and no one is ever satisfied with the status quo. When something is achieved, we don’t sit back, we strive to improve on our improvements.’

“The 2016 internal theme for Compass is teamwork and the distribution department is taking this motto seriously. We collaborate, sing off the same hymn sheet and work in harmony – the perfect qualities for a great band,’’ he says.

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