The Last Word: Julie Pickett
September 15, 2023
Closing this month’s issue of North East Times Magazine, Julie Pickett, recently-appointed general manager at Hebburn-based washroom system and cubicle maker Laminform, talks about her new role, the company’s growth ambitions and its pride at supporting headline local projects.
Congratulations on your appointment as Laminform’s general manager. What does your post entail and what are you looking to bring to the role?
My position centres around dealing with the day-to-day running of the business, covering aspects of manufacturing, sales, procurement, administration and personnel.
I also ensure client quotes, orders and deliveries occur on time, and that work flow is progressive.
The business is evolving, and the new management team is helping to create a more fluid structure, enhancing quality and delivery.
We have team meetings to ensure all aspects, from product specification to delivery, are maximised and consistent.
You’ve been a part of the business for 30 years, latterly as office manager. What changes have you seen over that time, and how much are you looking forward to helping shape the company’s future in your new role?
I was initially brought in for general administration duties, typing quotes/letters for directors before the days of computers – we had one electric typewriter.
I then progressed to purchasing materials, liaising with customers and running installation works.
Oh, how time has changed!
Having worked for the company for more than 30 years, I’m excited about the next phase of growth with enhanced technologies and capacities.
Working with new owners, we will be looking at expanding our product range and increasing volume on current ranges using integrated technologies, such as BIM.
Stable and controlled business growth is the plan, and our new investments will help to facilitate such growth.
There are exciting times ahead.
Laminform’s recent order book includes a project with Newcastle United and work to help fit out Sunderland’s revamped rail station. What do such headline schemes say about the company’s reputation, and what does it mean to the business to be so active in its home region?
Doing local work, especially prestigious contracts, is great recognition for the company.
We employ more than 20 people, all of whom have worked here for a long time, which makes for a great team, knowledge and capacity.
The business is now ready to start growing again after COVID-19, and we have two-year and five-year plans to progressively increase sales and market share.
Traditionally, we have focused on working locally.
However, our new webpage and direct buying capacity should help our growth.
As with any business, we would be nothing without our valuable clients, and we never take for granted the repeat work they provide.
Our loyal clients are always our priority.