Right size, Right fit
Danielle works as our Accounts Receivable Coordinator at the Business support Centre and has worked at Anabas for nearly six years. Learn about her career as she answers questions on her journey so far…
1. Firstly, can you tell us about your career path and what’s led you to the role you’re in today?
I started my career at the age of 16; straight from school I began an apprenticeship to obtain my AAT Qualification. Once qualified, I started working in my first role at a firm of Chartered Accounts where I was involved in producing company accounts and tax returns. From this, I moved into industry starting at a printing company and overtime found myself in Facilities Management. I feel my role at Anabas provides me with a great deal of responsibility and I would say that I am an essential member of the accounts team. I wasn’t aware of Credit Control until I started working in the builder’s merchant industry several years ago, and found it was something I was good at and thoroughly enjoyed, so I’ve started to specialise in this area.
2. What attracted you to the Facilities Management industry?
I wouldn’t say that I was attracted to the industry, as to be honest I wasn’t very familiar with it prior to working for Anabas. For me, it was more the job role that attracted me to the industry, and I am appreciative of the opportunity and how it’s opened my eyes to how vital FM is.
3. What does a typical day in the life of an Accounts Receivable Coordinator involve?
No two days are ever the same, my role changes depending on client & team requirements and demands. My mandatory tasks for the week, however, include chasing debt, invoicing clients and producing the weekly expenses run. Although I have these set tasks, the week always has lots of variety whether it be queries from clients or on-site staff, client requests, reporting and in some cases payroll queries.
4. Is there anything which surprised you about the FM industry when you first started? / Is there something you wish you’d have known before starting in FM?
There were a few things that surprised me about the FM industry when I started at Anabas, especially as I got more involved with each of the client sites. There is so much variation between client requirements and on-site demands, no two clients ever want or need the same. It is also apparent how versatile our staff are on each of the sites, skills are always transferable and it’s important to have a flexible approach to work as processes and procedures are always changing!
5. What do you love most about your job at Anabas / working in the FM industry?
There are several things I love about my role at Anabas. Firstly, I love being hands on with the site teams and being that extra member of the site team when the client has asked for information relating to the individual contract. Secondly, I love the variation of tasks within my role; from raising the invoice to speaking to the client account teams for payment, and the whole Anabas team. Thirdly, the Anabas values are a large part of the reason I enjoy working for the company and carrying out my role. I also enjoy the fact that Anabas has a complete open-door policy, where even the Finance Director & Managing Director are part of the team and you are known on a first name basis.
6. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
In previous roles, I had to take clients to court. This wasn’t something I had a great deal of experience in, but I ended up having a 100%-win rate taking clients to court and getting the debt paid back. I learnt on the job how to put together a productive court paperwork bundle and be before a judge putting the company case forward. I remember a bailiff taking a triumph car as payment for one of our debts!
7. What would you say are the biggest rewards about working in FM?
The biggest rewards working in FM for me is the fact that no two days are the same; a day can start out very quiet and become very busy, very quickly. I also enjoy seeing client satisfaction and relish the new challenges that arise. It keeps you interested in your role, the industry & Anabas as a company.
8. What sort of things have you done to support your career development?
I really enjoy expanding my knowledge, and I’m currently studying towards my Institute of Credit Management Qualification. I tend to take training opportunities as they arise, as you never know when the skills will come in and be useful. As part of my career development at Anabas, I have completed training in other disciplines in the business to increase my knowledge. Thus far, I have achieved my level 2 qualification in Mental Health, Team Leading and Equality & Diversity, and I am part way through a LEAN Management Techniques course. I also have a certificate in Action Counters Terrorism which I completed recently and found it very interesting to learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.
9. What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out in your career?
When I was at school, I wanted to be a Doctor, but have a severe case of White Coat syndrome, so this wasn’t a career path I could follow. I had to decide on another path and chose to go into Finance because all companies need a Finance department of some description. I would have gone straight into Credit Management if I had known about it when I was 16.
10. What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to?
Determination, confidence in your own ability, willingness to learn from other people, continuous learning and being able to take on constructive criticism.
11. What skills do you feel are essential for someone interested in your role?
An interest in finance, and the challenge of ensuring that the company you work for has little or no unpaid debts. The ability to talk to people, even in challenging situations. At the end of the day, it’s great to see a clean aged debt and a healthy bank balance and know that you played a key part in obtaining them.
12. What advice would you give young people who haven‘t quite decided on a career path yet?
Do something you enjoy, because you’re going to be doing it for a long time. If you’re struggling deciding on a career route, try every opportunity which is given to you – if you don’t end up liking it then you don’t have to do it again. Also, learn from mistakes and from others around you, don’t be afraid to ask questions as that’s how you develop.
13. What advice would you give to young people who are wanting to come into FM?
It’s an interesting industry because no two contracts are the same – the world of FM can be challenging but is rarely ever boring! Facilities Management companies are taking on a lot more responsibility and more businesses are outsourcing meaning the industry is continuing to grow.
14. What are the prospects like within FM? What do you think the future will hold for the next generation?
As the popularity of outsourcing FM continues to grow, more and more job opportunities will arise within many departments. Technology will also be key in the future of FM.
Find out more information about working at Anabas and live vacancies here: www.anabas.co.uk/join-us/