Meet the Team at Gousto Tech — Dom Wigmore-Shepherd — Senior Data Scientist
This post is part of our series interviewing members of our GoustoTech team. In this post, we meet Dom who is a Senior Data Scientist in our Unbox tribe.
So tell us, what is your favourite food?
Ooh this is a tough one. If I think about one thing I couldn’t live without it would probably be pasta in all its wondrous forms.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Gousto.
I’m Dom, a Senior Data Scientist in Gousto’s Unbox tribe — our tribe’s mission is to deliver the best possible unboxing experience for our customers.
In terms of my role this means developing and maintaining the various algorithms we use to optimise our factory processes, such as deciding how we set up our production lines and route boxes down them, or how we move ingredients through our factories to ensure that our lines are always well stocked. If we do this well we can ensure that the boxes get to the customer on time and in great condition, while maintaining the high level of throughput needed to meet our demand.
Aside from time developing our operational algorithms, I often find myself providing advice and analytical support to stakeholders on all manner of operational topics, such as how to manage our production lines while ramping up a new factory, or what functionality might we need from a future factory that is years away from opening.
How long have you been at Gousto?
I’ve been at Gousto just over two years now — I actually joined on the first day of lockdown which was quite the experience!
Can you tell us a little about your journey before arriving at Gousto?
I have a maths and operational research background, and have previously applied these skills while doing data-sciencey things at British Airways and McLaren Applied Technologies.
What made you decide to join Gousto?
A couple different things appealed when I decided to apply. My previous companies had been large, old institutions, which could often make the pace of delivery quite slow. I was keen to try somewhere that was a bit more agile, and as a company entering the scale-up phase, Gousto seemed like a good fit.
Additionally, after a long and interesting discussion with our old Director of Data, I was excited by the prospect of applying my skills to some of Gousto’s problems. From a supply chain/operational perspective, Gousto is quite a unique and advanced organisation while still having so much scope for further optimisation, which appealed to my intellectual curiosity.
What has been the most exciting thing you’ve worked on at Gousto since joining?
I’ve worked all across our operations focussed Data Science areas since joining so I’m lucky to have worked on quite a few exciting projects. One that stands out is our project to move from a single site to a multi site operation. This involved coming up with and then building a couple separate data products to help us decide which recipes we hosted at each site, how this would affect our order routing, and how we would reflect this decision in our forecast, which now had to be done at both an aggregate and site level.
This project was memorable not just because of its huge business impact (it unlocked a lot of capacity at a time we were experiencing strong growth), but also because I learned a lot myself, particularly how I would approach a similar project in the future when under time pressure.
What’s in the pipeline that you’re excited about at Gousto?
We have a few big areas of focus in Unbox Data Science for the coming years.
We are planning to make our data products more dynamic so they’re better able to adapt to changing conditions in our factories, as well as broadening their scope to optimise for multiple operational objectives such as throughput, labour cost, and OTIF.
We are also spinning up a simulation squad to build in-house replications of our factories, enhancing our ability to scenario test algorithm improvements and proposition changes.
How would you describe the culture at Gousto?
The culture is generally very friendly and social, which I enjoy. People are encouraged to speak honestly and challenge each other regardless of their seniority, which I think is particularly important for fostering innovation as well as keeping employees engaged.
Gousto prides itself on being a ‘data company that loves food’, and while I think it’s perhaps a bit unrealistic to be data driven in all decisions, Gousto does a pretty decent job of holding itself to those standards.
Why would you suggest that someone considers joining us at Gousto Tech?
If you love food and tech then it’s the place to be! We have a huge amount of interesting and unique problems to solve and we’re constantly growing in all areas of tech, so if you’re interested then please have a look at our open roles.