Transportation is one of the most important economic activities for a business. By moving goods from one place to another, transportation provides the vital service of linking a company to its suppliers and customers as well as to its own multiple locations.
The people who work in a company’s transportation department play a central role because they are responsible for directing, coordinating, planning, and overseeing tasks and operations related to moving vast amounts of goods/commodities.
Jamie Fienan, Director of Transportation for Sims Metal in North America, is a leader in the transportation department who recently joined the company in 2022. With 30 years of expertise, she has one of the most valuable roles in the company.
Keep reading to get to know Jamie and the crucial role she plays at Sims Metal.
How long have you been working in transportation?
“I have worked in logistics and transportation my entire career, and this is my first time in the metal recycling industry, and I enjoy the challenge and opportunity. My career has focused on the global containerized shipping business, and I have been in transportation and logistics for over 30 years. Sims Metal recruited me last Spring, and I began full-time in July 2022.”
How does this role differ from your previous roles?
“This is a very different role for me as the Director of Transportation for North America. While my career has focused on global transportation, I am now venturing into domestic. In my current position, I manage all domestic moves (rail, barge, and truck), which is a new challenge for me. Thanks to this new role, I am learning a lot, and I must admit, I am enjoying it.”
The recycling industry is a new industry for you. How are you finding it?
“It’s fascinating, and I enjoy learning more about this evolving industry. The recycling industry is ever-changing, and there is an increased interest across the globe in sustainability. It’s a dynamic and exciting industry with the opportunity to make a real difference in the world for environmental, social, and economic benefits. In this dynamic marketplace, you will always have something on the horizon to look forward to, learn from, and grow in your career.”
What are your primary responsibilities as Director of the Transportation Department in NAM?
“My goal is to professionalize our transportation department and streamline roles and responsibilities. In addition, I will create KPIs to drive the business and provide a definition of efficiency within transportation. My role also includes ensuring that the TMS System Review, our transportation management system, is meaningful and covers all our objectives and means for operations and commercial in NAM. In other words, I am an advocate for transportation nationally.”
What would you say is the secret to a successful career?
“I am a very driven person; I have always had clear goals. After graduating from college, I worked in the global container shipping industry. I have a well-rounded background and comprehensive insights into transportation and operations. I was fortunate to hold roles in various departments. I earned my MBA in marketing and international business, and I have ascended in my career by taking very calculated steps and thankfully landed my dream job!”
What’s the role of the transportation department in a company like Sims Metal? Why is it so important?
“I believe the transportation department is by far the most important department within Sims Metal globally. The Transportation department is the backbone of this company. Essentially, we need to move goods from point A to B, and we work with commercial on one end and operations on the other. The Transportation department is the central steering point of these two departments; without us, nothing would ever get where it needs to be.”
How has Sims Metal made you feel welcomed in the company?
“Michael Henderson, Jr. my direct reporting manager, has been wonderful and is a tremendous mentor to me. Everyone has been very kind and supportive. I’m fortunate to work with a great team who shares my vision. I have been traveling a lot since I started working with Sims Metal. I visited every region and almost every yard and met a lot of different personnel. Everyone has been very professional and shared their successes and current challenges. At the end of the day, any business is all about the people who work here, and I’m impressed by the personnel I’ve encountered who helped me learn more about their daily challenges so I can support them with productive solutions; this has been a great experience.”
Why would you say working at Sims Metal is a good idea?
“Sims is taking the right steps to grow and improve through new systems, diversity, and human resources; if your interest is sustainability and working for a company that wants to grow, improve and make a change, Sims Metal is the place for you.”
Thanks, Jamie for answering all our questions and explaining the critical role that the Director of Transportation NAM and the Transportation Department play at Sims Metal.
At Sims Metal, we are an enabler of the circular economy. We buy metal from businesses, other recyclers, and the public; we process it and resell it to manufacturers around the globe. The Transportation department, jointly with the other business departments, makes all this possible.
Read more stories about women working at Sims Metal here!