Joanne House, Area Planning Manager for Ainscough Crane Hire in the South West, is in charge of overseeing the everyday activities within the region, fulfilling a variety of roles to ensure that all operations run smoothly, safely, and efficiently. This is her Ainscough story.
I joined the company in 2004 after a family friend and Ainscough contract manager, Bill Hiller, contacted my mum to let her know there was a vacancy. I hadn’t heard of Ainscough and didn’t know the kind of projects they had worked on so I investigated to find out who they were. Immediately, I knew this was the kind of large-scale company with a family ethos I would love to be involved with. Mum, thankfully, got Bill in touch with me, and I’ve since worked my way up to Area Planning Manager for the South West. In the 15 years I have been at Ainscough I’ve seen many changes to the company, but I can honestly say that I have never regretted my decision.
Being an Area Planning Manager can be a difficult career to understand, because there are so many fields you are involved with. Multi-tasking is definitely a key ability. You have got be prepared for anything to be thrown at you. Whether it’s an operational issue in Bristol or a traffic jam in Southampton that’s slowing an asset down, I want to be on high alert and know exactly what is going on.
I am very much a people person and believe that finding the right colleagues can make that all-important difference between simply working in a role and excelling in it. Particularly when you’re working on complex projects, collaboration and communication are fundamental. We have the largest fleet of cranes in the UK, and it’s my job to ensure that every one of our South West employees has the necessary guidance to perform their role to the best of their ability.
I have an excellent team around me who I can always rely on for their dedication to the task in hand. Despite the difficulties of the position, I do think it’s important to maintain a good humour and a positive outlook. I am really lucky that I have been able to get to travel to most of the depots and head office, and meet my colleagues face to face. There’s a really great, friendly atmosphere at Ainscough that lets you feel confident in asking for advice, and secure in knowing there will be plenty of people queuing up to help.
Every day can bring you a different problem to solve, but it can also give you an exciting new experience that you didn’t anticipate cropping up. One of the more memorable days in my career would be attending an open day at Leyland. With a bit of expert guidance, I was allowed to operate a crane – albeit just picking up some test weights and moving them around! Needless to say, the task was timed as a competition and I was the slowest person on the day, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a cliché but I have really never been bored on the job.
I think our excellent job completion record is a testament to the difference a good Planning Manager can make; we have won international acclaim for our safety standards, something I am particularly proud of. Through Make the Safe Choice, we ensure that everyone can help to prevent an issue before the problem even arises, allowing us to concentrate on completing the task in hand.
I’m very lucky to be able to say that I love my job and the company I work for. Whether they’re an old face or a newbie apprentice, every member of the Ainscough team is passionate about what they do and after a long day, it’s great to have the kind of support system around that can send you home smiling.
Ainscough Crane Hire is always looking for the brightest and best talent in all fields. From head office to operating some of the world’s biggest cranes, there’s a career at Ainscough for you. Anyone looking for a career change can visit the Ainscough jobs page.