So now my 4th week has just passed by, I feel like I went to sleep on Monday and I’ve woken up and it’s now Friday. The weeks go so quick. ‘It’s like a time warp here’ as Steve would say. Probably isn’t the most important thing I’ve done this week but I’ve put the decs up! And I’m officially allowed to use the x-mas stamp on the outgoing post. The office is now in Christmas mode! But this doesn’t mean the staff ho ho!

This week has been a lot quieter that’s for sure, since Wednesday Ro’s been off, not going to lie I do feel at a bit of a loose end without my mentor, still I’ve had lots to be getting on with and its really tested me this week as I haven’t had someone telling me what to do I’ve had to use my initiative.

As well as doing the everyday tasks, I’ve been doing itty bitty jobs for everyone such as:

  • Made cups of tea and coffee!
  • Re-loaded all printers with paper
  • Re-filled ink cartages
  • Searched the web for names and numbers
  • Uploaded information onto sage
  • Learnt how to take a credit card payment
  • Learnt new policy’s/produces
  • Receiving and creating invoices
  • Opening and sending out post
  • Answering the phone and ringing out to different people/ company’s
  • I have also cleaned up the kitchen!

Tuesday night 6 of us that work at Waller’s went to watch Arsenal play, although we lost! It was a great night. I really got to know the team I’m working with and saw a different side to them all.

As I’ve said without Ro things have been different and a lot quieter but I’m still glad I chose to come here and I’m looking forward to being the best I can be and knowing everything when I’m fully trained. Being a trainee isn’t easy, mistakes are made and sometime you do feel useless. You get agitated when you don’t understand things and wonder if you ever will.

I feel I’ve come so far already just learning the small things and I have no doubt I could tackle the bigger challenges with my team members support and encouragement.

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When I first joined Waller Associates Ltd I was following two job descriptions, one was Office Assistant and one was Glazing Administrator. I followed them both happily the majority of the time with my line manger ‘Rose’s’ help. I enrolled in college not long after I had joined as this was part of the agreement.

My everyday tasks consisted of:

1. Answer telephone, respond to customers’ enquiries and transfer calls as appropriate.

2. Open post and Distribute as necessary.

3. Maintaining the condition of the office.

4. Respond to customers’ enquiries and complaints and forward onto office manager/Glazing manager if necessary.

5. Making sure we always have supplies to ensure staff and visitors are welcomed as nicely as possible.

6. Provision of administration support to all staff.

7. Sign for deliveries and direct to the appropriate area.

8. Maintaining supplies of stationery and equipment and to keep stationery cupboard clean and tidy.

9. Print of and distribute faxes when received.

10. To make sure all properties have up to date gas safety checks if they do not then to arrange for one to be done with the customers and the electrician, also to send the relevant paper work to customers/estate agents.

11. Receive Glass orders/quotes by either fax email or telephone and process them accordingly using glazing ordering/quoting procedures.

12. Once I’ve collected the relevant information I work out/find out the price then make invoices and delivery notes using Sage and when jobs are complete I sign them off again using sage.

13. Know my way around sage to find relevant customer information.

14. Can take credit card payments confidently.

15. To email customers/clients on a daily basis and feel confident in doing so.

16. Schedule diaries.

17. Arrange and participate in meetings and project team activities.

As the year went on my job roll was leaning more towards the glazing side as it needed the most work.
Organising and keeping files and jobs up to date was a big issue, I came up with an idea of logging everything on an excel spread sheet. This is called the Q Tender Schedule.

The information the spread sheet contains is vital to all our glazing jobs (yes its backed up to a server in case of technical errors)

Quote Reference
Date
Description
Client
Value
Vat
Value Inc Vat
Quote Generated by
Lead Generated By
Quote/Won/Lost
Follow Up Call (Date)
Reply Received (Date)
Supplier
Expected D O D
General Notes (ie who we lost the job to and by how much)
Date Invoice was sent
Key

All of the above are what our tender schedule contains and the main part in my job description is to keep this document continually updated. When I take days out to go to college I can look through the tender schedule to remind myself of the pending works.

Also another vital reason for the tender schedule is obtaining delivery dates from suppliers to let our customers know when they should be receiving the goods, if it’s a supply and fix job we can organise the work forces diaries accordingly.

Having references for jobs so they can be costed properly is also a vital step. Spot checks are regularly made by my line manager. So far so good!
The glazing division is much more organised and prepared.

We hope our customers and suppliers are benefiting from this too.

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Horticultural glass (or greenhouse glass as it is sometimes known) is not something Waller Glazing Services stocked until now!

I carried out some research on ‘ horticultural glass’ as I had heard a few customers ask if we sell it and the answer I gave has always been we do but we will have to order it in. Generally this is no good to people who only want one pane to repair their green house or to use it as a temporary solution.

With that I spoke to the glazing manager Paul and my managing director Steve and between us we decided that maybe we would become stockists of the item.

Horticultural glass is used mainly on greenhouses but may be used as temporary glass. Some people order a special type of glass or double glazed unit that could take a few weeks to come in so instead of boarding up a property/building while they are waiting on their glass to arrive they buy the cheapest glass as a temporary solution, which happens to be the horticultural glass.

We will be selling the horticultural glass in bulk or in individual pieces as from 7th September 2012.

If you are currently already buying Horticultural glass please come to us for a quote we have already beaten some of our other customer’s quotes so it could be worth your while!

We sell the glass in the following standard sizes:

3mm

610 x 610

610 x 457

1422 x 720

We will always have the glass in stock and we can cut down to size for you at any time!

Free Local Delivery on orders over £30!

Please contact myself at Samantha@wallerservices.com
Call our telephone on: 01795 424435
or send us a fax on: 01795 424812

There will always be someone here that will be more than willing to help!

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Hello,

College is interesting to say the least! My first day at college I only enrolled so basically got my badge, took a look around, found out where my class room was and then left. The second day was more interesting, out of a class of twelve students, only two turned up! My teacher Lisa is lovely, she knows who Waller Associates are as her dad worked for them many years ago.

ICT was not my favourite subject at school and even now I’m not a fan of it, I genuinely thought as long as you knew how to turn a pc on and off you knew how to work one but there’s so much more to it than you think.

My first lesson and I have already been tested on my computer knowledge, the second lesson was formulas!  A formula on a piece of paper is hard enough without a computer!  My lessons are only an hour long on Wednesday afternoon so it’s hardly enough time to learn it all (I feel) but others had managed it so I guess that proves it’s adequate.

I really do enjoy going to college and I love the people that actually attend and that I spend my time with.
Although some of the work I’m doing is hard!  I feel it’s a good thing to be put into a room with people your own age that you share views, it gives you a little break from everyday working life and allows you to socialise with people that understand you and that share your likes and dislikes.

I didn’t want to go to college to start with and I really did dread it, I made that perfectly clear but once I had been there for a few hours I loved it!
I like the people, I like the place and I’m becoming more qualified as each week goes by.  Personally I feel its 100% worth it and if I could have started it sooner I definitely would have done.  Steve my Managing Director said that my becoming more highly qualified is making me more of a ‘asset to the company’

I have completed all my course work with help from Rosemary and my college tutor and have sat my first exam! I’m honestly not sure how it went, I find out my results in 7 weeks then I will let you know whether I’m going onto the higher level or redoing this level!

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The UK’s amended Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) Act 2011 was brought into force on May 26, 2011.  The UK’s data protection agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO),  gave UK companies a 12-month reprieve, pushing back the compliance date to the 26th May 2012.

As of the 26th May 2012 Waller Associates has implemented the new EU Cookie Law with its informed consent pop up linking to our updated privacy policy and our ‘how to manage cookies’ section.

Our pop up will display once every 365 days, linking to our privacy policy, which contains all relevant information regarding our use of cookies and our cookie management section, detailing how our visitors can disable cookies.

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Hello,

I honestly can’t believe its April already! Yet again my aim isn’t to bore anyone but today’s blog is about a little adventure Mark (customer relations manager) and I had when we visited one of our supplier’s factories.

Early one morning we set off on our adventure, traveling 35 minutes to one of our large suppliers, the reason, I was going to learn more about glass. Occasionally companies demand the glass shortly after making an order, not realising the complex processes going on behind the scenes and how time consuming it can be.

toughened-glass

For example, above is a graphic outlining each stage of the toughening process that Float Glass goes through before it becomes toughened glass.

Firstly, Float Glass is placed onto a roller table which leads to a furnace; temperatures inside the furnace can reach over 650 degrees Celsius. The heated glass then goes through a quenching cycle, cooling the glass rapidly by blasting cold air through ducts onto its surface while the glass is moved at speed on a roller table.(If the glass breaks at this stage you have to start the process all over again).

Like many others before me on seeing such a complex process of toughening glass I realised just how long it could potentially take to do a bulk order of glass. The glass looks all but the same when it comes through the toughening process so why do we toughen glass?

The main reasons to use toughened glass are:

  1. Toughened glass, when broken, shatters into cube-shaped particles. It therefore qualifies as a safety glazing material.
  2. Toughened glass offers greater strength against impact compared to annealed glass, and thus, better resistance to the force of wind. It is more effective if placed within a well-designed, overall glazing system.
  3. When tempered glass does break, it shatters into small cubes, reducing the likelihood of serious deep cut injury. Toughening increases panes edge strength. Thus toughened glass is sometime specified when designers anticipate high thermal stresses.

So by toughening glass we make it stronger and safer!

I enjoyed my day at the factory and it did teach me a lot about the manufacturing process in a short space of time. Some of the machinery they had was amazing, who would have thought you cut glass in water?

I fully understand now why when people come to buy windows from Waller Glazing Services; they want to buy quality glass from a company they trust, your safety is paramount to us and the quality of our glazing products and glazing services reflects our ethics. If you ever need any advice on glazing or would like a quote, supply or repair of new or existing windows please do not hesitate to contact us!

Waller Glazing Services
Contact us on – 01795 424435
Email- samantha@wallerservices.com

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Hello,

This blog will be an interesting one! Purely because it’s not work related. Women will love it! And for men you should defiantly keep this in mind for a present for your staff or wives.

At Christmas all the men (building and glazing) that work for Waller Services got together for their Christmas do, and went bowling! Us women were left behind but it was soon worth it when we found out we had tickets for a spa day instead.

On February 11th, Rosemary (Accounts) Paula (HR), Janet (Director), Lesley (Marketing), Maria (Directors Wife) and myself (Admin) all went to the Bannatyne Spa!

We left at 10am with Rosemary kindly picking Paula and me up while the other three went in Maria’s car. Obviously Maria’s group got to the spa first (Rose doesn’t like motorways and Paula had to help navigate the back roads all the way, it was funny I must say). When we eventually arrived, we all checked in and received our goody bags that held our robes and slippers inside.

Our spa day started with a light gym session that lasted less than an hour literally! The gym itself was massive and had a number of advanced and specialist equipment open for everyone to use!

After our light gym workout we went for a swim in the large pool, a dunk in the jacuzzi and lastly a relaxing few minutes in the sauna and steam room.

Once we had showered off it was all but lunch time! The best part of the day where water turned into wine and we realised that although we had worked hard in the gym it probably wasn’t worth it after the chocolate bar we had for desert!

We entered the open dining area in our robes and slippers as the picture below will show you.

spa-day-waller-services

Although we were the only ones dressed like this we didn’t get as many strange looks as expected and to be honest we were too hungry to care! The food was lovely!

Shortly after lunch, Paula and Maria went and had their treatments. Paula had a full face massage, while Maria had a 30 minute face massage followed by a 30 minute back massage.  The rest of us were pottering round the pool and in and out of the Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna.  The hour flew by and it was soon our treatment time. We opted for the half hour face massage followed by the half hour back massage. It was really relaxing and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, although Ro and Jan got an extra head massage, Ro came out looking like she had been dragged through a bush backwards yet again! Ro made us laugh but of course this was/is an everyday thing!

At the end of our spa day everyone returned home in Maria’s car this time, apart from Ro and me! The trip home was amusing to say the least! We took the wrong turning and ended up so lost that I can’t even remember the name of the road; it wasn’t near home, that’s all I knew! We ended up having to guess the way home and I think we did ok! I walked in the front door just gone 7pm. So it was a long but enjoyable day!

Thank you to Steve from all of us it was a Fabulous Christmas Gift!

SMILES ALL ROUND!

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Hey,

It’s now February and the weather, even though we want it to, isn’t getting any better! SNOW, SNOW, SNOW! As hard as it is getting out of my bed at 6 o’clock every morning, I am still enjoying working in my warm office!

I have learnt a lot this week especially on the glazing side of Waller Associates. I am currently making an index file on all the different types of glass that we supply. Within the next two weeks I will be visiting one of our largest supplier’s factories to see how it all works and to meet some of their team, people I seem to speak to everyday. I will tell you how it goes and what I learn in my next blog.

This past week I have also learnt how to make a process. A process is something anyone can pick up and follow to get the same outcome. For example we have processes for something little like how to open and to distribute the post efficiently, we then go onto larger process’s like creating and sending an invoice. Processes are generally made up of facts and yes or no answers. The reason for following procedure is to eliminate risk; you do as the company has told you, then, if there is a fault, its nothing that you did. Procedures need to be followed constantly by all members of our staff.

In our staff meeting we have once a month we discussed our Kent 2020 stand! For those of you reading that don’t know what Kent 2020 is I feel the best way to describe it is a big marquee with lots of stalls arranged inside. Everyone shows everyone what they and their company have to offer. Businesses get to see how other businesses work. It’s a brilliant way of promoting your company and seeing who your competitors are!

Look out for us on stand 179!

Lastly, I’d like announce that I have had my first paint order! We have sent out paint to various people as testers and have had some very positive feedback! Remember if you or anyone you know needs paint come to us!

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Hello,

So Christmas has come and gone! It seems like forever ago now.

On the last day as a company we went to the Millers bar for lunch, we had a lovely afternoon and got the opportunity to reveal our secret Santa present. Just like that, Christmas started! No work for two whole weeks (something I wasn’t used to). Everyone hoped for snow this year to extend the holiday season, however, that seemed rather futile, especially with the unseasonably warm weather the south east of England has experienced this year. January 3rd rolled round and we were all back in the office ready to face 2012.

As you can imagine everyone had lots to do on the first day back in the office, plenty to catch up on. Everyone seemed slightly tired but surprisingly no-one was moody as we all swapped stories of our Christmas holiday with family, friends and good food featuring prominently.

Before we knew it the first week had flown by and everything was back to normal – I saw my college tutor, I wouldn’t say she gave me lots of work but more than enough to keep me busy!

On the 12th of January it was my 18th birthday, although I wasn’t looking forward to working on my birthday when I could have been out shopping! I had a fantastic day! The day started at 8.30 with Andy singing happy birthday to me, followed by Rose walking through the door with lots of presents and a cake! Everybody signed a card that had been personally made for me AND I had flowers delivered! I was very spoilt considering I haven’t been here long! (Thanks to you all)

Back to the work front – as well as doing the everyday jobs such as mail, invoicing and phone calls, I have been ordering items such as stationary and GLASS! Our glazing manger has been out of the office for the last couple of weeks and I have tried as much as possible to keep things on a straight line and process everything as usual although it’s hard not having someone constantly there and having to use my initiative more but I am enjoying the responsibility. I have also been arranging when and where Dave (our glazier) should go and at what times, even more responsibility. Lastly I feel that with Ro’s help, the emergency glazing situations that have occurred have been dealt with efficiently and on time.

I have slacked a little on the blog writing these past few weeks so my New Year resolution will be to keep you all updated regularly!

Speak soon.

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So this is now my third blog and my aim is not to bore anyone!

This week at Waller world I’ve been much more confident and independent. I’ve tried to do jobs off my own back instead of Ro reminding me. I’ve also focused more on the glazing division and really tried to understand how it all works.

Rather than list the more repetitive jobs we all encounter in an office environment, I’m just going to list the new tasks I’ve learnt this week which are:

  • Being more confident on the orders, instead of getting them double or triple checked. I’ve had them checked once and they have thankfully all been ok.
  • Being a lot more confident of the telephone and being able to detect and screen sales calls.
  • Ordering stationary.
  • Working out Glazing calculations.
  • Chasing Glass orders and delivery dates.
  • Finding invoices online and printing them off.
  • Designing the Christmas do poster and a document that states when we will be closing and re-opening over Christmas

Also this week I had my second visit from my college tutor. With the first one, we just introduced ourselves and talked about the work I will need to be doing in the coming year but this time we discussed the units, and then went in to more detail picking the ones I will be completing.

My collage tutor’s name is Denise. Denise has set me several targets and assigned homework to help broaden my growing understanding. If you are working or thinking of working within an office environment and are thinking of getting an office apprenticeship follow my blog and I’ll guide you through the good and the bad points from my point of view.

I’m still enjoying the time I spend here – it’s becoming a bit of a second home really. I come here when it’s dark and leave when it’s dark. One week, three days until Waller world closes down for Christmas not that we are counting ha ha! We will be re-opening at 8am 3rd January, 2012 so if you have any enquiries, questions or would like to make a glass order you know when to contact us.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year and I will check in soon.

Sam

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