In The Spotlight: Michelle Woodford

In The Spotlight: Michelle Woodford
For the fourth week of In The Spotlight, we’re interviewing Michelle, our Production Coordinator.

What’s your role at John Pipe – and what does it involve?

Production Coordinator – I am responsible for managing the order processing for a group of customers, from purchase order receipt through to post-despatch. A big part of this is ensuring that I remain in contact with my customers, ensuring that they are kept up-to-date with the progress of their project. As part of the project management, I have to make certain that our production team have all of the intricate detail and materials that they need to complete the project, so I am involved with purchasing and the creation of bespoke labels and stencils on our in-house equipment too. Our customers have very specific deadlines that we need to meet, so I keep my manager appraised of progress and any changes to the set deadline. Getting projects out on time and on budget is a big personal goal for me. After the project has been delivered, my work continues in preparing all of the financial data for the project so that the leadership team can assess the gains or losses. The scope of what I deal with is so varied – from O-rings through to car parts and even some sensitive things that I can’t talk about. This variety certainly keeps me on my toes. Of course, there are also the normal office functions that I do in between, such as the telephones, email and filing – never a dull moment, as they say!

Before working at John Pipe – what was the most interesting or unusual job you’ve had?

Before I joined John Pipe, I qualified as a hairdresser and beauty technician, then gained further qualifications as an instructor, NVQ assessor in the same field. This led me to become an area manager representing a national firm of hairdressers. Starting straight from school, you can imagine that those were some lofty mountains to have climbed. One of my outstanding moments during this time was to be asked to appear on the QVC shopping channel, advertising nail care products – a daunting experience to say the least. Although I was proud of my performance on that occasion, I think Eastenders are safe from my acting skills for the time being!

How long have you been working for John Pipe?

5 years this October!

What would you say is your favourite part of the job?

My favourite part of the job? Quite simply, all of it! I have an amazing and friendly team around me which continues to help me fully support all of my customers and their requirements. Every day is different and I find that I am learning all of the time. The knowledge and experience of the production team as well as the support and insight from the leadership team has really helped me to grow professionally.

How would you describe John Pipe in 3 words?

Rewarding, Exciting, Supportive

What’s the most memorable thing you’ve packed at John Pipe?

The scope of what we pack is so wide and varied – we literally will pack anything! I think that the ones that stick with me, though, are the big bits of equipment. For example, I have recently managed the collection, packaging and delivery of 4 enormous industrial jetting units and their feed tank – think in terms of a unit the size of an 8-wheeled truck for each of the 5 parts and you get the rough size of these things. Balancing the needs of my customer, engaging with hauliers,  liaising with my production manager and focussing the efforts of the production team was certainly a challenge. What made the project stand out for me, though, was receiving such a positive report from the end user detailing that the parts had arrived on-schedule and in pristine condition. To top it off, the project was delivered on budget too.

What’s a movie quote that you really like?

“There is no place like home” that makes me smile. I also use “Life is what you make it”.

What’s your favourite vacation that you’ve been on?

Family is important to me, so it has to be our first all-inclusive family break to Turkey. At the time, my children were younger and had a blast, playing on the beach and in the clear, warm sea. There were inflatables, sunshine and an endless supply of food, drink and, most important of all when you’re on holiday, ice cream! During that holiday, my husband and I rented jet-skis to enjoy some more adult-sized fun. My husband did what all men do when given the keys to something new with an engine in it and shot-off like a rocket and was out of sight before I could blink. Thinking he’d gone in one direction, I followed afterwards at a more lady-like and sedate speed only to discover that he hadn’t gone that way after all. As you can imagine, a modicum of panic started to set in so I looked around, shouted and received no reply, so turned the jet-ski around towards land. There I was, making my merry way back to where I thought the resort was, looking all around for my missing rock. It’s at about that point that the engine on the jet-ski decided that it didn’t want to play this game any more and had what can only be described as a petulant teenage moment! My panic level started to rise and I was contemplating ditching the machinery for a brisk swim to shore when my knight in shining armour arrived in the form of my husband. Apparently he’d been looking for me everywhere. Working together we sorted out a way of him towing me back at a much more sedate pace. Our half-hour hire had inadvertently turned into an hour-long rescue but it gave us some very much appreciated alone time in the middle of a family break.

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

Working at John Pipe gives me great satisfaction with my work, this enables me to go home relax and enjoy life with my husband. Spending time with my family and friends makes me happy! I enjoy arranging for all the family to be together and have fun, going out with friends, socialising, dancing, keeping fit.

If you could go on a road trip with any famous person, who would it be?

This would have to be Absolutely Fabulous with Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders (between them 1 person lol) What fun that would be.
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