Getting to Know Our Experts: Sandra Rountree Revisited

In this blog, we hear again from Sandra Rountree, water treatment specialist and National Account Manager at Veolia Water Technologies UK. When we last caught up with Sandra, she had recently joined us as part of the merger between VWT UK and Biochemica Water Ltd. Here, we find out more about Sandra’s expertise and how that merger has progressed.

Can you give us an update on your current role at VWT UK?

Following the merger, I took on the role of National Accounts Manager, which was a new role for the company at the time. I oversee the accounts of our key customers and try to look for opportunities to develop their accounts whenever possible and establish group level contacts.

What personal strengths are you able to bring to this role?

My main strength is communication. Whether that be face to face, online or over the phone, I have been able to use my communication skills to develop strong relationships with my customers. This has led to existing contracts being extended, and new contracts being established. 

What are the main challenges you face in your role day to day?

At the moment, I would say the main challenge is the discussion of contract renewals with our customers. This can sometimes be a difficult conversation to have and is presently a regular part of my role. Looking at challenges from a broader perspective, the issue of price inflation also comes to mind. This problem predominantly affects raw materials and transport costs, which have many consequences on my role and on the wider business. This in turn can lead to customer renewals being price focused which is not what Veolia is about. It is very important therefore to reinforce the value that we add to these long-standing contracts and uncover new value that we can bring. To do this we need to listen to our customers and understand what their corporate strategies are to uncover projects that have the potential to save them money and improve their environmental footprint which is an increasing focus. In one example we have successfully switched all chemicals to pump over deliveries which decreases packaging, saves on disposal costs, removes manual handling and eliminates risk of incorrect chemical in tanks. 

Have you been able to offer your customers any additional benefits as a result of the merger between VWT and Biochemica?

Merging with a larger company has meant we have a much wider network of experts that we can call upon to service existing customers. As such, we have been able to provide better solutions to long term problems. Many of our customers are really benefiting from this, which is very rewarding to be a part of. For example, we have been able to add value to one of our Key Group contracts by arranging surveys of their wastewater treatment at each location and offering site specific chemical optimisations and monthly analysis by our experts in the form of a separate service contract. On some occasions we have supported our customers and helping them through challenges by making referrals to other areas of Veolia  For example, we are able to introduce our field service team responsible for the service of pretreatment plant such as water softeners and Reverse Osmosis.

What sets VWT UK apart with its offering in terms of water treatment chemicals?

When it comes to VWT’s output, it is our approach that makes us stand out. We are a company that is very open minded to new ideas and are always investigating new trends. This allows us to be truly innovative, which is crucial in this sector. Our provision of products and services such as Hubgrade really exemplifies this.

In addition, the working environment is exceptional. Although VWT is a global business with thousands of employees worldwide, it still has the personable and friendly nature of a small company. This also impacts our service and I believe this positive working culture is fundamental to our success.

Finally, could you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

Over lockdown my partner and I built a five-bedroom house - I had to do lots of the tiling, plastering and cable work which was really good fun!

For more information on VWT UK, please visit: https://www.veoliawatertechnologies.co.uk/ 

 

Sandra Rountree

About the Author

Sandra Rountree

After achieving a PhD in chemistry at Queens University Belfast, Sandra joined Zenith Hygiene Group as Product Development Manager for 3 years. Ready for a new challenge, she then progressed her career by joining Biochemica, where she worked for a year in Northern Ireland before moving to the North East. This resulted in going from Technical Sales Consultant to Sales Manager to Corporate Sales Manager which leads to today as National Account Manager with Veolia Water Technologies. Since starting with Biochemica, Sandra has 10 years of experience.