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An interview with our Central Services Manager – Melanie Phillips

What brought you to Joinery as a career? 

Back in 2000, I started on reception at Denne Joinery straight out of college where I’d studied law. I distinctly remember back then the Director would test my materials knowledge daily! I asked questions and was interested, and as a result my role grew to encompass estimating, sales, HR, certifications and health & safety. As a close-knit team, we have seen the business transform from offering traditional joinery – windows, doors, staircases etc, to bespoke CAT B commercial joinery for offices. It’s a fascinating industry where there is always something different and interesting to learn. 

Can you explain what makes Denne Joinery unique? 

We have such a deep level of connection and support that comes from working and progressing together. A core group Darren, Tony, Ross, Mick, Dave and Michael, have been here since I started. Across the business, people are very experienced, either at Denne Joinery, or in the wider industry.  

We also offer both traditional joinery and furniture manufacturing under one roof for commercial and private-residential clients, which provides great variety for our team. 

That, coupled with our company’s 221-history and the relationships we’ve built, means we offer unrivalled expertise, work well as a team and get to deliver interesting projects.  

What do you think is essential for success in high-quality joinery? 

It all comes down to good communication. If we understand what our customer wants from the outset through a clear design brief, we can work closely throughout the project to ensure there are no surprises on either side. Attention to detail is another factor. We encourage our team to strive for the highest quality, so while despatch is the final quality assurance gateway, everyone in the process has a responsibility to ensure their work is exceptional. 

What are you most proud of in your role at Denne Joinery? 

The team we’ve built and the combined skill they have. We are friendly, work well under pressure and the finished photographs of our work installed on-site consistently look amazing. I have a real appreciation for everyone’s talents and respect the process that has been undertaken to take the idea from an initial sketch to a beautiful product. 

What are you passionate about in your role? 

People. The average person stays in their job for four to five years, but we must be doing something fundamentally different for so many of us to be working here for more than nine or ten years. People like being here and I try to look after them as individuals. I notice the “little things” that are big things to them. I am passionate about ensuring people feel valued and included in the bigger picture so they can be the best version of themselves. 

How do you benefit from partnerships in your role? 

My role relies on being able to work with everyone. I try to bring everyone together and create harmonious relationships. We challenge each other when we need to deliver exceptional projects and have empathy for each other too. Over time I’ve built a reputation for being reliable, dependable and deliver what I say I’m going to do. 

What advice do you have for young people considering a career in joinery? 

I suggest you practice your practical skills. Learn as much as you can from more experienced people and never stop asking questions. Also never assume you know everything; things are always changing and there will be new opportunities to grow your skills and progress into other avenues. You can stop at the bench if you want to. You don’t have to, but you do need those solid foundations.