Oxford Plastics with… Senior Customer Care Specialist (Hannah)

Here at Oxford Plastics, we think it’s important our clients and suppliers know about the excellent people who make Oxford Plastics the reassuring expert it is. That’s why we’ve started an ‘Oxford Plastics with…’ series – focussing on different members of the Oxford team. This aims to gain an understanding of their individual expertise and knowledge, as well as a little about who they are as people, too.

Q&A: Hannah Pinn

In our last Q&A article, we interviewed our UK Business Development Manager, Josh Willis, where we found out not only about what sets our trench covers apart from competitors, but also about his passion for race cars! This time, we’re turning our attention to the Customer Care Team – an integral cog in the Oxford Plastics machine – where we spoke to Hannah Pinn, Senior Customer Care Specialist.

The day to day

During this Q&A session, Hannah covered exactly what her role entails and her day-to-day duties and responsibilities. When asked what the common tasks the Customer Care Team carry out at Oxford Plastics, Hannah answered: “Communications in general – whether that’s electronic over email, or on the phone.

“As a team, we process all the orders that come in from across the world – which means that we’re solely responsible for the booking of the transport, the commercial documentation that’s required, and organising everything efficiently. Generally, people look to us for support and advice, as members of our team have been here a long time – so we typically have good knowledge on all the products.

“If there’s any extremely technical questions about products, we can divert this call to the technical director to ask for advice – as it’s likely they might have seen the products in situ, so have come across this specific query before.”

“Brexit has slightly affected things for us in our day-to-day in Europe and the UK, as we now have to complete paperwork that wouldn’t have had to do before – but in general, it’s not too much more.”

Comprehensive product support

As part of the Customer Care Team, Hannah has an extensive knowledge of the variety of products we provide here at Oxford Plastics. For someone who is enquiring around product information and pricing, Hannah responded:

“They would either give us a call, or they would drop us over an email – or make contact through the website in the form. We deal with distributors, who have a good understanding of the products – and they would normally have most of the information regarding which product they want.

“However, if we’re dealing with an end user, we would then try and ascertain what the best product for them would be – and then work out the best distributor and point them in the right direction. We could then provide them with leaflets and documentation for more information.”

Where could someone go to find out technical information such as dimensions, features and benefits of Oxford Plastics products?

“This would be the website – as this has most of the information that people need. We also have product sheets, which have been updated recently, technical guides and installation guides, too.”

With Oxford Plastics offering a range of trench covers, what’s the best way for users to help them decide with trench cover is most suitable?

“Our new LowPro Trench Cover Guide is available on our website or by request on email. It helps users to understand which product they need for the job.”

As Oxford Plastics offer a range of advanced products, such as road plates for trenches, if customers wanted to find installation information, Hannah explained:

“We have installation guides that we can send them, and these can be emailed across the different products that we provide.”

Which Oxford Plastics solutions and products have been popular recently?

Hannah explained that the EnduaSign QuickFit products, one of our newest innovative ranges, is gaining a lot of popularity at the moment: “There’s been a lot of interest so far, with the sales guys doing site visits and demos, and we’ve taken a fair few enquiries ourselves. I think it’s so popular because it’s so simple and easy to use.”

When asked about the all-time most popular product, for example, one that is always gaining the interest of our customers, Hannah replied:

“The barrier range – including our SafeGate barrier – and the whole trench cover range is always really popular with our customers.”

A little bit about Hannah

Having worked at Oxford Plastics for around 8 years, Hannah has always been a key member of the Customer Care Team. “I’ve always worked in the customer services sector, but this has evolved slightly during my time here – taking on extra responsibilities as time went on.”

When asked what her favourite product of the Oxford Plastics range would be, Hannah answered: “It would have to be the StrongWall barrier. There’s a real moment of pride when you see one of your products while you’re out and about, and as a popular product, you do see it a lot.

“It’s really great to see it on TV, or out in the streets – and it’s always nice to see it customised with corporate branding, too. It’s a really versatile product, easy to assemble – and our customers love it! I think their passion rubs off on you.”

When asked about her favourite part of the role, Hannah explained that it is:

“Definitely the variety. There’s never a dull day working here. I also love speaking to people on the phone – I’m a ‘people person’, and I’ve tried working in a job where I didn’t speak to people all day, and it didn’t work for me!

“In general, you do have to love variety to work in this sort of role, as you jump from one thing to another quite quicky. It can be challenging, but I really love it.”

Keep an eye out for our next ‘Oxford Plastics with…’ series – where we’ll interview another member of our friendly, expert team. For more information, get in touch with us today – or browse our range of LowPro® solutions and trench covers.

Balkan Plumbing

Case Study: Steel plates vs composite road plates

Wondering how we improved profitability, safety, efficiency and simplicity for our client, Balkan Plumbing? “Transforming their operations”, Oxford Plastics are proud to provide a detailed case study explaining how our work with Balkan Plumbing allowed them to significantly reduce unnecessary expenditure and seamlessly speed up their workflow. Learn more about how our plastic road plates and trench covers revolutionised this company’s operations.

About Balkan Plumbing

Balkan Plumbing is the largest sewer and water main specialists in New York, and has been for over 30 years. On a daily basis, Balkan Plumbing of NYC deploy multiple crews to install, repair and maintain water and sewer connections between the main lines and homes/buildings. The excavations require a temporary cover prior to the work being completed and the road surface restored.

Prior to the involvement of Oxford Plastics, Balkan used steel road plates delivered from their service yards to ‘safely’ cover a trench. However, they found this process itself came with its challenges:

  • Additional workers required – due to the weight of the steel plates, they required at least two people to help lift these. This then, in turn, led to a reduction in profit due to the labour-power required.
  • Heavy lifting equipment – specialised equipment was also required for the heavy lifting of these steel plates into place. The steel road plates would then also need to be anchored and edged into place to ensure a seamless transition from street to plate.
  • Specialised transportation – transporting the steel road plates from yard to site also required specialised transport which, again, led to additional costs.
  • Extra costs – not to mention the above costs of transport and workers, but inconveniencing the public also came with its costs – as well as opening up the potential for accidents to happen.

With numerous other disadvantages of using steel road plates, including noise pollution, street closures and reduction in profit due to labour-force required, something needed to be done.

That’s where Oxford Plastics – and our composite plastic road plates – came in, offering safety, savings and simplicity.

The process

Oxford Plastic’s plastic road plates and trench covers are able to support a crew of 4-6 workers. The team are dispatched into two trucks along with the equipment required to carry out an excavation. The excavation is carried out with a jack hammer and shovels, which is followed by the repair of the line and/or connection. Back filling and restoration of the asphalt roadway is then done. If the works require additional days, plating is needed to allow traffic access.

By using Oxford Plastics, the process itself has been simplified – meaning fewer workers are required, the set-up speed is faster and easier, the road plates are more secure and there’s less noise pollution. Learn more about the benefits of composite road plates from our guide.

Benefits Balkan found using Oxford Plastics over steel plates

Cost

  • Purchase price – reduction in overall expenditure on composite road plates as opposed to steel
  • Compliance modifications – there would be no fines from applying anti-skid surfaces to plates, as the LowPro 23/05 has this moulded into the cover
  • Maintenance – easier to install, transport and store than steel road plates

Efficiency

  • Loading – more lightweight so easier to load, requiring less labour
  • Transportation – no need for specialised transport, further reducing unnecessary costs
  • Yard storage – easy to store and move around the yard or by hand
  • Setting – using our LowPro technology, our products do not need to be anchored down unless specified in the risk assessment – meaning setting the road plates has never been easier
  • Removal – as well as being easy to install, the removal of the road plates is also simple and quick – with no cold patch removal.

Testimonial from Balkan’s CEO

We spoke to Dave Balkan, CEO of Joseph L Balkan Plumbing – who explained how Oxford Plastics has transformed their operations:

“Oxford Plastics has made our operations more efficient, safer and more profitable.

“Prior to using the composite plates, we’d sometimes have a 3-hour notice on a job – meaning we had to solve urgent problems using steel plates. This would mean we would need to open our facilities (which aren’t always open), move equipment and get to where the steel plates were stored.

“Then, loading up steel plates alone would need at least two guys to move them – and then we’d need to go out to a drop site and install them. All this would mean it would be unlikely that we’d meet the 3-hour deadline – which could result in a $1,200 summons.

“However, now we use Oxford Plastics plates, we are able to meet the deadline in less than an hour with no stress, no injury and no worry – knowing that everything will be easily taken care of.”

Want to know more about the differences between steel plates and composite road plates? Read our dedicated guide – or browse our range of LowPro road plates and trench covers online today.