Alt - Catching up with Sophie, one year on…

Catching up with Sophie, one year on…

Our Sales & Customer Service Representative, Sophie Bates, has been with us for just over a year. We find out how she’s getting on:

Can you remind us about the responsibilities of your job?

My job involves liaising with customers, providing non-technical quotes and handling admin for the sales team. This includes processing orders, updating customers and despatch, along with answering the phone and welcoming guests to the building. Now I’ve been here for a year, I’m taking on more responsibilities and feel more confident in my abilities.

When you joined Redhill, the country was in the grip of the pandemic. How did you cope with starting a new job during lockdown?

It was fine! The job enabled me to have some ‘normality’ in an otherwise challenging time. I was, and still am, grateful to have a job in the current climate, especially one that allows me to work in an office alongside my colleagues (at a safe distance, of course).

This was your first job after graduating in Business & Management. How have you found the world of manufacturing?

I could not have been made more welcome by everyone at Redhill. Clients have been patient, knowing that I was ‘new to the industry’, and working alongside the Managing Director and Sales Manager has given me a real lifeline: they know the business inside out and I’ve found their combined experience to be exceptional. For example, they can tell the make and size of a castor on a step we made 20 years ago from a pixelated image sent in by a customer!

You were very enthusiastic at the start, has the job delivered what it promised?

Absolutely! The work has been exactly as I expected, while the quality of the people and the things we’ve achieved have been over and above, providing real highlights.

Has anything changed at Redhill over the past 12 months?

Yes, we have a new HR Manager, Debra Hughes, to ensure the correct strategies are in place as Redhill grows and moves forward, and we’ve increased Night Shift production to facilitate the huge increase in orders. Now we’ve nailed our lead times, businesses and individuals are really seeing the benefit of buying British and, in particular, buying from Redhill. In my first interview, I mentioned the benefits of buying local over importing and I think the increase in demand has occurred as a direct result of such influences as Brexit, the Suez ‘crisis’ and vastly inflated shipping costs. The situation in Ukraine may also be a factor moving forwards. 

What do you particularly enjoy about the role?

I love the fact I’m learning something new and helping people at the same time. In previous roles in hospitality and retail,  I have worked with end users, so understand how demanding the relationship can be. To ensure the sales and enquiry process is as seamless as possible when our distributors are dealing with customers, Redhill offers a wealth of resources, including a Media Library and detailed product specifications, and it’s fabulous we’re able to provide such support.

Did you achieve your goals during your first year?

I had no prior industry knowledge before entering this role, so am proud of how easily I picked things up and was able to learn the internal systems. Sadly, bringing in cakes on a Friday didn’t last long, and I’m not sure I’ve been quite forgiven for this!

Do you have a further message for Redhill customers and distributors?

I might be biased, but I think the impact we have on the industry is phenomenal and I’m proud of what we can do.

What message do you have for new customers?

If you’re looking for professional, reliable products at a great price, Redhill is the supplier for you. We have customers call us for parts on products we manufactured 20-25 years ago which is testament of the quality of Redhill’s products.

What are your aspirations for the next 12 months?

I want to continue to grow within the Redhill family, take on more responsibility and hopefully manage my own accounts within the next 6- 12 months, using my Business & Management degree to its full potential. Now life is more relaxed following the pandemic, I can’t wait to welcome more current and new customers to Redhill, although, would like to assure all visitors, we still have plenty of PPE, if required!

Thank you Sophie for such great answers. We love your enthusiasm and attention to detail. You’re a real asset to Redhill and we know you’ll always go the extra mile to ensure the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Well done and thank you from all at Redhill.