Lesley Vogwill, Operations Manager, talks about her role at e2e total loss vehicle management, the UK’s largest network of vehicle salvage and recycling centres delivering market-leading services to the insurance industry
I joined e2e as a Credit Controller a startling 21 years ago this year, in July 2000. I can honestly say that I’ve watched a good number of the staff ‘grow up’, having joined as youngsters from college and seen many network members with family businesses introduce the next generation to the company. My length of service and all the changes I’ve been part of navigating as the business and our industry has evolved, means today I am seen as a trusted problem solver, and I feel privileged to be able to listen, support and mentor.
When I joined the company, I hadn’t proactively selected the salvage and recycling industry, I had experience as a credit controller and it was more the role that attracted me. In fact, it took a good month or more for me to fully understand what an automotive recycling network did. Two decades later people ask me why I have stayed so long. Without a doubt, it’s the people. They say as human beings we thrive when we find our ‘tribe’ and the head office team and the network members are like an extended family to me.
I’ve also enjoyed terrific variety in my roles through my time with the company. Having redesigned and established a credit control process to improve efficiency, I then moved to a new role as Recovery Team Supervisor. This saw me sorting out problems for members, as they arose, around the recovery of vehicles, which could often involve missing keys or documents. I worked hard to get the members’ trust and I gained a reputation for getting things done. Next came a position as Accounts Supervisor, looking after the Accounts and Client Services Team and making sure our clients were getting the best service experience. This required me to build strong, open relationships with our clients so that we totally understood and could deliver against their needs. Moving on again I took on administration of the business as Office Manager reporting to the directors. In my latest role as Operations Manager, I oversee our operations including looking after external suppliers, IT maintenance and controls, Board reporting, HR, finance and budgeting. In the same day, I can be sorting out the cleaning of the washroom facilities and preparing for a members’ AGM. My entire career path at e2e has been linked to problem-solving and the roles I took on evolved as the needs of the business developed and changed.
One thing that has never changed is the fact that throughout my 21 years, no two days have ever been the same. I’ve enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, immense job satisfaction from feeling that I’m making a difference, whether that’s to staff, network members or our clients. It’s a dynamic industry and e2e is a dynamic business and I love that; along with the spirit of partnership and learning that comes from being involved with the independent, professional and highly successful salvage and automotive recycling agents that collectively form the progressive e2e network. The changes our industry is currently going through, with the move to electric vehicles and the demand for reclaimed parts, represent so many opportunities and I’m excited for the future and the chance to showcase our network at its best.
We have lots of team initiatives within e2e that focus on community, well-being and charity. I was pleased recently to take part in a fundraiser for the Great North Air Ambulance Service which involved us covering over 1,500 miles in March by walking, cycling or running. My recovery from knee surgery had been hampered through the year of lockdowns and this gave me a great incentive to get out and start regular exercise again. Perhaps less of an initiative and more of a new company saying that I can lay claim to is ‘PICNIC’. Linked to my IT management role and problem -solving approach it is an acronym for ‘Problem In Chair, Not In Computer’! A great way to describe operator error rather than hardware or software fault.
When I’m not problem-solving at work, I can be found, at least nowadays, in my garden. Pre-Covid I loved the odd week abroad, somewhere warm for some R&R. The Darlington weather doesn’t lend itself to sun-soaking so I’ve been busy planting bright summer flowers and creosoting the fencing – ready for family barbecues. With nine grandchildren ranging from age 14 years to just one, I can see my back garden becoming a regular hive of activity.