Our, ’Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been and as we carry on living alongside the virus, what their business plans are for this year.
This week we’re talking to Rebecca Edwards, the Finance Director at Cheshire based chemical haulage company James Lynch and Sons Transport Ltd. Here she tells us what lockdown has taught her, plans for the business and what she’ll do differently when the world gets back to a new kind of normal.
Give us five words that describe yourself?
Tell us about yourself
I’m the Finance Director at James Lynch and Sons Transport Ltd where I’ve worked for the last 13 years. I look after finance, HR and Communications as part of my role. I’ve been married for 23 years, have an eighteen-year-old son and live in Biddulph. I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, love reading especially Agatha Christie novels and I am prone to the odd Netflix boxset, especially during lockdown!
Explain what James Lynch and Sons Transport does.
We’re a medium sized chemical haulage company based in Sandbach. We’re family run and were founded 66 years ago! We transport chemicals all over the UK and we also import and export them from Europe.
At the last count, we had 50 tankers, around 60 staff and we transport more than 350,000 tonnes of chemicals every year!
We’ve got a great team here and I really enjoy it.
What did you do before you joined the company?
I had various roles before I came here involving sales. I’ve worked for an estate agent, a wood selling company and the post office. A lot of my work has involved organisational skills and that’s helped me throughout my career.
How has COVID-19 affected business?
We’ve been lucky as for us it’s pretty much been business as usual other than of course ensuring we’re operating safely from a COVID-19 perspective.
Those of us who have been able to work from home have done so, so not having the daily commute has been less stressful because it takes away the pressure of having to be at your desk in the office for a specific time.
We actually took on more staff last year, so as well as being able to trade, we were able to grow which was such a positive thing for us.
How did you cope in lockdown?
I was worried I wouldn’t be able to adapt to working from home, but I have. I’m still as motivated as I was in the office and it feels like the norm now.
Are you going to do anything differently after the latest lockdown is lifted?
I’ve enjoyed the slower pace of life and not having to rush around everywhere. I’ve started to walk to the shop instead of driving so I’ll definitely carry on doing little things differently like that. During the first lockdown I started to create a vegetable patch, something I would never have had time to do before and I want to finish that. I am very much a home bird, so I’ve got no massive desire to travel anywhere.
What is planned for the company in 2021?
Last year we took on more staff and the business is in a strong position. This year we want to refresh some of the fleet and look at our site to make any improvements we need to.
And finally, what was your dream job at school?
I had a few. I wanted to be a music photographer or a midwife. Maybe if I had my time again, I would retrain in HR, but I have no regrets at all and am really happy where I am.