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Gloucestershire Citizen & Echo Business Awards 2013: Awards Submission Best Place to Work Category

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Company

Statement...

We are The Warranty Group - the worlds largest singlesource provider of extended warranty solutions. We work with many of the UK and Irelands leading manufacturers, retailers and financial services companies. From our Business Administration Centre in Mitcheldean, we support our clients by delivering best in class customer services. Through our group companies we have over 13 million UK and Irish customers. As one of the biggest employers in the Forest of Dean, we provide genuine career opportunities for local people, from school leavers and apprentices to graduates and professionals across a range of disciplines. Employing over 200 members of staff, we are determined to be one of the regions first choice employers for people seeking rewarding careers with real progression. We chose to relocate to Mitcheldean in 2007, after recognising that, despite possessing a talented work force, the region offered very few genuine career opportunities for local people. Initially, we recruited roles in Administration, Customer Service, Claims Management, Training, Finance and IT. However, due to the high calibre of our colleagues and their commitment to match us step for step to attain personal development achievements and vocational qualifications, we have been able to add further roles covering Governance, Risk and Account Management. We recruit for the long term. Our culture focuses on identifying individual potential and then making opportunities available to realise it. All management roles are filled from within and our aim is to recruit talented people who are excited by the prospect of a career, not just a job.

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Welcome...

In late 2007, The Warranty Group moved to the Forest of Dean with the clear objective of becoming one of Gloucestershires best places to work. Embracing our core relocation philosophy to Recruit, Invest and Retain, our commitment to the 225 colleagues who joined us then was to deliver a culture where their best interests were at the centre of our business thinking. Drawing on our strong heritage of developing talent from within, we have created an environment where our colleagues have the support of an organisation that recognises the truth in the saying, a companys greatest asset is its people. A clearly defined trust culture, combined with personal learning programmes and bright career opportunities, gives our colleagues the empowerment and confidence to deliver exceptional customer service for our clients. This and the intense pride that we all get from being a part of the companys contribution to the strong sense of community which exists in Gloucestershire makes The Warranty Group a great place to work. We see every employee at The Warranty Group as an individual with their own success story to tell. Ultimately, it is their words overleaf that matter, not ours. Thank you for accepting our submission for Gloucestershires Best Place to Work 2013. Ian Kenny and Martin Scrivens Business Operations Director and Learning & Development General Manager

We recruit for the long term

I joined The Warranty Group in 2008, shortly after the relocation. I am the Risk Officer for Europe, which means I engage with the various areas of our business to find any risks that may affect us, for example: operations, liquidity or credit. I undertake thorough risk assessments and ensure that we have controls in place to mitigate risks. I joined the company straight from college as technical support for the Tesco Electrical Support team. My first role is totally different to what Im doing now. I worked my way up from entry level with a promotion to Senior Associate and then Team Manager in the same year. I then became the Risk Officer in May 2013. I was shortlisted for Call Centre Agent of the Year at the CCF European Call Centre Awards in 2008 after just a few months at The Warranty Group. I was commended for my efforts and returned a year later as Team Manager, having been shortlisted for the Small Team of the Year. The company actively support personal development which has meant that I have been able to undertake the Certificate in Insurance qualification; I recently passed my first module. When I started I had no confidence in my capabilities and no clue about the working world, but the managers here give coaching and support, and Im now very confident. Ive also been nominated for three Employee Oscars and won the management contribution award!

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Liz

THE RISK OFFICER

Coghlan...

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Andy

THE TREASURER

Williams...

I work in the finance department and Ive been with the company for four years. Before joining The Warranty Group I worked for Waitrose in Monmouth whilst I was completing my maths degree at Exeter University. I started my career here in Customer Services and after six months, I moved to our Claims department. Two years later, I was given an opportunity to work in the finance department and now The Warranty Group is putting me through my AAT exams. Ive been given lots of opportunities here, such as training courses in insurance and internal courses to improve communication skills. I applied to work here because The Warranty Group offered the chance to work in finance. Very few opportunities exist in the Forest for employment, particularly in finance, but here the company fosters career development. The Warranty Group has such a friendly atmosphere and its a great place to progress, particularly for the younger generation. The international feel of the company is great. The CEO gets involved over here, even though he is based in Chicago. We are all one big company; the senior management arent very distinguishable from the rest of the team. I could have the opportunity to work in Egham, where most of the Finance team is based, however I dont want to live in the city so the Mitcheldean office is perfect for me.

When I started I had no confidence in my capabilities

We are all one big company - the senior management arent very distinguishable from the rest of the team

THE ACCOUNT MANAGER

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Emmi

THE ASSESSOR

Allison...

I relocated to Cheltenham from Finland three years ago when I met my husband and I have been working for The Warranty Group as a Motor Claims Advisor since March 2013. Although my day-to-day tasks vary, my main role is managing claims for our customers in Finland, Estonia and Latvia. The position is great as I get to use my Finnish, Swedish and English, which caught my interest as its great to speak my first language at work. I was attracted to the company due to it being global and having an established company structure. The business promotes from within which is great for my career prospects. One of the best parts of working with The Warranty Group is the integrated nature of the company. I am in contact with the Netherlands, France and Finland daily, whether it is one of our clients or our other offices. The Human Resources department has been very supportive; we have a meeting with our officer every six weeks to discuss our personal development progress. They provide valuable advice and its always good to know theres someone there to support you if you need them.

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Gemma

White...

Before I joined The Warranty Group I had flitted around a number of jobs and my CV felt like it was a hundred pages long! I worked for a large company in Gloucester for two years but I felt like there was no opportunity for progression and the commute was very long. I joined The Warranty Group in 2008 and never looked back. I think lots of people enjoy the short commute, but I believe that most people would still choose to work here even if the office was further away. I chose The Warranty Group as I had heard a lot of buzz about a new company moving to the Forest. I found their client names very impressive. I started in the Creditor department, managing calls from people who had claims. Whilst Ive worked here Ive held a number of positions, including a secondment in our Special Projects team and 18 months in HR (I love the variation!) but I really enjoy my current role as an Internal Account Manager for one of our biggest clients, a leading global car manufacturer. All these opportunities have given me wider business experience, which is brilliant. The Warranty Group has provided me with the opportunities to develop the skills I need and now that Im settled within my current role, I plan to undertake the NVQ that has been offered to me.

The Warranty Group has provided me with the opportunities to develop the skills I need

The business promotes from within, which is great for my career prospects

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Duncan

Keyse...

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Georgina

Hatton...

I joined The Warranty Group in 2008; Ive lived in the Forest my whole life and being able to work for a company so close to home is ideal. My role as Motor Claims Engineer involves dealing with claims for a leading international car manufacturer. Before joining The Warranty Group I was a mechanic but due to back problems I was disappointed to have to stop work. Cars are my passion; when I was 15 I did work experience at a local garage and from that moment I knew I wanted to work with cars as my career. I left school at age 16 and decided to do an NVQ in motor vehicles, mechanics and electricity which has been immensely helpful for my current role. The Warranty Group has given me the opportunity to work in the car industry without the physical strain that accompanies working as a mechanic. The best part of working here is that we have a friendly environment that makes coming to work enjoyable. I get to work with lots of people on a daily basis, the 20 people in my team and many others who work in different departments. We all work together which helps drive great results. The Forest has a high level of unemployment, something The Warranty Group is tackling. They pay for training and qualifications for all employees which shows a real investment in the local community.

I joined The Warranty Group as an Apprentice in 2012 and I have been offered a full-time permanent role in our Customer Service Centre now that I have completed my apprenticeship. As part of my apprenticeship, I worked in the companys Learning & Development department which meant I gained exposure to lots of areas of the business. The apprenticeships that The Warranty Group offer set it apart from other businesses in Gloucestershire. They really encourage employment of locals as employment is relatively low in the area. I am glad I chose The Warranty Group as the apprenticeship is really enjoyable and I love coming to work here. I have made lots of friends here and the social side is great. I did my A levels at Gloucestershire College at the Forest of Dean campus. I took Business, English Literature and Sociology. Before joining The Warranty Group I worked part-time at a bakery for five years, with my twin sister, which gave me a great understanding of customer service but working in an office is completely new to me. The Warranty Group has helped me achieve an NVQ and a BTec qualification in Business and Administration. I worked in the training department which meant that I could do all the soft skill training courses, which we do at the office rather than going offsite. In addition to my daily tasks, part of my role was to help organise the social activities that the company puts on, such as free food days, pub quizzes, meals out and sports competitions. I get a lot of opportunities here; its so varied.

THE ENGINEER

The Warranty Group pay for training and qualifications for all employees which shows a real investment in the local community.

THE APPRENTICE

I love coming to work here

Ive been working for The Warranty Group for the past 23 years. I manage the Special Projects team and I have a number of responsibilities, including managing business projects, compiling our quality management data and coordinating activities with our other European offices. Theres never a dull moment! I joined The Warranty Group straight from college and have worked my way up. I began my career in data entry and six months later I had been promoted. The company promotes people from within based on attitude, work ethic and a desire to get involved in long term career commitment. My role has taken me all over the world, most memorably to China, where I was able to share my experience as someone who understood our business, our processes, and more importantly, our customers. It was a great experience and I thrive on these types of challenge. There are always opportunities to improve a business to help drive it forward. Fortunately, because of my role and experience, I have the influence and the empowerment to make The Warranty Group a better place to work. The primary reasons that Ive stayed with The Warranty Group for 23 years are the culture, people and quality of service we provide to our clients, which I think rubs off on us all. Im lucky enough to work for a great company where the combination of talent, commitment and hard work does create opportunities to progress your career.

09 Pollecutt...
Alison

THE PROJECT MANAGER

I have the influence and the empowerment to make The Warranty Group a better place to work.

Alison

The Aspen Building, Vantage Point Business Village, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, GL17 0AF