When EMR gets a new customer in the north east of England or Scotland, its Louisa Galey's responsibility to make sure their delivery and pick-up needs are met.
As Area Transport Manager, Louisa oversees customers in a range of industries, from construction to demolition, automotive to – eventually – the processing or export of EMR’s waste metal.
“My role is pretty varied and I think that’s what I love about it the most,” she says: “I manage the route planners and drivers within the transport department whilst also ensuring that we operate in a compliant way.”
To maintain EMR’s reputation as a world-leading metal recycler we must collect and deliver the materials we process in a safe, compliant and flexible way. We must also maintain the high standards of customer service for which EMR is known.
“Customer service is a big responsibility for me. Without our customers, we haven’t got a business,” she says.
To keep these standards high, many parts of the business must work together. Surveys of the sites that we visit are one of the first steps on working with a new customer, allowing potential issues with deliveries to be ironed out early.
“From a customer service point of view, if the start of the customer experience is good it flows from there. It means that when a driver is facing a customer, they’re simply there to collect or drop off as everything else has been arranged beforehand. It is important for us to ensure that because then the business relationship has started on a good footing.”
Louisa has worked with EMR for eight years, starting out as one of the company’s 150-strong team of drivers. Her training for the role really began long before, however.
“When I left school, I joined the army as a driver for the Royal Logistics Corp, delivering fuel, water and ammunition to the battle group. When I left, I never thought I would drive a heavy goods vehicle again but, after trying out a few other jobs, the opportunity came up at EMR and I’ve never looked back.”
Louisa says her years in the army provided great training for the high standards EMR drivers must adhere to: “EMR is very good at compliance and safety and it actually makes it better to come to work. It means that you can come to work knowing that your safety, and the safety of your colleagues, is always the highest priority.”
This culture of excellence has also come in useful as EMR’s transport team plays its part in the company’s ‘Our Decade of Action’ sustainability strategy.
“As a team, we monitor a number of KPIs on sustainability through devices in the vehicles. These record everything from harsh braking to harsh accelerating and idling and then give drivers an overall score. We make it into a bit of a competition for the team, seeing which driver can score best.”
While sustainability is a significant, area of focus for EMR, one of its longstanding priorities is safety. “As a team, we’re all heavily involved in changes that are made to improve safety, from new equipment to training. Safety is a massively important to me, not just within the transport department but for the business as a whole. I believe it is important that we all play a role in ensuring that our workplace is a safe place to be.”
Over the coming months Louisa and her team will be working towards the ‘Silver’ accreditation for the FORS safety and compliance programme. It’s another sign that, when it comes to being a safe place to work, EMR is always making further improvements.
While the standards that drivers must reach are high, Louisa says that the company also has a great offer to its employees. “Working at EMR I have been given some amazing opportunities to develop and been offered the training that I need to succeed – it is this that has got me to position I am in today.”
But these are not the only benefits that Louisa believes make EMR a great place to work. “There’s no night shifts for the transport team, not too much weekend work and you’ve got bank holidays too”, leading her to describe the company as “one of the best employers out there.”
And it all started with applying for that job advert eight years ago:
“It’s been a pleasure to watch EMR grow in that time – and, as a business, we’re getting better all the time.”