MVIS | Anne Ashman: Looking back on 10 years of service
Anne Ashman, MVIS Commercial & Operations Director this month is celebrating 10 years of service with MVIS & Bartco UK.
We have spoken with Anne and asked her to look back on the last decade and how she has seen MVIS go from start-up to the UK’s leading portable Intelligent Transport System Hire Company, having a variety of products and over 600 units in the hire fleet.
We also spoke to Anne about service, and how MVIS has built a culture, and indeed a customer base centred around platinum quality service.
When Anne started with the then named ‘Colour Mobile VMS’ in 2011, it was in the role of Office Manager, with company ambitions at that time being to win the Olympic Games Lane Project in 2012 in London. This, being brutally honest, seemed an impossible task for a company with only 3 staff and only 8 units in the hire fleet.
Jump forward 1 year, and the company had not only won and delivered the Olympic project, it had almost 200 units in it’s hire fleet, a new name, a new Sales Manager in Graeme Lee and a new product called the ‘2012 platform’, now known as the Solar IP.
In these 12 months, Anne had been instrumental in the planning and shipping of the units from now sister company Bartco AU, who manufactured the products for the 2012 Olympics.
Getting the units into the country in a very tight turn around window was a huge challenge, often having to speak to shipping agents, customs and dealing with Forex companies to get the best exchange rates so no small task. On the back of this, Anne was promoted to Office and Finance Manager for the newly formed MVIS Ltd ITS Hire company.
Anne told us:
“After the Olympics was when the real work really started, having almost 200 signs with no established customer base was a very difficult time. We had units stuck in the yard, no hire system in place, a new sales manager and still only a team of 5 people.”
Undeterred, in true ‘Anne fashion’ she rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in. In 2013, when Pat Musgrave replaced Tony Price as MD, Anne was rewarded for her efforts by being promoted to General Manager.
In the short two years of her employment, she had shown that she could easily manage the company and was the right person to take on the role, working with Pat and Graeme, to move it to the next level.
Since 2013, the company hasn’t looked back and has gone from strength to strength. In 2014, Bartco UK was formed to manufacture and sell ITS products in the UK. This also came under Anne’s watchful eye.
Since starting in 2011, Anne has seen the company go from 3 employees, with Anne being the only original member left, to 22 staff across the 2 UK group companies, of which 20 Anne has recruited.
These 22 staff make up everything that MVIS and Bartco UK are, with Anne’s passion, history and strive for perfection setting the tone.
During her decade of service, Anne has gained 3 ISO standards across the UK companies, she commented:
“When I took this task on single headedly in 2014, as there was nobody else to do it. I really didn’t know what I had got myself into. I had a very steep learning curve and with a lot of extra hours worked I soon got into the flow and gained the first 2 standards – and implemented them across all areas of the business.
“Once Dom (Bridge) started to assist, it made getting the 3rd standard easier with two of us working on it. Since then, we have gone on to get many more accreditations and none have been as difficult, as we now know exactly what is needed. Most recently we have achieved FORS Bronze accreditation.”
Anne strongly believes in the personal development of herself and her team, mentoring the apprentices and ensuring all new starters get the required training.
Away from the office, Anne has completed an OU Business Management Degree, gained a level 5 HR qualification, IOSH Managing Safely, Directors Development Program and most recently PRINCE2 Foundation & Practitioner qualifications. This all alongside running the group companies.
A decade of highlights
Looking back on her tenure so far, Anne reflected on her journey:
“When I started here 10 years ago, I was so ambitious, but really didn’t know if this new start-up company was going to help me realise my ambitions. Now looking back there are too many highlights to mention.
“My degree was a particularly proud moment when I picked up my certificate in front of my family after 7 years of studying.
“Other highlights include trips to our sister company in Australia, trade shows across the UK and Europe, being involved in the 2012 Olympics, winning most of the major high-speed schemes across the UK in the last 10 years and having the opportunity to build and work with a fantastic workforce.
“I think I can say my ambitions have been more than realised. Every day here at MVIS and Bartco UK is different and I wouldn’t have it any other way, overseeing all areas of the business really does keep me on my toes – and I love it.”
As a company, a group of employees and as individuals, the entire MVIS and Bartco UK teams congratulate Anne on this very important milestone.
Anne is the first member of staff to reach 10 years’ service in the group’s history marking not just a significant occasion for Anne, but also for the organisation in general.