Elaine joined Piroto in March 2004, not long after Leigh Mann, current owner/MD, acquired the business. With a background in loyalty schemes, merchandising and field marketing, Elaine was a welcome addition to the growing sales support team.
Elaine remembers fondly the first customer order she was involved with; traceability tags for Bradgate Bakery, a customer that we continue to supply almost 20 years on.
The new job was frustrating at times Elaine admitted, as it took some time to learn the complexities of the label business. She said ‘I remember my manager telling me it would take 6 months before I really got to grips with the technical side of the business and all the new procedures. She was right!’ Elaine went on to say, ‘ Now I tell new staff the same thing to reassure them that, while there’s a lot to learn, they will get there.’
As a sales co-ordinator Elaine’s role was customer facing from the start. She remembers one occasion early in her career when she went with a colleague on a trip to a potential new customer in Scotland. The company, a shellfish exporter, had recently lost a consignment of produce that had been sent overseas in a refrigerated lorry. To the company’s horror, when the delivery arrived all the vital traceability labels had fallen off the boxes, rendering the whole batch unusable. Elaine and her colleague met the Directors and, between them, agreed a traceability label specification and customer support package that would meet the customer’s requirements. With the new business secured they returned to the office to ensure the customer’s order was expertly manufactured, delivered and supported for many years to come.
Elaine’s expertise in loyalty schemes came to the fore when the sales team secured the opportunity to quote for a substantial supply of loyalty stamps for a worldwide scheme. Accompanying Sales Manager, Andy Clarke, overseas to visit the potential customer, the order was won, signalling an important new customer acquisition in this market sector for Piroto.
Over the years Elaine has seen that market and customers’ demands change; enjoying the challenge and variety this has brought to her role. By now in the role of Customer Service Manager, when MD Leigh arrived on her doorstep on March 23rd 2020 (when the first Covid pandemic lock-down started) and handed her a laptop and an offer to work from home she felt understandably daunted. However with daily contact with the team at Piroto, and continuing contact with her customers, she said she never felt alone and remained supported through this difficult time.
Elaine is undoubtedly a people person; a nurturing and supportive colleague and customer champion. Perhaps that is why she has made such a successful career at Piroto. She said ‘I feel privileged to be part of Piroto’s success story. And it’s great to see younger people joining the team; they are the future of the Company, and will, I’m sure, continue to bring us success.’
You can read Piroto’s full 50 year story here.