Spotlight On: Anna Lax
In the spotlight this month is our buyer, Anna Lax, who discusses her pathway into construction, the skills of the job and what it’s like to work for Shanco.
What attracted you to a career in construction?
To be honest, I didn’t plan to work in construction. After struggling to find work as a beauty therapist, I took a job on the reception desk at a paving manufacturer, and then moved into a role in the sales office. This was my first taster of the construction sector and I really enjoyed working with merchants and contractors, building customer relationships and managing orders.
I then moved to a civil engineering firm and began to learn about the vast number of products involved in the construction industry. The skills I learnt helped me to get my first buying role five years later and I’ve never looked back.
What skills do you need to do your job?
The ability to stay calm under pressure is really important. Servicing multiple sites can be challenging and if problems do arise, you need to be able to manage them quickly and efficiently without panicking.
Being able to prioritise tasks and communicate effectively with site supervisors and suppliers are other key skills. Building strong relationships with suppliers can ease the buying process and result in a stronger service that benefits all parties.
Can you describe a typical day?
There isn’t a typical day at Shanco! Every day is different. Some days can be incredibly busy while others may be much calmer. But whatever happens, I’m ready and happy to deal with it.
What advice would you give to others thinking of a similar role in construction?
In every construction firm, there will be people who can support and guide you, so take advantage of their knowledge to boost your own skills. There is always something new to learn in construction, so exploring those opportunities will help to build a strong career path.
What do you like most about working for Shanco / being a buyer?
Everyone at Shanco is treated with respect and made to feel like a genuine part of the team – not just a number. I’m regularly asked for my views and ideas on how the business is run and future opportunities, which makes me feel valued. I also like working for a company where everyone is kind, approachable and helpful on both a professional and personal level.