Get to Know the People at DBD – Sarah Skinner

Joining us this week for a chat is our own Sarah-Jane Skinner.

How long have you been at DBD?
Since July 2003, although I did take two years out between 2008-2010, so about 10 years in total.

What department do you work in?
Our team has come under a few different titles: Buying, Purchasing, Commercial and Supply Chain, but is now known as the Procurement department.

Have you worked in any other departments in DBD?
Well when I joined Mike Taylor was the Buying team. I have spent most of my working life at DBD in this department, however I was called on for a short while to be a Project Coordinator and so I helped with our Marketing and Events and then not too long ago I was asked to be Project Manager for our Toolbox system. Now I’m back home in Procurement.

What exactly does your job role involve?
I’m a Procurement Analysist. I ensure we maintain the correct margins. I also place orders and make sure they are updated and chased, deal with stock issues and book in deliveries. Also, on the side I have been heavily involved in charity days and fundraising, mainly for Macmillan.

What skills has your role taught you?
I’ve learnt the skill of negotiation – this for instance has been helpful when improving delivery dates from suppliers. Good communication has been another skill I’ve honed – I have to clearly relay information to other departments. I’ve learnt to remain calm under pressure which I am definitely better at now. I’ve also learnt to have a keen eye for detail which is essential in my job. Finally, I’ve learnt to adapt over the years and embrace opportunity. DBD really wants and encourages us all to work as individuals but also as part of a team.

How does DBD compare to past jobs you’ve had?
I used to work as the PA to a European IT Director. That involved a lot of budget reviewing, investigating data, finance, saving and supplier analysis. It was a large company which was very different to DBD back then. When I joined DBD in 2003 it was a small company based in St. Albans with just a few employees, two of them being my dad and brother which added to the company’s family feel. Back then they still used paper systems such as printing and filing every Purchase order and few had electronic diaries. Since then a lot has changed and I’ve had the opportunity to make suggestions and help develop some of our systems to improve efficiency. DBD has grown and grown and become a successful corporate business; it’s been good fun growing with it.

How do you feel about your team?
I love my team and I love Mike! We all have different strengths but we work really well together, we also have a real laugh. In sync with DBD, the team has grown and changed over the years. We aim to train really well anyone that joins our team and this has helped ones to have a firm grounding within DBD. This is evident because many that we have trained have now moved on to other departments in house; having the understanding of purchasing and our systems has really given them an advantage.

What helps to motivate you every day?
I am part of a team that provides a good service and to a high standard; that is something to be proud of. Knowing that the simple tasks we carry out contribute to the success of my colleague’s roles is really motivating.

What aspirations do you have for you career at DBD?
Having gained a variety of skills over the years, it would be really nice to be in a position to help train others. There are and will always be improvements to be made to different processes and it would be good to use my experience to help and to be part of that development.

Number one on your bucket list? A sledge ride with huskies in Lapland while looking like a film star!
What was the last film you saw? Skyfall, or quite possibly Tarzan with my grandson Bruno.
Last meal on earth? Smoked salmon with a glass of champagne and a big slice of Victoria sponge cake
Favourite place? Sydney
On a day off we’d find you… walking Cookie my dog wearing my new flowery Joules wellies
Love is… supporting each other through good times and bad times
Advice to your teenage self? You’re not that fat!
Your guilty pleasure?  Watching the odd episode of trash TV; The Worlds Heaviest Man Getting Married is a classic example
Secret to a happy relationship? Always be kind and share your chocolate
Biggest bugbear? People phoning the department and speaking to me asking if they can speak to someone who works in Procurement!
Most pointless fact you know? The worlds heaviest man reached 579kg at his heaviest and then he died.
Your Karaoke song of choice? Jolene – Dollie Parton
What’s your favourite chocolate bar? Twirl
What do you like spending money on? Doing up the house
What’s your coffee order? Tea!

Next month we’ll be chatting with Arianne Beardon.