Through this series of articles, we hope to enable our readers to get to know Regtransfers a little better. In each issue, we feature a different member of our team and, gradually, you’ll become able to put faces to the voices you hear when you call us. In this issue, we talk to Administration Manager, Sarah Bartram.
How long have you worked for the company?
For 12 years.
What does your role involve?
I am responsible for running a tight ship, ensuring that all transfers are sent off daily to the appropriate Vehicle Registration Office (VRO), any returned transfers are processed quickly and customers are paid promptly.
How did you get the job?
I worked as an admin assistant for six years before becoming the manager.
Can you tell me something about your staff?
I have a team of eight girls and one man. [Lucky guy!]. They all are friendly and reliable. We often enjoy Thai takeaways and socialise with nights out to restaurants and the local casino.
What constitutes a typical day for you?
My day starts with supervising the post which is opened and separated. I make sure that the work is distributed evenly, especially if anyone is on holiday. I answer my emails each morning but I much prefer to contact customers by telephone.
I run various reports during the day to make sure all transfers are completed and sent off. I get quite a few phone calls during the day from customers with queries. I chase up any outstanding payments and issue letters regarding payments. I check and counter-sign cheques.
What is Regtransfers like as a place to work?
The main premises comprise two large converted Victorian houses. It’s like a big happy family. I have worked with some of my present colleagues for over a decade. We all work in little offices on different floors and it has a real homely feel.
What do you like most about it?
I like the atmosphere. We have ‘dress down day’ on Friday which makes the day more fun.
How have things changed since you started?
When I first started, we only had half the staff we have now in admin. I have seen it grow over the years and now we are nearly bursting at the seams!
Have you personally dealt with any famous customers?
Famous people are always buying numbers. Once, I had to take documents by hand to the Northampton VRO in order to complete the transfer for one of the Dragons from TV’s Dragons’ Den.
What kind of people buy personal number plates?
All sorts of people buy numbers and for all kind of reasons. Not everyone who buys a number is rich. Every customer is valued, regardless of who they are. We often get customers who buy a ‘job lot’ of numbers at once.
An increasing number of plates are bought for investment purposes. I bought one for my son’s first birthday. I’m keeping it on my car until he learns to drive and has a car of his own. Hopefully, it will go up in value as he has another 15 years before he can use it. I thought it would make a nice little nest egg for him.
How do you ensure that the paperwork is dealt with speedily and efficiently?
We have strict timescales to adhere to and it can often be a real challenge. But we all are multi-skilled and happy to help each other out when necessary to get the work done.
What are the biggest problems involved in the administration of purchases?
The biggest problem is that we rely on the post to deliver documents to and from our customers. This service is not always reliable.
Do you have any particularly amusing or interesting stories involving your clients?
I remember one old lady enquiring about plates. She kept mentioning old dates and names. We eventually established that she was after collectable china crockery!
Are there any exciting developments in the near future?
I hope that, one day, we will be able to process all our transfers ‘in house’. We could act as a small VRO. This would cut out much of the red tape.