Employee Spotlight Of The Month: Julie Chamberlain - Account Manager (Supply Chain)
25th October 2023
Welcome to the twenty first of our ‘Employee Spotlight of the Month’ interviews! At Dakota, we believe that everyone within our organisation plays an equally important role in making the company what it is today.
Each month we will be sharing an interview with a member of staff in order to showcase their key responsibilities within the business and the benefits which they offer to our valued customer base.
This month we spoke with Julie Chamberlain, Account Manager (Supply Chain Solutions),
to find out more about her role within Dakota.
1. How long have you worked at Dakota and how long have you been in your current role?
I have been at Dakota for just over five months, however I have worked in the print industry for over twenty-two years.
2. What does the role of Account Manager (Supply Chain Solutions) at Dakota involve?
The role of Account Manager at Dakota is extremely varied – every day is different! This means that it is essential for me to understand individual customer requirements, since each industry sector has different needs. Creativity and harnessing an intimate understanding of the products that we offer is also a key component of my role. This is important in order to supply the best fit-for-purpose solutions for mission-critical application requirements within our customers’ processes. It is also essential that I go above and beyond to make our customers’ lives as easy as possible by offering an appropriate and consistent supply of printing consumables.
3. What key attributes do you believe you need in order to achieve success within your role?
In my role, good communication skills are imperative, as well as the ability to put people at ease, since you always get more out of direct discussions with customers if you are a trusted contact within their chosen consumables supplier.
An ability to liaise at different levels within businesses is also essential; from production through to purchasing and senior management, taking into account that their needs may be different within the roles that they fulfil.
It is also imperative that I have a keen technical understanding of the products that we sell, to ensure that what we offer is going to add maximum value for the customer.
The ability to work under pressure is also a big component, as with any project or order, there can be a lot of last-minute requests and changes, which we always want to be able to accommodate to ensure complete customer satisfaction.
4. What do you enjoy most about your role at Dakota?
The people! Dakota is a real family, and even long-standing customers and suppliers become part of this. The passion of the staff within Dakota also really shines through, regardless of the roles they fulfil, and as a team, we go above and beyond to provide a second-to-none experience for all of our customers, no matter their size.
The ability to work within so any different industries is also extremely interesting – no two days are ever the same!
Fun is also a big component of working at Dakota, which is achieved through our close working relationships and shared vision of progression and success. I also can’t answer this question without mentioning our fantastic new office and warehouse premises – it really makes it an absolute pleasure to come into the office as it’s such a fabulous space to work.
5. What are the most challenging aspects of your role?
I think that the most challenging aspect for me is the communication culture shift since Covid. Customer relationships are a key part of my role, and since Covid, it seems that the art of conversation has changed somewhat. People have got used to emails and instant messaging, which is a shame, because there is nothing more beneficial than speaking in person over the phone or a face-to-face conversation in order to build relationships and understand the needs of a particular customer or business.
6. How do you believe that your role positively impacts our customers’ experience?
Having worked in the print consumables industry for over twenty-two years, I understand that a quick response is invaluable when dealing with fast-paced and ever-demanding changes within the day-to-day production needs of a business. I love to problem solve and get a great deal of satisfaction in offering solutions to our customers and building and maintaining long-lasting relationships.
7. And finally…..please give us an interesting or fun fact about yourself
I love to ski, and on one holiday to Austria we enjoyed the ‘apres ski’ a little too much! So much so, that we missed the last chairlift so we couldn’t ski back to the resort and had to get on a gondola which took us over into Switzerland! Three hours later we were back in Austria – via the bus!