How did you get into the biotech industry?
When I was at school, I found science to be, by far, the most interesting subject and maybe because of this, I seemed to pick it up quite quickly. It was a natural progression for me to go into science.
At A Level, I did a biochemistry module in my biology course and I found it really interesting because you’re quite literally studying the chemistry of life.
I applied to the University of East Anglia and I studied as an undergraduate in biochemistry. While I was studying biochemistry, I was particularly interested in protein chemistry and engineering, which was ultimately the turning point when I knew Biochemical Engineering, or similar, would be my destined career path.
After I graduated from University, I worked for Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Billingham in the Downstream Processing department for two years; it directly correlated to the topics I’d studied at University. I really enjoyed it; it was brilliant.
So, how did you come to join BPES?
I really enjoyed my job at Fuji. I was in the lab a lot more, especially for the first year and I got some really great experience, but I quite missed interpersonal interaction as I’m naturally a chatty, outgoing person.
As a result, I became more interested in the commercial aspect of the business and fancied a change, and indeed a new challenge. I put on my LinkedIn that I am open to finding a new job and was contacted by a recruiter. I met Tom and Emma at my job interview, they seemed like really, really nice people and I knew that I’d fit in quite comfortably here at BPES. They offered me the job and the rest is history!
What does your typical day look like at BPES?
Every morning, we catch up with each other. It’s a good opportunity for us to do this because we’re based all over the country. So, it’s good to have at least one time per day where you’re just hearing about how everybody else is getting on as sometimes when you’re working alone, especially if it gets quite busy, you can feel maybe a little bit overwhelmed. You can kind of feel reassured in what you’re doing and you always have the option to ask for advice or help if you need it.
After our catch up, I follow up on leads and check emails, looking out for enquiries. Often there are quotations to be produced or information gathered for a client, or we may be looking at lead generation. How can we best inform our customer base of new products coming out through blogs or similar?
We always try to make sure everybody knows that we’re here and we’re eager to assist them and inform them of all the exciting new equipment that we can supply them with.
I’ll often have meetings scheduled with customers or suppliers, so we organise a meeting to find out what their requirements are and come up with the best possible solution to fit their needs. The sales team also gets involved with project managing large orders working with both the customer and manufacturer to deliver the project as efficiently as possible.
What do you think makes BPES stand out in the industry?
We’re always solution driven. We’re all very dedicated to our field and we’re not totally fixated on numbers,we can take a longer view. We don’t just think of other people as numbers as well; we genuinely like to form relationships with the people that we meet with and the organisation themselves, because ultimately it’s the people within the organisation that are the people that you’re supplying to. It’s crucial to establish and maintain that trust and with us being such a small cohort, you know that you’ll be able to contact us easily and know that we’ll get the job done.
Whether you’re buying a pump, or a huge £1,000,000 project, you can be assured that that trust will span from when you make that initial inquiry, to the very end, when we check in to see how a product is performing and transforming your workplace.
What do you think are the current and ongoing challenges that your customers face within your sector?
At the moment, it’s probably capacity and lead times due to the pandemic and delays in manufacturing, plus there’s an increased demand. The drive over the last two years to get everybody vaccinated has put a strain on manufacturing capacity. It has also highlighted the need to have local manufacturing capacity.
If you weren’t a Technical Sales Specialist, what would you be doing instead?
I’ve been learning Japanese for a long time. It has always been a dream of mine to go and study my masters in Japan. It was a bit of a pipe dream because it was something I wanted to do, but I wanted to make sure it was the right course for me.
When COVID hit, that kind of went out the window and it’s also quite expensive. However, travelling is a keen interest of mine. I’m invested in politics, international politics and diverse cultures. And I always throw myself in at the deep end when it comes to other cultures. I visited Japan in 2019. I spent about a month and a half travelling around the country, maybe I could’ve been a travel journalist in my past life!