From Warehouse Operations to Maritime Project Management - HMS

From Warehouse Operations to Maritime Project Management

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    Meet Billy Peach, Hythe Engineering Project Manager 

    Graduate Project Manager Billy Peach joined the Hythe Engineering team in 2023. He moved from an operations manager role at DHL to defence project management, which was a significant pivot – but not completely out of the blue.  

    At university, Billy studied Maritime Business. The role at Hythe appealed to him as he wanted a career which combined his academic background and professional experience with personal interests.  

    Cut to Billy now and you’ll find him Project Managing a critical Royal Navy project in the Historic Portsmouth Dockyard.  

    Billy’s career journey is a testament to the importance of aligning career growth with personal passions and strengths. We spoke to Billy to find out more about his transition to Hythe, his historic connections to the dockyard, and his future aspirations.  


    From DHL to Maritime: Billy’s Career Journey 

    Straight out of university, Billy secured a place on the DHL Supply Chains Future Leaders graduate scheme. During which he completed various roles: CI Manager, Quality Manager, First Line Manager and Shift Manager. After the graduate scheme, he was promoted to Operations Manager within one of DHL’s largest sites in the country – two 1,000,000-square-foot warehouses!  

    At DHL, Billy honed his skills across numerous leadership and logistics positions, laying the groundwork for his career move into project management and equipping him with the expertise needed to navigate the complexities of maritime projects. 



    Billy Peach (L) with Lukasz Czlapka (R)

    Why Hythe Engineering? 

    When considering his career switch-up, Billy realised that what he enjoyed most about the roles he’d held was managing projects.  

    “I enjoyed leading and being part of teams to achieve large goals and loved analysing the data and details within complex projects to reach new achievements and see where we can improve on past performance. Using this and my passion for the maritime industry, Hythe stood out to me as they manage complex projects within an even more complex environment.” 

    This career move wasn’t just a professional leap. On a personal level, Billy’s move to Hythe has allowed him to gain a sense of purpose and fulfilment in his work. 

    “I think what I enjoy most is working alongside real people, solving real problems. The work we do matters. If a ship doesn’t get fixed, that’s a ship out of action for the Royal Navy.”  

    “Hythe is a small player, but they are so powerful, and we’re quite influential in the dockyards and I love that. There’s a couple of guys here that can go and speak to BAE, and we’re heard. Because of our reputation in the dockyard of how good we are at what we do. I feel part of a really powerful team, and although our scope can change throughout a project’s cycle, we always find a way to get it right and that makes me proud to be a part of it.” 

    The role at Hythe also resonated with his family history in the Portsmouth dockyard and Royal Navy… 

    “It also feels a bit like I’ve gone back to my roots because I’ve got a lot of family members that were either in the Navy or worked in the dockyard, so I grew up hearing stories from the Naval Base. Until joining Hythe, I’d only ever seen the dockyard as “the walls in Portsmouth that you can’t go in”, but now I get to see what my family were talking about, and when I have conversations with my granddad I can picture where he used to work.” 

    It’s the people that make the project 

    The essence of project management at Hythe lies in collaboration, problem-solving, and resilience. Navigating the challenges of defence projects is an entirely different ballgame to the corporate world, and you need a strong team to make it work.  

    Defence challenges range from managing area access schedules on Naval vessels to ensuring all materials and equipment are readily available and in the right place, as well as ensuring that interconnected tasks are running smoothly, with any bottlenecks recognised and mitigated as quickly and effectively as possible.  

    Billy credited the collective effort of the entire Hythe team for navigating the hurdles of these complex projects. Together, the team can tackle logistical challenges, stakeholder coordination, and the intricate dependencies of project tasks. 

    “Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming; I don’t want to leave anyone out. They’ve all helped me so much, especially the people around me in our offices answering my questions, such as Fred Creamer (Project Engineer) and Lukasz Czlapka (Supervisor Pipe) who have supported me every step of the way during the project. 

    And Danny Shipp who took me under his wing when I first started. And coincidentally, it turns out that Danny was an apprentice when my granddad was a manager in the plating shed, so they used to work alongside each other which is strange to think.” 

    Portsmouth Dockyard Navy Day in 1983.
    Portsmouth Dockyard Navy Day in 1983.

    What’s next for Billy?     

    Billy’s aspirations for the future are clear: to lead larger, more complex projects at Hythe, gain further technical and engineering knowledge, and become an indispensable member of the team.  

    He’s driven by a desire to contribute to impactful projects that align with his maritime interests and professional aspirations. 

    “I think with the future growth of Hythe along with my interest in taking on larger projects and building my skill set, I’m excited for the future opportunities Hythe may bring.”  

    Billy’s journey from Operations Management at DHL to a confident defence project leader at Hythe encapsulates the essence of aligning career growth with personal interests. His story illustrates the power of passion, dedication, and the right professional environment. 


    Connect with Billy. 

    If you would like to connect with Billy, please find his LinkedIn profile here. To meet other members of the team please visit our company page.