A Day in the Life of Clare Welford: (eProcure) Operations Team Leader

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Our ‘Day in the Life of’ series will focus on a new team member every month. They’ll discuss their duties, what it’s like to work here, how many teas they drink, and everything else in-between. We hope you enjoy learning more about the people behind the software – one delightful blog at a time! This time we sat down with Clare Welford, Operations Team Leader for the eProcure team. Clare is responsible for managing the Operations team, working in tandem with the Compliance Team Leader and line manager Corinne Hall, Head of eProcure Operations. Together, they ensure our customers can manage and book various forms of passenger transport with ease, and they do it 100% of the time. Clare’s incredibly easy to brag about, but as she won’t do it herself, you’ll need to read all about her below!

What experiences led you to this role?

Before joining 365 Response, Clare studied Contemporary Fine Art. She regularly flexed her artistic muscles, working as an Art Technician and painting in her spare time, but eventually, she decided that living the life of an artist wasn’t as glamorous as she’d previously thought. Looking for a change in direction, Clare eventually found her way to 365 Response and began working as a Junior Digital Marketplace Administrator. In the 3.5 years Clare’s been part of the company, she’s already been promoted twice. First to Digital Marketplace Admin, and most recently to eProcure Operations Team Leader, a well-deserved promotion that reflects the level of trust placed on Clare’s hardworking and very reliable shoulders.

“I remember Vic Barker, our Senior Account Manager, interviewed me all those years ago. When I first started it was during winter pressures, which is just the craziest time to start in this sort of role. I initially started working with North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust almost immediately, so I had to adjust to the change in things like daily vocabulary and general tasks very quickly, but it was a really great learning opportunity because I gained so many skills, and I still get to work with them today.”

Why 365 Response?

When Clare first joined 365 Response the team was noticeably smaller. The business has doubled in size within the past year, despite the pandemic, thriving as many sectors unfortunately struggle. “Making difficult transport easy” has always been our mission and the driving force behind our work and company values. As a company with ambitious growth plans for scaling up, everyone’s day-to-day can look wildly different, but that’s especially true for those within the eProcure and Call Handling teams. Discussing her reasons for choosing 365 Response, Clare shared:

“I’ve always wanted to helpful to others. I’m a big team player, and although I’ve never led a team before, I always find ways in which myself and my team can be the best we can be. I like being able to point out the potential in others and guide them towards decisions and ideas they might not explore otherwise. I’m a big fan of spreadsheets too, which comes in very handy in this role!”

Levelling Up with the eProcure Operations and Call Handling Team

Chris Ackerman, Director of Delivery and Implementation, oversees many arms within the business, but eProcure is where he started. When we sat him down for a ‘Day in the Life of’ feature of his own, he shared with us just how hard the eProcure and Call Handling team’s work. They take hundreds of calls a month, providing real-time communications across multiple teams, specialists, and transport providers all year round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Currently, Clare oversees all things operations, including the management of procurement accounts and assisting customers once they’ve completed the onboarding stage. If you ask her what a normal day might look like, you would get a rather large list that mentioned weekly calls, statistics, shift and journey requests, mental health bookings, emails, phone calls, and many ad-hoc requests. Being part of an innovative technology company means that you have to be on board with riding the rollercoaster and adjusting to the turns as they come. When I asked about the changes Clare had seen within herself over the years, she said:

“I came from a very different work environment, so back then I didn’t necessarily have the knowledge I have currently, so I’m amazed at where myself and the team are now. I show initiative with confidence, and I’ve been able to propel myself forward by expanding on my skills every day. Every day here is a challenge, but that’s why I love my job and the people I work with. We all get along so well… I’m part of so much more here.”

Plans for 2021 & Beyond

The plan for 365 Response is to be the indisputable best, keep increasing turnover significantly, and continue creating technology that puts the users first, all whilst giving back in UK taxes to support economic recovery. Investing in our people and our technology has taken us from a start-up to a rapidly growing business. As the nation begins to consider what post-Covid recovery and our future might look like, I wondered what changes Clare was most excited about:

“Continuing to grow our team is definitely top of the agenda. We have so much work coming through the pipeline, so it would be wonderful to have more help! Especially as winter pressures are fast approaching once again. Just having an extra person available to pick up the phones would make everyone’s lives so much easier, and it means we can assist even more customers. Personally, I’d like to find processes, issues or tasks that either need solving or streamlining, and correct those with the team. I genuinely do enjoy seeking opportunities to grow and improve with these guys – always learning, right!”

Logging Out of eProcure Operations

Outside of work, Clare likes to keep herself just as busy. In her free time, she’ll either dip back into her usual hobbies or try something completely new, which she then appears to master not long after!

“I found it more difficult to ‘log off’ at the start of Covid because so much of life was online, but it’s easier now. I picked up baking during the first lockdown and I’ve really enjoyed continuing with it. I’ve done a lot of painting and I plan to work more on canvas. I cosplay characters in my spare time as well, so I can’t wait for that community to open back up at Comic-Con. I usually dress up as characters from my favourite anime’s, like Spirited Away. Other than that, you’ll find me at museums or galleries, I do love my art obviously! Yeah, nothing crazy. Just keeping busy and making nice plans.”

Nothing crazy, she says… You can find out more about our team by keeping up with our regular ‘Day in the Life of’ series, like this one here on Mel Sugula, Senior Software Developer extraordinaire.