60 Years Farrat – Ginette’s Story
10th May 2019
ACCOUNT DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST,
Areas Of Expertise: Engineering Sales, Customer Relationship Management
Time at Farrat: 10+ Years
What’s your role at Farrat?
I am an Account Development Specialist at Farrat, working within the Structural Thermal Breaks team. The purpose of my role is to create and develop positive working relationships with our clients and ensure that they each receive the right solution for their project.
I handle all of the technical enquiries for Structural Thermal Breaks, liaising directly with the client on a one-to-one basis. This is important as it enables me to build rapport and better understand each client’s individual needs so that I can be proactive, rather than reactive, in a lot of situations.
I act as a guide rather than a typical sales person. It is my responsibility to extract all of the client’s requirements and supply them with the technical information that they need to make an informed decision. I advise clients to select the most suitable Structural Thermal Break material for their application(s) based on a variety of factors, taking into consideration both the structural and thermal integrity, alongside prominent procurement considerations such as speed of manufacturing and price.
My job will also involve assisting our internal Sales team from time to time, advising how and what materials to quote on larger projects, to ensure that our clients receiving the best possible customer service.
How long have you been a member of the Farrat Team?
I have been a part of the Farrat family for just over 10 years now!
I found Farrat in a local newspaper, which was advertising for someone to develop a new area of the business called ‘Thermal Breaks’. I’m local to the area (I live only a mile away) and at the time had over 25 years’ experience in Engineering Sales, so I applied for the role on a full-time basis. In the past I had worked for Brammer and Siemens in a similar capacity, so I thought that Farrat may be a good fit for me as a new challenge, with the opportunity to develop a new product.
When I started at Farrat everything on the Construction side of the business felt very new, so it felt like we were all learning together entering a new sector. Farrat’s heritage goes all the way back to 1959 in the Industrial sector, so taking the leap into construction was very exciting. When I joined Farrat was around a quarter of the size that it is today in terms of people and would turnover in a year what it does in a month now – for me, it has been truly incredible to see the company grow.
How has your role developed from when you started at Farrat, compared to now?
My role has developed and changed quite a lot since I first joined the company. As the Thermal Breaks product area has grown and adapted to meet the demands of the Construction sector, we have had to move and change with it, which is only natural.
Originally, I would process all of the Quotations for the business – not just Thermal Breaks – from product enquiries through to large project orders. I then moved into a more proactive role, outreaching to prospective clients and developing our key customer accounts. Customer relationship management became a much larger part of my role and I realised the major importance of this.
As the market became more responsive and the demand for Thermal Breaks increased, I found that I was receiving more and more technical enquiries from Architects, Structural Engineers and Fabricators alongside Buyers, wanting to learn about our specific materials and how to integrate our Thermal Breaks into common connection details. In response to this we invested in growing the Technical Team, bringing on board a senior Structural Engineer to lead the team and develop our range of Thermal Break materials with R&D, Certification and an export network.
This is when my technical training and expertise really advanced.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Farrat?
Over the years I have developed close working relationships with our clients, which is something that I really value.
It’s important to me that I understand my client’s challenges and how they like to work, so that I can ensure a suitable way for us to work together. Keeping these relationships open and working effectively is the best part of my job.
I also really enjoy engaging with designers and helping them to specify our products, learning about their technical challenges and providing them with technical guidance. I like that I can lead and advise people in the right way (in a responsible way), so that they ultimately chose the correct solution for the project – whether that is a Farrat product or an alternate product on the market, I always advise the safest and most suitable solution.
I also have a great working relationship with our material suppliers and internal operations and production teams, working between to the two to ensure that we always have enough capacity to meet our lead times and that we manufacture enough sheet material to supply our run rate of cut Thermal Breaks.
Are there any projects that you’ve worked on that stick in your mind?
There have been so many!
Farrat have worked to deliver some outstanding buildings over the years; Leadenhall and Google S2 in London are two particularly stunning buildings thermally insulated with Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks that I feel proud to have been involved in.
My first £10k order was a special moment, for a council tower in Abu Dhabi. I also remember working tirelessly for a number of years to win the Facebook HQ building in Dublin, so I was over the moon when we were selected as the primary supplier for Structural Thermal Breaks out of a pool of competitors from around the world.
Projects that come out of the blue are also wonderful. For example, we supplied on a very large contract for the University of Melbourne that came to us through specification out of nowhere. That is a fond memory.
And what drives you on a daily basis?
I would say that ambition and integrity are my two main drivers.
I have had the pleasure of growing with the product over the years, so Thermal Breaks feels like my baby. That means that when I commit to a client or a colleague that I will do something, I make sure that I do it, otherwise I am not just letting myself down I am letting down Thermal Breaks and I am letting down Farrat.
I always want to deliver the best, honest service that I can.
Finally, why Farrat?
Because every day is different.
My days are fast paced and I’m lucky enough to work with passionate people who are experts in their fields. Farrat provides me the opportunity to learn, adapt and become better at what I do.
Alternately, get in touch with Ginette to discuss Structural Thermal Breaks on: +44 (0) 161 924 1609.