Based just down the road from our Reading Depot is the Lister Wilder Hire Department. If you are looking to hire a machine from the team then you will get to speak to Kelly and Nick our Hire Desk Operators.
Kelly joined the Lister Wilder family a little over 8 years ago after a change in her career saw her leave the banking industry. With an impressive 12 and a half years working for Bank of Ireland Kelly never visioned machinery would be in her future.
‘After the credit crunch, I found myself looking at a pro-longed period of time off work, but I didn’t actually mind. After 12 and a half years I felt like the break came at the right time. I decided to concentrate my attention on raising our two girls and being the best mum.’
Kelly decided that she would take on some part-time work after a bit of a break and applied at Lister Wilder. Starting out in an administration role, Kelly progressed to the role of Hire Desk Supervisor working from Wyvols in Reading. A vast change from her previous life in banking, Kelly now works with her colleague Nick in the Hire office where they coordinate all the enquiries, bookings, machines and logistics. ‘I love what I do! Being in Hire means that no day is ever the same, I love the fast-paced nature of my role. You may have all the machines planned and sorted for the week ahead and then the weather might impact it all meaning you have to act quickly to change things.’ With such a vast range of products on offer to customers, Kelly likes to make sure she understands about the machinery. Ensuring she is organising the best equipment for that particular clients’ needs is an important part of the job. Lister Wilder offer hire across their Groundcare and Arboriculture ranges, from tractors to wood chippers, there certainly is a large portfolio to understand. ‘If you told me in my previous banking life that I would be swapping my suit for sitting on a tractor, I don’t think I would believe you. Seeing the lorry driving out the depot with all the machinery on it and knowing I made that happen is such a great feeling. I get a little buzz.’
The Lister Wilder Company may have a large workforce but their staff don’t feel like their approachable and family-run nature has been compromised along the way. ‘I feel proud to work for Lister Wilder. These people are not just my colleagues but my friends. As an employee, I feel looked after! Even with COVID, the measures that they have put into place to ensure we are safe is commendable. We are always kept in the loop and communicated to well. Our management is extremely approachable and I always feel supported.’
After spending important time with her girls growing up, Kelly knew her career had to ensure she still had a good work/life balance. ‘I count myself as being very lucky to love my job and have a fantastic home-life.’
Joining Kelly in the hire department is Nick who joined the team just over two years ago as a delivery and installation driver for the hire department. With a background in landscaping and gardening, Nicks knowledge of the machines and tools has been a great benefit to his role and to the team. A valued member of staff, Nick moved from driving to an operations role within the office alongside Kelly. Despite never working in an office environment, Nick has taken to the role like a natural. ‘When I was delivering and installing machines one of my favourite parts of the job was interacting with customers. It is great that I still get to do this in my new role. We speak more over the phone and email but it is still nice to have that customer contact and the chance to build relationships. I am definitely a people person.’
The operations team handle all incoming enquiries and coordinate the hire fleet equipment. This side of the Lister Wilder business can be very busy with machines going in and out of the depot frequently. Nick and Kelly work within a dedicated hire department who all understand that being able to adapt and work efficiently to the quick changes is so important. ‘The whole team here is great, from the office staff to the drivers and workshop, everyone works hard and I think we are a great team. There is so much knowledge as well and that has enabled me to learn more too. I wake up in the morning and I want to go to work and that is because of the role I do and the people I work with, they become your friends.’
Working within a dedicated department allows for the hire division to operate separately from the machinery site to keep things running smoothly. Managed by Phill Hughes, Sales Director, Nick explained his experience as a member of the team. ‘I feel really lucky to be honest, Phill is a great manager, so approachable and helpful which in turn keeps the team proactive. When I compare my job here to previous roles, I am so impressed with the way the company runs and how we are managed as staff, I feel valued as a team member.’
Nick enjoys being practical and that is mirrored in his home life, getting out and about hiking and on his motorbike is a passion of Nicks and when COVID allows he will be getting out to his favourite spots to do some walking. We also heard that Nick recently tasked himself with learning to play the guitar throughout lockdown, make sure you request a tune when you call the team.
For any hire enquiries, please contact the team on 03330 069 545.