We might pride ourselves on our friendly and flexible approach here at Hydraulics Online, but that doesn’t mean we skimp on rigour or ensuring best practice
Our Finance & Administration Manager, Joanna explains…
I’m currently the “new girl” at Hydraulics Online – having started with the company at the end of October 2016 to head up the Finance and Administration team. Since then, my feet seem to have hardly touched the ground – there hasn’t been a quiet day, but that is probably one of the reasons why I love it here so much!
One thing that struck me during my interview was the real team focus of the business. The Director who interviewed me was Helen, and she went to great pains to make sure I felt at ease during the interview, which was, nevertheless, a very in-depth process. I really got a sense of the flexible and proactive outlook of the whole team here, and I’m pleased to say that has proved true over the time I have been with Hydraulics Online.
A Balancing Act
Balancing this friendly and personal approach with a really professional working ethic is something the whole team is passionate about. Both Helen and I have come from large, blue chip banking groups before coming to Hydraulics Online – so we have had the need for rigour, professionalism, and attention to detail drilled into us throughout our early careers. It’s really exciting to come to a smaller business like Hydraulics Online in a completely different industry, but with the same commitment to these qualities.
I joined a major British bank straight from University, under its graduate programme; I was with them for 18 years, right up until I joined Hydraulics Online. During this time I worked in the lending centre in Manchester, the credit office in Liverpool, and in relationship banking, before joining the commercial banking relationship team.
This experience has instilled in me a really strong commitment to customer service and relationship building; one that most finance professionals don’t get to put into practice in their day jobs!
Coming to a small team like Hydraulics Online has enabled me to keep this important and rewarding part of my job. I see every part of the customer experience here – from enquiry to post-sale care – and this isn’t just great for customer satisfaction, it is rewarding for us as staff too.
More than Average
It might seem a little odd to describe a finance job as exciting, but my job here really is! It is a lot more varied than your average purchase ledger administration. I get to communicate with customers every day – whether by phone or email – and I have such a variety in the work I do. From collating management information, overseeing the purchase and sales ledgers, sanctioning new credit accounts, identifying and implementing process improvements, and customer liaison, no two days are the same.
The fact that we are talking with people from all over the world, because of the global reach of the company, ensures diverse and interesting conversations! So one of the other rewarding aspects of the job is that I get to use my French and Spanish as part of my day job too. I was a bit rusty after my time in the bank – so it has been great to have an opportunity to brush up!
Like Helen, I am a graduate of Bristol University. I read Modern Languages there – so I am able to help out when we receive customer enquiries in French or Spanish. The French probably comes in most handy – although we get enquiries from all over the world, including Latin America. One of the most unusual emails I helped out with was a sales enquiry which came all the way from French Polynesia.
It’s all about the customers at the end of the day. Although Hydraulics Online is a comparatively small company, it has big ambitions – and the whole team is keen to share information and best practices. We all work together to achieve this and it comes together really well.
We welcome all feedback from customers – positive and negative – although I am happy to say that the negative is very rare. I work very closely with Helen to ensure all feedback is properly responded to, and I’d like to invite all readers to share their thoughts with us too.
Send me your comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna, Finance & Administration Manager
Joanna is a valued member of our Finance and Administration team. She is mum to two wonderful boys and, like many working mums, spends every day trying to balance the competing demands of family life and career. When everything is in alignment, she can be found standing on the sidelines at football supporting her boys.