A coffee with…Louise Parrott
A coffee with… Louise Parrott
We grabbed ten minutes with our Purchasing Manager, Louise Parrott, for a chat about the early days of LIMA and how it’s evolved over the last 20 years, as well as her life outside of work.
Louise, you’ve been at LIMA from the start. How did it all begin?
It started in 1996 when I began working for the same company as LIMA’s founders Lisa Thornton and Paul Almond. Following some changes in that company, Lisa and Paul branched out to start their own business and asked me to join them once they were up and running.
They established LIMA at the end of 1997 and I joined them the following March, where we ran the business from Lisa’s house. The business quickly expanded so we moved into offices in Exchange Quay where we recruited a telesales team and more account managers. Since then, LIMA has continued to grow to where we are today.
How has your role evolved over this time?
As LIMA was just Lisa and I for a while, I started out doing a bit of everything. I was responsible for all administration, from creating and chasing invoices through to buying the kit that we were installing. I had to know every area of the business in those early days for everything to work effectively. As the business grew, the purchasing element of my role became more important and defined.
Is there such thing as a typical day?
I do have a routine in terms of what I know has to be done each day – this involves negotiating the best prices and placing orders for equipment, which sees me liaising with multiple suppliers and vendors throughout the day. Of course, there are ad hoc queries that I deal with throughout the day, which could be anything from a change to the way something is going to be sold, or a change in process.
What do you put LIMA’s success down to?
I think LIMA’s personal approach has been a big driver for our success. We started out as personable business focused on developing relationships and delivering the best service. Although the plan has always been to keep growing, we’ve managed to stay consistent in this approach and our customers appreciate that familiarity.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a single mum with two kids and a big group of friends, so my life is quite busy! I usually spend time with my kids or arrange to see my friends at the weekend. The closest thing I have to a hobby is shopping – I have wardrobes full of clothes and would say Zara is my ultimate favourite shop. I did try yoga at one point, but I quickly ditched that!
What’s your favourite film/TV show?
I can’t sit through films because I usually start pottering around doing jobs while they’re on, or I realise three quarters of the way through that I’ve already seen it. To be honest, I’m a cheesy reality TV girl. After work, I want to relax, so something like the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills (or wherever) will do!