Lisa Bellamy – Quality, Health & Safety Manager, sheds light on the emergence and growth of BPES. She discusses how the company has changed throughout her time, her role and her journey into the bioprocessing industry.
What was your route into BPES?
“I studied Biology and Oceanography at the University of Southampton and my first job was being accepted on the graduate programme for Southern Water, a company that has lots of coastline! After that, I went to work for Thames Water in various different team manager and project manager roles. When I moved back to Kent, my dad had started the business (BPES) and Tom, my brother, was already working there. They needed some extra help so that’s how it all started. I wanted an interesting job that could be flexible and this is what I achieved at BPES.
I got into BPES by accident and circumstance. I didn’t do a biochemistry degree and it wasn’t a plan to end up in biotech, however it has been enjoyable and rewarding. My main aim is to support my colleagues and our customers as best as I can, using the many skills I have acquired on the journey!”
Describe your role at BPES?
“Initially, I undertook lots of sales-type activities like quoting and writing office processes. The engineers are very busy out and about all the time, so I sorted out what they were doing and anything else that needed support. I now manage the health and safety aspects of what we do together with our QMS. I still do some customer-facing work because we are a relatively small business and we need to cover each other sometimes. However, it really can be all sorts of things. I look after the training aspects and we have recently implemented a new HR system. It’s very diverse!”
What is your favourite aspect of your current role?
I really like it when you feel like you’re making a difference so I do still like sorting out customer problems. I still organise quite a lot for service work for CLD instruments. I like that because you get a bit of the customer relationship, a bit of feedback and interaction. However, it’s also good being part of the team and making sure everything’s in place, because obviously if we didn’t have things like the QMS and health and safety in place, our customers wouldn’t be able to use us. It’s the backbone of it all really, it’s not always the most glamorous, but it’s important!
One of the things I do like, is that we have had some of our customers and suppliers for a very long time. It’s rewarding to build relationships with them, see how things change and to be part of the journey with them as well!”
What was BPES like when you joined?
“BPES had probably been active for about ten years but it hadn’t changed very much. It was much more engineering-focused. I’d say over the last three or four years, things have changed quite a lot. We still have all the engineering in place and the support and knowledge, but we’ve taken on more application specialists. Therefore, I think the scientific and technical knowledge, to be able to help customers develop their processes and workflow, has really improved. The growing team means we can achieve much more.”
What do you think makes BPES stand out?
“If someone rings up and they’ve got a problem, because we’re small, we can go the extra mile and be very responsive and flexible. If we can help someone, then we will; we wouldn’t leave people in the lurch. It’s a small business and everyone is different, with different strengths and different skill sets, which makes it a fun environment to work in. We have a broad product range and a wide knowledge base. There are a lot of small companies out there but none, I believe, have the same offering and level of customer support as us.”
Want to find out more about the BPES team? Discover our ‘Inside BPES‘ series today!