An employee at General Building Plastics, is celebrating a service landmark this month.
The family business’ Accounts Manager Karen Ward has clocked-up five years’ service at GB Plastics, and is the fifth member of staff to reach this milestone this year.
Ward has played a central role at GB Plastics, leading the growth of the firm’s accounts and finance team from two to five, and working with the business’ owners and senior management team through a period of expansion that has seen the addition of two branches to its now six-strong regional network, the move to purpose-built head offices in Rugeley, and a doubling in annual turnover to £4million.
Ward, who took a seat on GB Plastics’ Board last year, says this period of growth has been a major personal and professional high for her in her five years with the business: “GB Plastics is an ambitious company, but its owners have always taken a pragmatic approach to expansion, adding new branches to its Midlands network at a controlled and sustainable pace, identifying the right location and premises, recruiting the best team, and giving them time to establish.
“This approach has clearly worked, and it has been rewarding and challenging in equal measure, from a finance and administrative perspective, with my role evolving in-step with the business’ growth, alongside the creation of new roles in the accounts team to support our expanding office network and customer base across the region.”
Alan Sutherland, the son of GB Plastic’s founder Janet Sutherland and Director at the business, adds: “Karen has been a huge support throughout her five years with GB Plastics, particularly as this period has been one of the most significant for the business with new branches, a new head office and growth in our turnover and staff numbers.
“Critically, she has played a central role in our customer service and support, developing strong working relationships with all our customers across the region, and in turn always being flexible and supportive to help them trade through any difficult times.”
Ward adds: “Working in a family business is quite different to being in a corporate firm or big plc, and customer service and relationships, and the all-inclusive way that staff are treated, are some of the biggest differentiators. An ethos of support and collaboration runs throughout GB Plastics, and personally I really enjoy getting to know so many of our customers and their businesses, nurturing these relationships and doing all we can do to help them out if ever they need us to be flexible.”
Ward is a member of GB Plastics cohort of senior staff who are being supported with their professional development and training, and is studying for the NVQ Level 4 in Business and Professional Administration.