Last week Dorwest celebrated the long service of two members of staff – in the way we always do…. we had tea and cake in the office.

Hev, our Production Operations Manager, and Fran, our Trade and Export Account Manager, passed the 20 and 10 years of service mark respectively last week. Both are key members of the Dorwest Team – find out more about them as they answer 10 questions about themselves and their role.

1. Why did you join the Dorwest team?

Hev: Having worked in the field of Herbal Medicines for 13 years I was invited back to Dorset in 1995 by Dorwest to set up the Production Unit.

Fran: I joined the Dorwest team as office junior shortly after leaving college, with a keen interest in business and English literature/language. Dorwest was the logical choice for me, as it was not only a local, family run business but it gave me the opportunity to progress and grow with the company and incorporate my passion for dogs.

2. What is your job title?

Hev: Operations Manager.

Fran: This year I will be celebrating 10 years working at Dorwest which has seen me progress from office Junior to my current role as Trade and Export Account Manager, a role which I am very proud of and have worked hard to achieve.

3. Tell us a bit about your role?

Hev: Overall responsibility for all operations that are undertaken at Dorwest Production Unit. Specifically to ensure that all matters dealing with production, packaging and execution of orders of all Dorwest Products are undertaken in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice.

Fran: As Trade and Export Account Manager my role is quite diverse, challenging and extremely rewarding. Firstly, I am the main contact for all of our trade customers ranging from Independent Pet Shops to Hydrotherapy Centres and Veterinary Practices, offering expert advice on our range as well as ensuring they have everything they need to promote the products effectively. I also attend the pet and trade shows so I can meet our customers face to face and provide in house training to stockists when required.

The other aspect of my role is supporting and managing our overseas distributors and ensuring they have the correct paperwork and import documents as well as organising agreements and providing advice on how they can maximise sales and make Dorwest products an innovative part of their business.

4. What do you see as your biggest challenges at Dorwest?

Hev: With the changing demands and requirements of the business my challenge is the continued forward thinking and planning to enable continuity of smooth operation of the Dorwest Production unit.

Fran: Time! Offering the best possible support and customer service to all of our trade and export customers is of paramount importance to me and is also something we pride ourselves on as a company.

5. What pets do you have?

Hev: Two Miniature Poodles. Lola aged 10, very much a mummy’s girl and if you related her into human form she would always be wearing stilettos, plenty of bling and never without lippy on. Lilly is Lola’s half-sister and aged 8 and a daddy’s girl, wouldn’t be seen in anything apart from Reebok trainers, hoody and baseball cap.

Fran: The love of my love life (other than my husband!) is my Old English Sheepdog, Alfie. After both my husband and I had grown up with Old English Sheepdogs as family pets we knew we had to get one of our own, and after seeing Alfie the first time at 3 weeks old we never looked back and he has been a much loved member of our family ever since.

6. What trends are you seeing in the pet industry?

Hev: Alternative Medicines/Therapies are becoming a much more commonly accepted form of treatment from the onset of a condition/problem as oppose to a last resort.

Fran: Over the past few years companies have really had to reinvent themselves due to a fiercely competitive market place with social media and the internet now a part of everyday life. Retailers have therefore been forced to stay ahead of the game by creating a more solid brand and company profile, offering a diverse and unique range of products as well as creating a ‘community’ feel to their stores to meet the demands of the everyday shopper.

7. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Hev: Hitch hiked a lift on M42/M6 to David Bowie concert at Stafford from Birmingham at the age of 11.

Fran: Socialising with friends has always been important to me but I guess being from the West Country the call of Cider maybe came a little too soon!

8. At Dorwest we talk a lot about dogs and cats body parts, what’s your favourite body part?

Hev: Long Legs.

Fran: I guess my favourite body part would be my hair (if that counts?!) as it’s something you can change as often as you like and is one of the few parts where you can hide the signs of aging without the need for surgery!

9. What do you do to switch off/relax?

Hev: Cornish Pilot Gig Rowing. Keeping fit. Walking Dogs. Fine Food.

Fran: The usual springs to mind; spending time with friends and family and enjoying lovely long walks Alfie, making the most of living in the beautiful county of Dorwest and having the beach on your doorstep.

10. How does Dorwest stay ahead of the game?

Hev: Top Quality Products, produced to the highest standards followed by excellent Customer Service.

Fran: Being able to adapt quickly to market changes and customer demands, staying true to our core values and by having a dedicated team who have a genuine passion and interest in the welfare and health of animals.