In his role as ELV Technical Specialist for the North West and Scotland, Louis Frost oversees eight end-of-life (ELV) vehicle recycling facilities, including those in Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Louis has spent years building up the experience needed to lead EMR’s ELV operation:
“People come to our sites who have been driving around in their vehicles just a few hours before. Once we’ve depolluted their car, it only takes 30 seconds for them to be completely shredded and some customers can get quite emotional. I see it as recycling. We take materials from end-of-life vehicles and process them to a standard which can be used once again by the automotive industry or to create tomorrow’s products.”
Louis’s career began at EMR Salford in Manchester – the site where he is still based today – and he believes this continuity has been another advantage:
“I get a lot of respect from the ELV teams because they know that I’ve been in their position, too. I‘ve worked in ELV facilities when it’s really busy and when it’s quiet. I know what their frustrations and challenges can be and, when they come to me, I will almost always have advice based on my own experience.”
The secret to his success has been his positive attitude and hunger for the next challenge:
“You can’t ever stay in one place for too long – I cover eight sites at the moment, and I would definitely like that number to be higher in the future. I never say no to new opportunities and, if EMR ask me to do more training or to learn a new set of skills, I'll always do it. It’ll only benefit me in the future.”
While managing a state-of-the-art ELV recycling operation requires knowledge and experience of using the latest technology, Louis says customer service remains vital.
“At EMR, we want to make every customer feel welcome, whether that customer brings us one car a year or regularly supplies us with 10 cars,” he says.
“With some of our most regular customers, we probably see them more often than we see our girlfriends or family members, so you've got to build a really good relationship with them. If they want to chat with us and discuss anything, it’s important that they feel they can.”
As Louis has toured the country, visiting sites in every region, it has given him an understanding of how different sites operate – but also provided him with an opportunity to drive a process of standardisation to ensure customers everywhere get the same high-quality service.
“Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic gave EMR an opportunity to get up and running again with new processes. Visiting sites, you meet people who have been working in ELV recycling for 30 years or more and you pick up things from them. It’s my job to make sure all that knowledge is shared with new colleagues arriving on site and around the company.
“People with that much experience are so valuable to EMR and we’re always going to rely on that, even as technology changes and we work to create a more consistent customer experience across our depots.”
And, as EMR faces a period of transition in the years ahead – as electric vehicles start to arrive in greater numbers and the company continues its drive towards net-zero – Louis believes this provides a blueprint for the future:
“It’s great to be part of a company that has the ambition to grasp these opportunities and is ready to train its staff for these challenges – and I’m excited to be part of that journey.”