Meet the Reconomy Team - Anna Smallman

17 Jul 2017

Job title: Account Co-ordinator (National Service Team, Northern Region)

Daily number of hot beverages consumed: Only about 2 - usually because I forget to drink them while they’re hot, so I end up having to slurp away on cold tea, which is never nice!

Accompanying biscuit of choice: I’d never refuse a milk chocolate hobnob. They give you the best of both worlds ‒ biscuit and chocolate all in one!

How long have you worked at Reconomy?

I’ve been in the waste industry for just over 3½ years now. I started out working at Countrywide Waste Management, which was subsequently bought by Reconomy in 2015. As it happened, at the time of the business acquisition I was away on maternity leave, so I left Countrywide and came back to Reconomy. At first it felt like starting a whole new job because I had to learn so many new processes and systems, but I was surrounded by lots of familiar faces, so that made it far easier.

What are your core responsibilities?

I deal with all our construction industry customers that have head offices in the north of the UK. I oversee all their new orders, deliveries, skip exchanges and off-hires, so it’s basically my job to make sure our customers’ waste management needs are met and exceeded whenever possible. It’s very fast paced, especially as most of our customers are looking for a swift turnaround, but I thrive on pressure.

Being on the front line and talking to customers every day is a big responsibility because I’m representing the company. Customers base their perception of the business on how I communicate with them, so in many ways I see myself as the voice of Reconomy. I’ve been told I have a good telephone voice and also that I’ve got a good voice for radio, so maybe that’s a future career prospect!

How do you make a difference everyday?

I try to make a difference by making every customer feel equally important and valued. If I’ve had a particularly difficult enquiry to deal with, I can’t then carry that baggage with me on to the next call, I need to put it aside and start again.

Also, because I’ve been in the waste industry for a few years now I’m always keen to share what I’ve learned, so I tend to gravitate towards new starters. There’s a general misconception that waste management is simple, but there are lots of rules and restrictions around how certain types of waste must be disposed of, so working here comes with a steep learning curve.

How is the changing face of the waste industry directly impacting upon Reconomy and your job role?

The way people approach waste management has definitely changed in recent years. On a national level, recycling has become an integral part of all our lives because we do it at home every day, so it’s only natural that this is carrying over to the business world.

I think our customers are a lot more proactive and focused on issues regarding waste minimisation and recycling than they used to be. If you go back a few years, many customers weren’t overly interested in where their waste ended up, they just wanted it disposing of as quickly and cheaply as possible. Now they take an active interest in things like landfill diversion, tonnages and segregation levels, all of which is information we’re able to provide.

What did you do before you joined Reconomy?

Prior to working at Countrywide and Reconomy, I spent 2 years working as a personal assistant to a local businessman who had a property portfolio. Before that, that I spent 2 years working and traveling in New Zealand, which was a fantastic experience. I could certainly see myself settling there with my family in the future because it’s a wonderful place to live and work. They really understand the importance of work / life balance and have got it just right.

How do you wind-down at the weekend?

My husband is a rugby coach, so weekends are often spent on the sidelines at a rugby club somewhere in the Midlands. When I do find time for myself I love to go running – it’s a great way to switch off and clear your head.

What is the best thing about your job?

I really love the people I work with. Some days at work can be tough, so it’s great to have such a strong support network there that can get you through the day. As Reconomy has grown it hasn’t lost the comradery that exists between all the departments – everyone gets on really well.