Tessa Richardson, Mindray’s Operations Manager in the UK, talks about her career highlights and progression in the company since joining in 2011.
I was in my previous job for 11 years and couldn’t progress any further, so I decided to take on a whole new professional challenge.
I had developed a lot of experience in sales and admin, but it was the customer interaction I enjoyed the most so the role of Customer Service Advisor seemed like a great fit. Plus, working with Mindray would give me a whole new product range to work with and put me in a completely new sector!
Over the years I became well-established as the go to expert and got promoted to Senior Customer Services Advisor. Then in 2020 I became the Customer Services Supervisor which see me become responsible for the day-to-day function of the whole team, reporting to the Operations Manager. Just a few months later the Operations Manager role became available.
With the encouragement of our UK General Manager and UK HR Manager, I put myself forward for the role as they had a lot of confidence in my abilities to take on this challenge. Now, having been in post a few years and my experience progressing through customer services, this has given me a great understanding of the pain points and challenges that my team face. We’ve developed a really collaborative approach to running the department so we stay on top of a growing workload.
It’s been great to see how the business has grown since I joined, and to have developed my own professional journey as part of that.
I manage a team which spans Warehouse Management, Reception, Data Management, and Customer Services. A huge focus is continuous improvement to our workflows – finding those efficiencies that save us time but don’t compromise the integrity of our work.
I’m also responsible for maintaining all our buildings to ensure they’re a safe working environment for all colleagues.
It’s very different! The operations team’s role has developed so much over the last few years and we’re constantly refining how we can support the business.
Ultimately, we’re here to help support the business and wider team, but we now have some dedicated specialists who can provide data and market insight so we deliver even more value to our colleagues.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the size of the core customer services team. We’ve got the same head count as when I joined in 2011, but they’re processing a drastically higher volume of orders, tenders, and calls – that’s down to our combined experience and their hard work and dedication.
Seeing the Operations Team win Team of the Year at Mindray UK’s annual awards. We’d never won that award before in the 10+ years I’d been here, so it was a great moment for the team. It had been a challenging year where workload had skyrocketed, but the team more than rose to the challenge so we could deliver on our promises to customers.
Without a doubt, confidence. I’ve taken on so many different challenges, and my colleagues and managers have given me the freedom to prove just how much I can do. Management have always been very supportive of one another, and someone’s always there for guidance. I’ve been here for over 10 years and I’m still asking questions! I also speak to my colleagues in Europe and we’re often bouncing ideas off each other; it’s great to have that peer support.
I also think my communication skills have improved. I’ve built my confidence over the years in engaging with senior management, and now I’m working with people at pretty much every level of the UK business. I’m far better at tailoring my message for my audience.
Wherever you work you need to be ready for change so developing a flexible and adaptable mindset is important. I’ve also found that keeping an open mind to new ideas really helps dealing with new challenges.
I might be biased, but understanding the needs and requirements of customers is critical. Can you put yourself in their shoes? How would you want to be treated as a consumer? There’s a lot to be said for maintaining communications and managing expectations.
Striking the right work-life balance is really important to me. It’s all about spending time with my family, especially my niece and nephew. I love going to their football and rugby matches, celebrating their achievements and helping them grow up into amazing adults. I’m always up for good food and a trip to the cinema as well!