In the Spotlight, Veronica Ryan, Assistant Service Manager – Celebrating Women at Flannery

Five and a half years ago I joined Flannery. Making the jump from a local job in my hometown of Letchworth to a London based company wasn’t a simple choice at the time - but it should have been. Currently an Assistant Service Manager, there is a real sense of community that sets Flannery apart from my previous roles. With our office being the first port of call for a lot of operator-related queries, there is never a dull moment to say the least!

Covering everything from plant organisation, quality control and yard emergencies, it’s safe to say my line of work is fairly hands-on for an office role. Spending multiple hours a week in the yard, it often feels like I’m not all that far away from becoming an operator myself. Whenever any machine returns from hire, in whatever condition that may be, it is my duty to check for anything that may be out of place. Ranging from small scuffs and scratches to machines requiring replacement panels, a fast turnaround is needed to meet our high standards. Organising the comings and goings in the yard is another major part of my role. With a site as busy as the Wembley depot, a constant stream of HGV Lorries, Telehandlers and Dump Trucks (to name a few) is expected and is in subsequent need of day-to-day coordination.

My ever-growing interest in construction machinery is something that has strengthened over my time at Flannery. While working at a local bakery in my late teens, I could never have even imagined the sheer amount of time I’ve spent thinking about and discussing these machines. Throughout the years I have gained a deeper understanding of the industry as a whole and developed a genuine lifelong passion. I believe learning to prioritise in such a high pressured environment is vital and has allowed me to be efficient while still maintaining a level of curiosity and enjoyment.

As with any job, however, there are multiple daily hurdles. Sourcing replacement parts is often a struggle and requires a high degree of organisation to ensure we continue to deliver on time. Communicating with multiple third-party suppliers before a machine is sent out on the next job can become extremely hectic. Quickly allocating cover for jobs and emergency call outs are the direct result of a fast moving industry and as with any of the above, using my initiative is incredibly important to overcoming these difficulties.

Flannery as a whole has grown hugely since I joined. Only a single building when I joined in 2012, the Wembley offices have expanded to accommodate the increased numbers in all departments. Now with a separate medical building and dedicated training rooms, it is clear to see that the company is going from strength-to-strength.

Although improving, the construction industry is still very much a male dominated environment. Many women seem to have pre-conceived ideas as to how this may affect the workplace but from personal experience, it has only made me more determined to succeed. Working in this industry has been one of the best experiences of my life and I am so thankful I didn’t let any prior reservations get in the way. If you have even the slightest feeling that construction may be suited to you, please don’t hesitate to get involved!