Sue Thomson

"The pleasure of achieving goals – this still gives me the biggest thrill. Also helping others who may be struggling – for whatever reason"

What first attracted you to work at Traka?
Intrigue and interest in the products manufactured by Traka. I’m fascinated by the technology being used and wanted not only to learn about the products but also to be part of the team producing the finished product. Even at my interview I knew I wanted to work at Traka from the discussions that took place and the ‘tests’ I was given were familiar to me – albeit a different product. I researched their website before my interview as I had worked in the Aerospace Industry for 17 years. No two days were the same and I learnt so much there and gave me the knowledge required to progress naturally into another company within the Electronics industry. I then joined a smaller Company who manufactured Gas Analysers. I found this very interesting. Again, I learnt a lot outside the Aerospace Industry. It also allowed me to interact more with suppliers, which I really enjoyed and use this knowledge at Traka. I wanted to broaden my horizons and Traka ticked all my requirements – plus it is a local Company to me – that was a bonus.
What do you like most about working at Traka?
I love the atmosphere and the office that I work in is particularly good. We are a very good team and, as proof, on many occasions achieve the impossible! Having said that – everyone is friendly and willing to help if you don’t understand something new. The philosophy is that ‘as long as the job gets completed – and on time and within the boundaries’ – we are encouraged to work however it suits us best – scheduling our own work loads and priorities.
Tell us about the best part of your role at Traka?
I get to interact with many other members of staff outside our Department and like to think that people appreciate the fact that I am friendly and helpful. I like to go ‘the extra mile’ to help others out. Also, interacting with suppliers and others outside of Traka – it makes the job interesting. I have developed the role as it is pretty unique and this has been hard work, but very rewarding. I have great support from my immediate Manager and the Operations Director. I enjoy the challenges and have learnt so much more about Lockers and Cabinets, which I STILL find fascinating. Proud to be part of Traka’s massive success story!
How would you rate your work-life balance?
This is the first job I have ever had where I have had to work 5 full days a week. I had the best work-life balance when, in previous roles, we finished at midday on a Friday! I still find it hard. Having said that we, as a Department, have also had a few ‘nights out’ as a team and they have been fabulous – seeing work colleagues out in a different environment is always a good thing.
What motivates you to go above and beyond at work?
The pleasure of achieving goals – this still gives me the biggest thrill. Also helping others who may be struggling – for whatever reason. I have always had massive support from colleagues when I have needed support – sometimes from unexpected quarters. So you tend to try and put back in what you take out! Completing jobs ahead of time – this is sometimes more a necessity than just something I do! It does not go unnoticed and we all love a bit of ‘back slapping’. Almost certainly the biggest challenge to-date was the Walmart Contract which pushed all of us in Operations and Production to the limit and it is fair to say that we worked exceptionally well as a team – this will always motivate me!
What's your most recent accomplishment at work?
Having to negotiate with suppliers etc., to achieve the impossible for the sake of the Company. 2 jobs in particular – one where the incorrect amount of Lockers were ordered initially. Our turn- around time for any new Lockers is a standard 6 weeks to allow for the ordering and receipt of goods to build the Lockers (metalwork in particular) – I have managed to reduce this to 2 weeks by negotiating (and a bit of begging!) The second incident was where a Locker was again sent out incorrectly due to the order being incorrect. The customer returned the Locker and demanded that we re-worked immediately. Locker metalwork should be 4 week delivery, but I negotiated for a second time for the quickest possible turn-round. Just over a week! Needless to say both customers are happy and I get a buzz from that.
Do you think that Traka offer adequate opportunities for promotions and career development?
I have always felt happy where I am and, because of my age now I have no great ambitions to climb higher up the ladder of success, however, I have seen encouragement within the Company for other’s to progress and I think Production staff are probably the best example of this. It can be a difficult question to answer as there is not always going to be an immediate opportunity for promotion within your given Department, but people do have to look further afield and push themselves a bit more rather than expecting things to land in their lap. If I was younger that’s what I would be doing, as the opportunities are there.
How would you describe the culture at Traka?
I, personally, have always felt extremely comfortable within the entire Traka ‘family’. My superiors have always been fair with me, and this is always reciprocated. It is a relaxed atmosphere, which I think is always important to create a happy, hard working team. I think Traka have this balance pretty well adjusted and that is why I am happy here. Coming to work at Traka has NEVER been a chore for me personally (except when we went live on AX in 2014!!!) People will always, naturally, moan about something but I have worked for several other Companies where the culture has been much stricter and it is not enjoyable going to or being at work – this has never been an issue at Traka.
Would you recommend Traka as an employer?
For most of the reasons I have already explained, but if someone I knew was looking to work at Traka I certainly would be encouraging them to apply. Fair Opportunity / good working conditions / relaxed atmosphere / encouragement and excellent leadership. Let’s face it – if this were not true Traka would not be where they are now! How could you say ‘NO’ to Traka!