October 24, 2022
Blog/ Introducing Alveri and Marcella, our new ZED Waltham Forest managers
A huge welcome to our new Waltham Forest hub managers, Alveri and Marcella. The duo are not only partners in business, working day to day to manage the ever-growing ZED Waltham Forest hub, but also in life!
Harriet, Head of Marketing, and Bex, Zedify’s Content Marketing Executive, chatted with them a few days ago and found out more about their story.
A little about ZED:
ZED Waltham Forest is a partnership between Zedify and Waltham Forest Council, combining the borough’s cycling infrastructure and Zedify’s tech platform. The team has created a zero-emission delivery service for deliveries both local and national clients, and is well on their way to making the area greener, safer and less congested.
(Harriet) “How did you get started in the world of logistics and in particular, at ZED?”
(Alveri) It was during the pandemic, 2020. I was working as a Deliveroo steward, doing deliveries – it was the only job out there for me at the time. I met Michel (ex-manager at ZED Waltham Forest) – he was doing deliveries as well, so we used to gather in front of KFC… McDonalds… etc! We’d meet whilst waiting for the next order. Suddenly he disappeared from the roads and I found out he was working with ZED, and so soon after he started working there, he took over and he offered me to come and work with him. So, straightaway I came and at first, I was doing random shifts and still working at deliveries at night, but I really started enjoying it!
Then a job as assistant manager become available and he offered me the job. At the time, I was more concerned about my wife get a job as she was having to cycle through central London every day so I said, You know what, Marcella has done a few courses as a PA and she’ll be able to be the perfect assistant!
Marcella came and so I stepped back, and she stayed. As the pandemic was still going strong, we we didn’t have much to do. And then she got pregnant again! So she took the maternity and then Mike said, well, do you want to be the assistant whilst she’s on maternity? So that’s the story! I worked my way up and Mike offered a leadership position to me. In a year, Marcella came back as assistant manager, and by then, she had a different manager! Haha.
(Harriet) Some people might find that challenging! How has it been working together?
(Marcella) It’s very good, actually, because we did work in the past together already. Yes, quite a few years ago, Alveri worked as a chef in the canteen in an English school and then I started working with him. The way we work together is very good! He’s very active, I’m very active, and together we we make a very good combination – we’re a very good balance. We never have any arguments, even little arguments regarding work… You know, we help each other, give ideas, listen to the other person’s ideas. Yeah. Actually, I hear as well that as a couple they don’t do well when they work together, but this is not true in our case! When I came to work in ZED, I started as a rider as well, because I think it is very important to know how everything works on the road. It’s all a very good challenge and I really enjoy it.
(Harriet) What kind of what kind of challenges do you do you guys have to deal with on a daily basis? What kind of things are you kind of dealing with when you when you come in every morning?
Every morning we keep an eye on the emails, the requests that might come in… we might have a rider on the road, but then suddenly you have to plan again because you’re always receiving emails and requests so yes, just readjusting constantly to make sure everything run smoothly.
(Harriet) Do you plan the routes yourselves?
Yes. Yes, we do plan the routes. There are some jobs that are done prior so yep, that needs to be done! Basically we give the rider the sequence of the job to be done. So we start with the more important and then go down the line. (Alveoli) I also ride too, I ride everyday. I do the library deliveries at the schools, I do sandwich runs, etc, and I really enjoy it.
(Harriet) What’s your cargo bike experience like, you said you would like were doing deliveries prior to ZED?
(Alveri) Yes, we’ve come from a few different industries. I was riding a normal pushbike and then I got a motorbike then eventually, cargo bikes, so it was easy for me to make the transition. I just find it easy, because we can carry a lot of stuff, as you know – it’s amazing it.
(Harriet) What about you Marcella?
Yeah. Yeah. For me was another challenge! When I came for the trial I was like, oh my God! I took some time to get confident in aspects of it, when you have to give the sign, you are turning back. It was a challenge for me to get into riding cargo bikes, at first they look very big as well! Now it’s okay. But in the beginning it’s a challenge is a challenge
(Bex) Which bikes do you have there?
We’ve actually got three trikes and then we’ve got three XL flatbed Urban Arrows.
(Both) We’d like to try and encourage more women to come and ride at Zedify. What are your thoughts on helping women get into riding cargo bikes?
(Marcella) For sure, you’re one step ahead if the person already rides. It makes it easier but of course is not impossible if you haven’t! Also, when you do your training, you just have some time where you’re not doing deliveries, you just get used to riding for as long as you want – we tell you just don’t get too bored – to make sure you feel confident before you go on jobs. That’s the main thing – there’s no pressure. Just riding locally, going, doing the routes. We do give the training inside here too in the council area, then we start with we we have a local school runs – very close. Once the person is here, just, you know, the goal is to have fun. Just have fun. No pressure. Eva is one of our female riders here, she’s amazing, she knows everything! She goes to do her deliveries with her eyes closed. Wow. She flies. She flies. She’s yeah. She’s amazing. (Alveoli) We, we are constantly competing, who does the most deliveries… she has beaten me a few times.
(Harriet) Who are your favourite customers and what kind of jobs do you like doing?
(Alveri) From my perspective, the clients that I like the most – I like the libraries. You get to to talk to the ladies that are always there and they kind of know you already, so you can have that chat… how was your weekend etc…and so I really enjoy that! Also, there’s a Dabba drop where we deliver food, and I love that as well because there’s a reward at the end! They give you a Dabba, you know, tin of food and then the ladies there are really good as well. We also deliver parking permits, drop into the letterbox – that’s a nice one.
(Marcella) I like doing the school run, the local school run. Yes. Because the ladies, they’re ready for you to come along – we collect empty crates from the nursery and then yeah, it’s always the same with people there as well. We always have a chat time with the ladies who work in the kitchen. It’s amazing.
(Bex) That’s lovely! So do you deliver the food to the canteen in the school?
Yes. We’ll go down to the nursery, collect the crates from the nursery and then we go to the school – and then the school prepares the food and then we we go back and deliver to the nursery.
(Harriet) Have you had to hire additional riders to cope with your recent increased volumes from new clients, such as ZARA?
(Alveri) Yeah, I’ve been hiring. I have three new riders since we started the management takeover. And I must’ve made quite a good choices because they’re great and it’s working out well for us! A new guy just started last week and then there’s a new guy starting tomorrow, I’m going to give him his induction. And then the next one – there’s a lady that I have my eye on to bring into the team, I think she’ll do really well for us. We’ll have nine in total once all 3 new riders are onboard. I’m very flexible with my riders. Sometimes they want to book a day off, a Monday or on a Wednesday or whatever, so they just go to the system, they book it off, and I allow them to have that space. But every time I need them here, they work! It’s very rarely where I get someone not really coming in, because they have this freedom to to book their shifts whenever they feel like. So it works well.
(Both) Is there anything that we haven’t asked you that you’d like to tell us anything that, you know, we enjoy about the job or anything that’s kind of coming up that you’d like us to discuss?
(Marcella) Just that I really enjoy it. We don’t talk about work at home, you need a break, right!
(Alveri) Yes, I just have to prepare the hours for the next day, but I just go through it by myself – I don’t get her (Marcella) involved because you know, it’s my job at the end of day, I get some extra for that! Yes, I’m enjoying it. I like the style. I don’t like the idea of working in the office… I like to be hands on. I’ve learned a lot about mechanics and on the bike, so I do a lot of mechanic jobs myself. The biggest job I’ve done – I replaced the engine from one bike to another! No one had the part and the other one was a spare. So I made one out of the two, and the bike worked again!
(Marcella) I really enjoy it as well – this flexibility that we can have especially. We help each other out well because obviously, we know each other very well, we are very comfortable to talk about things. I don’t usually ride now but sometimes I do some some school runs as well as I mentioned, which is very good. Sometimes you just want to go out there, you know, just to work. When the weather is nice than it’s great to go out there and do some deliveries as well.
I remember before I got pregnant, I was asking Mike (ex-manager) please give me some more shifts so I can go outside in the summer and work! ‘No, Marcella, you have your money already, the riders need the shifts!’ Haha. So yes it’s always nice to get a trip out sometimes, because before I was cycling to central London Monday to Friday, one hour to get there and then same back. Now though, I don’t miss that much! It’s been nice to stay in your neighborhood, too. We live in very close to the place where we work. This to me is really great. We’re just ready for the near future to come!
ZED Waltham Forest is the borough’s own zero emission delivery service, utilising cargo bikes and trikes to carry out deliveries for local and national businesses in Waltham Forest and beyond.
What is ZED Waltham Forest?
ZED Waltham Forest is a partnership between Zedify and Waltham Forest Council, using Zedify’s urban delivery logistics experience and technology platform and Waltham Forest’s cycling infrastructure. ZED use a range of cargo bikes and trikes to carry out deliveries on behalf of local and national businesses alongside Council services.
Why use ZED Waltham Forest?
- Flexible and reliable same-day, next-day and ad-hoc delivery service
- Fast and efficient
- Reduces the need for business vehicle ownership
- Allows staff to spend more time working in your business instead of making deliveries
- Couriers are part of the Waltham Forest community, have good knowledge of the local area and are paid London Living Wage
- Helps to reduce air pollution and vehicle congestion in the local area
- Part of Zedify’s UK-wide delivery network.
Where can I find out more information?
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Thanks for your interest in using Zedify. At the moment, we‘re just for businesses and can’t deliver one-off parcels for individuals. Sorry about that.
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